Virtual Gourmet

  FEBRUARY 11,  2024                                                                         NEWSLETTER

Founded in 1996 


John Belushi as "Bluto"  in "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978)




By John Mariani


By John Mariani

Chapter Six
By John Mariani


By John Mariani



By John Mariani

"The Fog Warning"  by Winslow Homer


      Last October in St. John, Canada, 340 people involved in every aspect of the seafood industry attended the Global Seafood Alliance’s Responsible Seafood Summit to hear how their industry is faring. The good news was that aquaculture will need to supply two-thirds of the world’s seafood requirements by 2030; without aquaculture, the world will face a seafood shortage of 50 to 80 million tons by 2030. Issues of sustainability were a major theme of the conference as well as a need for unity among the fishing industry and aquaculture entrepreneurs.
         Authorities spoke of “super impressive” growth rates in Brazil and Venezuela, and the great success of the Faroe Islands aquaculture, which since 2003 has been hailed for implementing some of the world's most stringent and comprehensive veterinary regulations, so that the Faroese Veterinarian Act on Aquaculture is now used as “inspiration and guidance” for the implementation of sustainable aquaculture standards in other countries around the world.
         To find out the issues of concern to the seafood industry, I interviewed Steve Hedlund, founding EIC of Seafood Source and the GSA’s Communications, Media & Events Manager for the GSA for the past eleven years.


The theme of the GSA’s conference was “unity.” What have been the divisive issues? Have the fisheries and the aquaculture industries been at odds until now? 

The Responsible Seafood Summit is the world’s only seafood event focused on bridging the differences and nurturing the commonalities between aquaculture and fisheries, with the goal of building a more unified front for seafood. It’s not that fisheries and aquaculture are at odds. It’s that there’s not enough collaboration. That’s what pre-competitive events like the Summit are designed to do—to bring together people from both fisheries and aquaculture.


Sustainability and purity of product were also stressed as crucial. What efforts are being made in those respects? You’ve said that “the value of building transparency and trust with customers was also discussed. There’s so much judging and misinformation out there that the seller-buyer relationship is more important than ever.” What is the public most concerned about? 

The public is concerned about value and product quality. Even with sustainability emerging as a concern, value and product quality remain at the top. Consumers want a good quality product and good price. But increasingly they want assurances that the product they’re purchasing was produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. That’s where third-party certification programs like Best Aquaculture Practices come in. Consumers who buy product with the blue BAP label know that they’re buying product produced under strict standards for environmental and social responsibility, animal health and welfare, and food safety.

How has social media affected the way seafood is perceived? 

Social media has given producers, big and small, a platform to talk about how they’re doing things responsibly. They’re able to reach consumers more directly, which is a good thing. The challenge is that there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and this misinformation is spread more rapidly. That’s why it’s so critical for the industry to better collaborate, and to build a more unified front for seafood.


The predictions for growth of the industry seem to be soaring, but the industry cannot keep up with the demand. How did the pandemic affect the industry? 

What happened during the pandemic was when restaurants were forced to shut down consumers bought seafood at supermarkets and cooked it at home, some for the first time. Consumers learned that seafood is easier to cook than they realized, especially first-timers, so they incorporated it into their diet more often. When the pandemic subsided and restaurants opened back up, that trend shifted back. So retail seafood sales slowed post-pandemic. However, a whole new audience was introduced to seafood for the first time, and that will pay dividends for years to come.


Are there stringent international requirements for entering the industry? 

There are. More specifically, retail and food service companies have strengthened their sustainable seafood sourcing policies over time. Many of their vendors are required to attain third-party certification, whether aquaculture or fisheries, to ensure that their seafood is farmed (and processed) responsibly, or caught responsibly. It’s a way of doing business now. Certification programs go above and beyond what a government may require and level the playing field. So, if you’re a retail or food service seafood buyer, you know you’re getting product held to the same stringent set of standards no matter what country it’s coming from. It’s difficult to be a player in the international seafood scene these days without being involved in more certification programs.


Sustainability and purity of product were also stressed as crucial. What efforts are being made in those respects? 

Responsible seafood production is no longer a novelty—it’s a way of doing business. Retail and food service companies worldwide employ sustainable seafood sourcing policies that require that the product they’re purchasing was produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. That’s standard practice these days.


The predictions for growth of the industry seem to be soaring, but the industry cannot keep up with the demand? 

It is true that aquaculture production continues to grow. Our own survey results indicate that the world’s production of farmed seafood will grow by about 4.8 percent in 2024 to almost 5.88 million metric tons (compared with 2023). Our own survey results also indicate that the world’s production of the five species/groups of finfish—carps, tilapias, pangasius and catfishes, salmonids, and sea bass and sea bream—will grow by 2 percent to around 40.4 million metric tons. Demand is also growing, as the global population rises and more people transition into the middle class. And as they transition to the middle class they upgrade their diets and eat more seafood, especially in Asia. That’s what’s fueling demand for seafood over time.


Is it true that many territories and species are being fished out? How is that preventable? 

There are more sustainably managed fisheries around the world than there have ever been. Government bodies are strengthening their regulations, and more and more fisheries are attaining third-party certification through programs like Responsible Fisheries Management. So we’re seeing fewer and fewer “problem” fisheries.




