Most food guides for Italy suffer from the “too-much, too-little” syndrome. The territory is vast, yet for each city and village they rarely provide enough information. This guide focuses on a manageable territory–Liguria–and covers it in depth with an emphasis on understanding the local culture through its food. This is not an encyclopedic volume but a renowned food writer’s highly selective guide to Liguria’s authentic small eateries, culinary traditions, wine, wineries, food artisans, and gourmet shops. (The “big” restaurants are covered in a short and amusing sidebar that lists the places that everyone knows and can read about in any guide or on the Internet: a tip of the hat to the great toques, but many other suggestions are given so the reader can dine elsewhere. In Italy, the restaurants Michelin rewards with multiple stars have little to do with regional or local food.) Recommendations center on “where the locals eat.” The book is also lavishly photographed, perfect for the armchair traveler. There is a glossary of food items and unusual specialties, as well as a typical Ligurian menu, detailed indexes, many sidebars, and a map.
Learn all about the savory Ligurian flatbread called farinata (and where to buy farinata baking pans), garlic (raw in local dishes, braids, the pink heirloom variety from the village of Vessalico, and the village’s annual garlic festival), pesto mania (and a profile of the hothouses of the western Genoese suburb of Prà that produce what most Italians and 99.9 percent of Ligurians claim to be the world’s best commercially grown basil) and which restaurants serve authentic mortar-and-pestle-made pesto, as well as dozens of other regional topics.
"One of the most popular destinations in the world, the Italian Riviera stretches for 200 miles along jagged, picturesque coastline. In this guide, David Downie takes readers through the region's many traditional restaurants, wineries, and villages. It's an in-depth look at this beautiful area that still holds hidden culinary treasures." --Bon Appetit
"Outside of general guidebooks to Italy, few individual regions have had single volumes dedicated to their gastronomy, and this, one of a series of 'Terroir Guides,' is both thorough in its listings of places to eat and drink, from ristoranti and focaccerie to pasticcerie and chocolate shops, as it is a well-written depiction of what makes Liguria so very special--and heretofore underrated--as a territory for wonderful food and wine, with its rippling, seafood-rich coastline, its famous basil that goes into making pesto, and its ties to the cooking of Southern France. Excellent, evocative photos too." -John Mariani
"Getting to the heart of regional cuisine can be a tall order, but The Terroir Guides ably examine the interplay between markets, local food artisans, winemakers, and chefs on a town-by-town basis, taking the reader from field to plate and making a great companion for any food-obsessed tourist...packed with local history, food lore, and useful translations." --Sherman's Travel
"I love The Terroir Guides. They give me everything I want. They're a tactile pleasure, compact, meaty. They're lovely to look at, elegantly laid out, mutedly and tastefully colored...positively overflowing with the Who, What, Where and How even an intrepidly independent traveler should know...The Little Bookroom has a knack for putting guidebooks into print that are as useful as they are beautiful." --Wine News