An authentic guide to the festive, mouthwatering sweets of Southern Italy, including regional specialties that are virtually unknown in this country as well as variations on more popular desserts such as cannoli, biscotti, and gelato.
In "Southern Italian Desserts," author of the acclaimed "My Calabria," Rosetta Costantino, collects seventy-five favorite recipes from the regions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily. These picturesque areas have a rich history of beautiful desserts, many of them tied to holidays and festivals. For example, "Zeppole di San Giuseppe" are doughnut-like pastries topped with cream and cherries, traditionally made in Campania for the celebration of Father's Day. And the Sicilian chilled watermelon pudding "Gelo di Mellone" is a refreshing dish served in summer for the festival of Palermo's patron saint, Rosalia. Other desserts such as persimmon gelato, chocolate-dipped figs stuffed with almonds and candied orange peel, and chocolate-hazelnut cake rolls celebrate Southern Italy's local bounty and traditional foods. With recipes for more familiar Italian desserts such as cannoli and gelato, as well as deliciously obscure sweets such as rich cassatas, almond-flecked cookies, and flaky cream-filled sfogliatelle pastries, "Southern Italian Desserts" features a treat for every occasion.
In addition to explaining the regional history, symbolism, and lore behind the desserts, Costantino teaches you how to stock your dessert pantry and provides all of the foundational recipes you need to embark on a sweet tour of the Italian south from your kitchen. This delightful confection of a cookbook will expand your dessert repertoire and leave you dreaming of Italy. "Buon appetito
About the Author
Born and raised in Verbicaro, Calabria, Rosetta Costantino teaches cooking classes and lives in Oakland, California.
Ethel Brennan is a writer and photography stylist. When she was a child, she and her family lived in Provence, where her parents owned a goat cheese farm. Although her family returned to California while she was still young, most of her childhood summers were spent traveling in France from Paris to the rustic countryside of Provence where her parents kept the farmhouse. She is now based in San Francisco and travels frequently to France with her twin boys and French husband. She is the author of "Herbes de Provence", "Baby Gifts" and co-author of "Citrus", "Sun Dried Tomatoes", "Goat Cheese", "A Children's Kitchen Garden" and most recently "At the Farmers' Market with Kids". Sara Remington is an award-winning food and travel photographer based in San Francisco. She has photographed over 30 cookbooks, including "The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook" by Rachel Saunders, "My Calabria" by Rosetta Costantino, "The Mozza Cookbook" by Nancy Silverton, "The Wild Table" by Connie Green, "Plum Gorgeous" by Romney Steele, and "Vino Argentino" by Laura Catena. She was nominated for a James Beard Award for her photography in "The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook" and continues to travel the globe shooting for publishing companies, editorials, and advertising. Her work is inspired by the tactile and visual experiences of her childhood road trips in the United States and France.
JENNIE SCHACHT is a culinary writer and consultant who has worked with Michael Chiarello and Napa-based "wedding cake baker to the stars" Sam Godfrey of Perfect Endings, She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Rosetta has given us a sweet and soulful taste of the land and culture of Southern Italy-flavors and fragrances practically leap off the page. From the simplest three-ingredient walnut cookies (that you will want to jump up and make immediately, as I did) to more elaborate celebration desserts-all are made doable with well-written recipes and beautiful photos. Fig syrup and dolci di noci now have a permanent place in my repertoire.”
—Alice Medrich, author of Bittersweet and Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts
“I’ve been chasing down Southern Italian dessert recipes for thirty years, and my dear friend Rosetta just saved me another decade. She is truly one of the best Italian cooks I know!”
—Michael Chiarello, chef and owner of Bottega and Coqueta
“Reading this book, I pictured Rosetta moving between bakeries and homes throughout Southern Italy, her impeccable sweet tooth and culinary knowledge guiding her to the special sweets of each village. Brava to Rosetta for creating a book that’s original, tantalizing, and embodies the culture and spirit of her region.”
—Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker