A delicious journey through Italy and a celebration of the relationship between family and food.
Moving from the Italian Piedmont to the Maremma and then to Le Marche, chef Teresa Lust interweaves portraits of the people who served as her culinary guides with cultural and natural history in this charming exploration of authentic Italian cuisine.
We learn how to prepare bagna cauda—a robust dipping sauce of anchovies, garlic, and olive oil—with Lust’s relatives outside Torino. We learn about making hand-stretched grissini, Italy’s iconic breadstick, the secrets of whipping up zabaione, a classic dessert of ethereal foam made with egg yolks, sugar, and marsala. Then there is acquacotta, a rustic soup that nourished generations of the area’s shepherds and cowhands. In the town of Camerano, an eighty-year-old woman reveals the art of hand-rolling pasta with a three-foot rolling pin.
Underpinning Lust’s travels is our journey from chef to cook, mirroring the fact that Italians have been masters of home cooking for generations, so they are an obvious source of inspiration. Today, more and more people are rediscovering the pleasures of cooking at home, and Lust’s account—and wonderful recipes—will help readers bring an Italian sensibility to their home tables.
Teresa Lust is the author of Pass the Polenta: and Other Writings from the Kitchen. She is a graduate of Washington State University and holds a master's degree from Dartmouth College. Lust currently teaches Italian for the Rassias Center for World Languages at Dartmouth and teaches cooking classes. She lives in New Hampshire.
"An unforgettable experience. Sharing bits of culture and history along with portraits of the home cooks, bakers, and others serving as her guides, Lust weaves more than 35 recipes into her charming story of transformation from chef to cook while discovering the intimate relationship between food, family and friends."
– La Cucina Italiana
“Teresa Lust has lived just about everywhere you've dreamed of living one day, and she is generous enough to walk you through each of those places. Come for the real Italian breadstick recipe, stay for the super regional alcoholic Italian desserts.”
– Delish (Named One Of The 7 Most Anticipated Cookbooks Of 2020)
“A satisfying celebration of Italian food and family, complete with delectable recipes.”
– Publishers Weekly
In a knowledgeable, robust narrative that emphasizes proud traditions, Lust chronicles her trips of discovery to Italy's backcountry. Lust hits all the right notes; she demonstrates abundant love and respect for the food and the people dedicated to making it right. An exploratory, celebratory memoir that elevates family repasts.
– Kirkus Reviews
“A Blissful Feast takes readers on a mouthwatering journey through Italy, and who could possibly resist authentic Italian food?”
"How appropriately named is Teresa Lust—her passion for food is in every word of her evocative book. I'd live to be at the table when her platters come around."
– Frances Mayes, author of UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN (Praise for Pass the Polenta)
"Like Laurie Colwin and M. F. K. Fisher before her, Lust goes gunning for haute cuisine."