Bitter Greens: Essays on Food, Politics, and Ethnicity from the Imperial Kitchen
Food-based reflections on Italian food, American culture, and globalization.
Despite the inclusion of six classic recipes, Bitter Greens is not an ethnic cookbook but a Roman banquet of political satire, cultural criticism, and culinary memoir. Set primarily in the Empire State and arranged like the courses of a traditional Italian meal, Anthony Di Renzo’s wide-ranging essays meditate on Italian food at the noon of American imperialism and the twilight of ethnicity, exploring such issues as the Wegmans supermarket chain’s conquest of Sicily; assembly-line sausages; the fabled onion fields of Canastota, New York; the tripe shops of postwar Brooklyn; Hunts Point Market and Andy Boy broccoli rabe; and the fatal lure of Sicilian chocolate. Is the new global supermarket a democratic feast, Di Renzo asks, or a cannibal potluck where consumers are themselves consumed? Sip an aperitif, toast Horace and Juvenal, and enjoy Chef Di Renzo’s catered symposium. It will feed your mind, tickle your ribs, and heal your spleen.