William Black

Al Dente
  • Al Dente

  • In Al Dente, William Black travels the length and breadth of Italy in order to get to the roots of Italian food. Our intrepid gastronome eats whatever gets in his way which often isn't quite what it seems. If it's cheese then it may be considered ripe only when it has been predigested by maggots or perhaps made solely from the milk of tired cows. A bowl of pasta might come with donkey sauce. A dish of wind dried tuna apparently includes its testicles. A lovely risotto has been made with seagull broth...

    William's dedication to his task knows alarmingly few bounds. His quest for the most delicious and authentic cooking and the very finest ingredients takes him to some wonderfully familiar places as well as others far off the beaten track: he drinks great coffee in Turin, chases rabbits in Ischia and views the mattanza, the annual tuna catch, off the coast of Sardinia. One minute he's scoffing eel brodetto, the next waxing lyrical about the joys of frog risotto. And as he eats his way to the country's culinary heart, he unearths the fascinating story of his own family's role in Italian history.

    A joy from cover to cover and 100 per cent mierda di bufala-free, Al Dente is a must for anyone with an interest in Italy or its food. It will probably make you want to book a holiday and it will certainly make you laugh.

is the author of Al Dente and The Land That Thyme Forgot and the co-author with Sophie Grigson of Fish, Organic and Travels à la Carte. He featured in the Glenfiddich award-winning television series, Matters of Taste, and he has sourced ingredients (fish in particular) for many of the UK's finest restaurants. He lives in Oxfordshire.

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