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Tasting Rome | Milkbottle

Tasting Rome

A love letter from two Americans, Katie Parla and Kristina Gill, to their adopted city, showcasing modern dishes influenced by tradition, as well as the rich culture of their surroundings.

Even 150 years after unification, Italy is still a divided nation where individual regions are defined by their local cuisine—mirrors of their culture, history, and geography. But the cucina romana is the country’s greatest standout. Speakeasies, ten-table restaurants, and street food stalls may not be the first things that come to mind when you think of Rome, but these new realities have joined the traditional bars and trattorias of the Italian capital as bastions of great food and drink. In Tasting Rome, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture Rome’s unique character and truly evolved food culture—a culmination of two thousand years of history.

The recipes here, each selected for the story it tells, acknowledge the foundations of the cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today, ranging from genuine classics to fascinating but largely undocumented Libyan Jewish fare to centuries-old offal preparations, and so much more. Part cookbook, part travel memoir, this book transports all of the flavors of Rome into your kitchen.

Homemade Pasta Castagnole, fried doughballs with sugar
left Homemade Pasta
right Castagnole, fried doughballs with sugar

Katie Parla moved to Rome in 2003 after graduating from Yale. She holds a sommelier certificate and a master’s degree in Italian gastronomic culture from Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”. She writes about Roman food and beverage culture for The New York Times, The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, and more, and has contributed to and edited more than 20 travel guides. She is the author of a Saveur-nominated food and travel blog, National Geographic’s Walking Rome, and the iOS apps Katie Parla’s Rome and Katie Parla’s Istanbul. She often appears as a Rome expert on the Travel Channel, History Channel, and the university lecture circuit.

Kristina Gill is the food and drinks editor at DesignSponge, a home and lifestyle site with over 1.2 million readers per month. Her original recipes, and those she hand-selects from celebrated authors, chefs, and readers have appeared weekly as the “In the Kitchen With” column since 2007. She is also a food and travel photographer. Kristina transferred to Rome in 1999 after earning her BA from Stanford and her MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

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