Italy

I listen to different radio shows, and was tuned in to The Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetto Kaspe on this Saturday morning. She mentioned that Italy was celebrating its 150th anniversary. Though the official date of unification is March 17.

Though the peninsula, pizza and past existed, Italy was not officially unified until March 17, 1861, and Victor Emmanuell II was named King.

One of her guests was Fred Plotkin, Italian Culinary Historian. According to Mr. Plotkin, the Northwest developed first, laying down railroad tracks, which helped to spread the sale of meat, fruits and vegetables that people had never seen before. Canning became popular, which brought about tomatoes from the south traveling north.

Even with Italy’s 80% illiteracy rate, a man by the name of Pellegrino Artusi took it upon himself to gather as many recipes  as he could for the nation, putting them all together in a book called, “The Science and Art of Eating.” Pellegrino apparently fancied himself a ladies man, for he tried to seduce every woman whose kitchen he entered.

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