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Publisher's Summary

This is not a cookbook. This is something more: a travelogue, a patient investigation of Italy's cuisine, a loving profile of the everyday heroes who bring Italy to the table. Pasta, Pane, Vino is the latest edition of the genre-bending Roads & Kingdoms style pioneered under Anthony Bourdain's imprint in Rice, Noodle, Fish and Grape, Olive, Pig.   

Town by town, bite by bite, author Matt Goulding brings Italy to life through intimate portraits of its food culture and the people pushing it in new directions: Three globe-trotting brothers who became the mozzarella kings of Puglia; the pizza police of Naples and the innovative pies that stay one step ahead of the rules; the Barolo Boys who turned the hilly Piedmont into one of the world's great wine regions.

From the pasta temples of Rome to the multicultural markets of Sicily to the family-run, fish-driven trattorias of Lake Como, Pasta, Pane, Vino captures the breathtaking diversity of Italian regional food culture.

©2018 Matt Goulding and Nathan Thornburgh (P)2019 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Italy is a beautiful but complicated place, not so much a country as a collection of cultures and cuisines. Matt Goulding expertly navigates its wonders and eccentricities with wisdom and great passion." (Anthony Bourdain)

What listeners say about Pasta, Pane, Vino

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  • Overall
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Eat Your Way. . .

through Italy. . . Goulding's central thesis is that Italian food culture is undergoing an evolution--and he is bent on profiling people who want to preserve the best of the past while helping cultivate sustainable, interesting food. The book is at its best when deep in the personal profiles--the three brothers who are cheesemakers, the Lake Como fisherman and his wife, the truffle hunters facing a bad season and sketchy market. At times Goulding's prose sounds a little overwrought (the alliteration and metaphors both get a little strained in parts), but overall it's engaging. As others have noted, the narrator does an approximation of an Italian accent for the Italians. . . I didn't find it offensive and it made sense given the American author's "perspective" that colors all of the profiles. I own the physical book but hadn't read it--I'm glad I got the audible because now I want to go back and look at the accompanying pictures.

2 people found this helpful

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Good content, bad accent

I love the content of this book, which traverses Italian food culture. However, the narrator’s faux Italian accent was utterly painful to listen to. It took me months to get through this book because of it.

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The narrator's terrible fake Italian accent sucks

The book is fantastic, but the narrator's attempts to emulate Italian speakers is truly awful.

1 person found this helpful

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Cringeworthy

Although the book does have many good descriptions of food and settings, the audio performance of the book is abysmal. In the movie "Breaking Away" Dave (Dennis Christopher) and his working class friends spend their post-high school days in Bloomington, Indiana, sparring with snooty students from the local university, chasing girls and--in Dave's case--dreaming of competitive bicycle racing. Dave attempts to speak Italian on a regular basis in the movie imagining himself riding for Cinzano Italian sponsored bicycling team. You cringe each time Dave attempts to speak Italian just as you may each time Will Damron the narrator garbles over an Italian phrase. The author of Pasta, Pane, and Vino, Matt Goulding, perhaps equally affected writes "this is why so many of us fantasize about being Italian, because to be Italian means to have memories that taste of this plate of pasta." I wonder if I had a copy of the book and read the words instead of heard this terrible performance if I might have thought it a good cultural feature travel book, minus the cliches and cultural stereotypes that seem just simple and well, why Americans as tourists are sometimes frowned upon. Perhaps.

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Makes you want to eat your way through Italy,

Matt has a wonderful way of expressing the feeling of being in Italy. Discussing food, people, and travel he discusses so many cities and small-town so you get a real feel for the cuisine and culture. From Rome to Puglia, he describes the foods and the ingredients, but he shines on describing the people who make it happen, If you like Italy, you will like this book. It is not a cookbook, but a cultural exploration.