A delightful book, written and self-published by Melbourne GP Pietro Demaio, whose love of the food traditions of his native land is very obvious. His humorous anecdotes about his many culinary adventures in Australia and especially on his visits back to Italy made me laugh, and sometimes even made me cry.
I loved the story about how he finally managed to foil his patients who regularly used to sneak in and steal the entire olive harvest at his Melbourne surgery just before he was due to harvest them. And wherever that island restaurant is, the one you have to swim to get to, I want to eat there. Although Dr Demaio, a non-swimmer, was thrown overboard attached to a rope and towed ashore.
In this book, Dr Demaio covers everything you could possibly want to know about Italian home preserving, with not one, but about a dozen different ways of preserving eggplants for starters. There are also sections on every other conceivable method of preserving Italian foodstuffs, including making sausages and the curing of pork products, and there are even detailed instructions on how to build a wood-fired oven. The only problem with the book is that it has suffered in the editing, and there are too many typos, but this glitch aside, it is a thoroughly enjoyable and very useful cookbook for slow foodies.
Preserving the Italian Way website