NOW THAT’S ITALIAN!
A new encyclopedia waters the mouth and sates the mind
The Oxford Companion to Italian Food (Oxford Companion To...)
by Gillian Riley
$35.00 List Price
Tucked in among the many gems—culinary, historical, literary, religious, and otherwise—stashed throughout Gillian Riley’s new Oxford Companion to Italian Food is “The Pope’s Kitchen,” a luscious, whimsical sonnet by the nineteenth-century Roman poet Gioachino Giuseppe Belli, which I cannot bear to include here in anything but its entirety:
The cook wanted to show me,
this morning, all the stuff he bought
for the most holy kitchen. Kitchen?
Some kitchen! You’d think it was a sea-port.
Piles of things, pots and pans and cauldrons,
haunches of veal and beef,
chickens, eggs, milk, fish, veg, pork,
game and all kinds of choice cuts.
So I says: “Your Holy Father does himself all right!”
He says: “You’ve not seen the sideboard,
where praise be there’s
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