Broadway Books, New York: 1997 Congedo Editore, Galatina (LE): 2006
The heel of the Italian boot, long, skinny, almost surrounded by the sea—that’s Puglia, little known to Americans but one of the most exciting regions in all of Italy, a place where olive oil reigns in the kitchen and at the table, where the seafood is immaculate, where lemons and oranges, garlic, oregano, wild chicory and sweet eggplant, and the most amazing tomatoes and artichokes, all grow in happy profusion. The food is simple, direct, and deeply seductive. This is one of very few books in English to detail the region’s cuisine. I’m sorry to say it went out of print very quickly—the publisher simply couldn’t imagine why anyone would be interested in such a remote part of the world. Indeed!
Jenkins is no mere cookbook author, and Flavors of Puglia is no bottomless sump of recipes cast willy-nilly upon the page. She brings a keen intellect to her work as well as a passion for food, people, and the connections that can be made at a well-laid table–connections unlike any others. She is an anthropologist of the human soul as revealed through food, and the recipes she selects push the reader into a much deeper understanding of the soul of Puglia than would otherwise be possible. And the bonus? The sheer simplicity and deliciousness of it all.