Nobody does food better than Anthony Capella. At least in a book. I am no gourmand but I did consider myself to be having a sufficiently succinct palette. The Food of Love changed all that and now I know that to appreciate food on such a level that it uplifts you, you have to belong in a different league entirely. Or you have to be Italian.
I have read two of Capella's books and the similarity is that he weaves his story around the food. The food is the protagonist and all the different ways he assaults your senses and leaves you craving is the plot. Italy's tourism department hardly needs extra publicity to promote their country but adding the Food of Love as a must-read in the brochures won't hurt.
The plot is simple enough: Laura is a twenty-something American Art History student who is in Italy for a year on an exchange program. Enter Tomasso who sees her in a cafe and wants her. To impress Laura, he pretends to be a chef but in reality he is a busboy who can't cook if his life depends on it. So how does he impress Laura? Especially when he tells her that he is a chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant? Enter Bruno, pastry chef at Templi and Tomasso's roommate. Bruno cooks and Tomasso passes it off as his own; he seduces Laura, they have fun and everyone goes home happy. At least that is the plan but Bruno complicates things when he falls in love with Laura. So with every meal he makes her, he throws his soul into it and in turn Laura's expectation of Tomasso goes up and soon they all find themselves in a pickle.
The Food of Love is a joy for the true foodie. Along with Laura, Tomasso and Bruno you get intimate with Rome and Roman food. Through Bruno, Capella teaches you to truly appreciate food, teaches you the power of it. The book conveys the message that food can do anything: it can make you fall in love, seduce you, break hearts, resolve differences and quite simply dazzle you.
Some recipes might make you queasy but it is important to remember that the story is much more than ingredients. Because they are just that, ingredients. You can add your own if you want but the end product should be a feast to your taste buds and that's what matters. Just have some fresh pasta at hand. You WILL feel hungry :)