200 Park Avenue

By John Mariani

Interior Photos  by  Emily Andrews
Food photos by Ken Freedman



         More than once I’ve been asked if I ever tire of going out to restaurants. or of eating so much of the same thing. The answer to the first question is absolutely not: Like everyone else I get hungry after six p.m. and still think that a good restaurant offers the promise of something new and exciting. As for the second, while there is a lot of sameness and trendiness on menus, the good chefs know how to make people’s favorite dishes their own.
         So, nothing is ever the same, and sometimes I come across a restaurant of such decorous appeal and a chef of such innovation that I realize all over again why I love what I do.
         The brand-new Point Seven is a case in point and chef Franklin Becker, whose career I’ve followed for decades, proves that the great ones never get bored—tired, perhaps, in a profession that takes its toll—but never blasé or lax about trying to give enormous pleasure to his or her guests. Becker is a very  busy fellow. Brooklyn born as the son of a mother whose ethic was “always do better,” he attended the Culinary Institute of America and first came to my notice at Capitale in Soho. He has devoted himself to healthy food causes, co-founding Little Beet and, and works with Columbia University on its food hall, as well as opening Oliva Tapas restaurant in Harlem.

         Together with Stephen Loffredo of Hospitality Department, Becker debuted the first-rate Press Club last year near Times Square, and now, in the MetLife Building atop Grand Central Terminal, the marvelous new two-level Point Seven on premises formerly occupied by Fonda del Sol.
      Studio Valerius has changed that once red Spanish establishment  into a sophisticated, very New York-styled restaurant, whose cool décor of muted colors in the swank bar at ground level, which reminds me of the original Eero Saarinen’s design for JFK’s TWA terminal. Up a few steps the dining room repeats colors of beige, gray and blue, along with piscine chandeliers. 
Tables are widely separated and the highly professional waitstaff moves easily amidst them; for once I can pronounce with pleasure that the decibel level here is almost serene, without being in any way hushed. Tables are topped with a smooth surface of
Smile Plastics, and are made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic. The china and wineglasses are exquisite, and sofa-like seating has pillows to lean back on.
         Point Seven is decidedly a seafood restaurant (with some meat options), whose name refers to the fact that 70% of the world’s surface is water, and Becker gives a strong Asian edge to many dishes presented in ways you’ve never seen them before. For starters, he offers “sushi unrolled” ($23-$29), which means you construct your own: You take a spoonful from a juicy tart of spicy tuna with tobiko, red onion and sweet-sour shio kombu condiment and place it into a sheet of ultra-thin, very crisp nori seaweed. The oddness becomes a revelation, because you get a wonderful crunch you would not, if made back in the kitchen in advance.
         So, too, the shrimp & grits ($24) is unlike any I’ve had in the South, where you usually get a bed of unseasoned grits topped with spicy shrimp. At Point Seven the dish acquires more of the refinement of  a bouillabaisse, with smoky Benton’s ham, a rich
garlic-chili butter and scallions, all set as a pretty bowl.
         There is so much deep flavor in everything, including a tuna tostada with sweet avocado and pico de gallo ($24). The charcoal grill
gives a slight smokiness to sea scallops served in the shell with a complex XO sauce and scallop crisp ($29).
         For entrees there are several surprises, foremost a large slab of what looks like the silkiest wild salmon imaginable, until you discover it is bright orange-pink steelhead trout with cabbage, leeks and a tangy mustard sauce ($42), which show how exceptional trout can be.  There’s also a savory Caribbean stew with achiote tomatoes and coconut ($48), and—the first I’ve seen this winter—Nantucket bay scallops that Becker says he gets from a long-time provider on the island. The plump nubbins are like barely sweet but briny marshmallows, enhanced with nothing but their buttery juices ($48). I could eat a raft of them!
         Swordfish takes well to the grill but when made into kebabs and skewered they usually dry out and easily get overcooked, which was the case at Point Seven ($34), served with al dente chickpeas, couscous and chermoula.
         If you like potatoes suffused with butter, you’ll love the ones here ($12), and the Peruvian shrimp chaufa fried rice teeming with vegetables ($14) is as good as any in the city.
         Becker is fortunate to have a pastry chef who can match his talents: Sam Mason (formerly of wd~50 and current owner of Oddfellows Ice Cream) does a terrific manchego cheesecake ($16), banana cream chai ($16) and a very lavish take on tiramisu ($15), which all show off his mettle.
        Max Green oversees the cocktail service, and I would always defer to wine director Luke Boland, whose cellar is stocked with unusual bottlings from all over.       
New York continues to show amazing strength in the fine dining sector, whether it’s French, Italian or Asian, and, as a seafood restaurant, Point Seven joins the league leader Le Bernardin as among the best in the U.S.


 Open Monday through Saturday.



By  John Mariani



        De Castro twirled his pen in his fingers and looked up, perhaps at the crucifix on the wall. He rubbed his jowls, then asked, “And how do you think this office could be of assistance, Joseph? We haven’t any resources for that kind of police work, and, quite frankly, I’m not sure we would want an outside force to be picking through such dirty laundry.”
Those last two words told Joseph that his superior had already decided that whatever came out of this meeting would be kept at a very discreet level of investigation. As ugly as the phrase “dirty laundry” sounded, Joseph thought the bishop meant it as a euphemism for criminal behavior.
         Joseph asked, “You mean, Your Holiness, that the Church authorities would look into these possible crimes on their own?”
         De Castro let out a little laugh. “Now you’re speaking of these incidents as ‘crimes,’ Joseph?  You yourself said you don’t know exactly what happened in all these instances. They could be perfectly innocent.”
         “I’m sure many are, Your Holiness, but so many seem to be fraught with the probability of coercion and rape.”
         “On the side of the priests, you mean?”
         Joseph was taken aback by the question, inwardly screaming to himself, “Well, of course, I mean by the priests, you imbecile!”  But he said out loud, “The chances of criminality are, I think, very, very high, and it would be unthinkable that such crimes were instigated by these children.”
         De Castro feigned bewilderment. “And why not? All these children, as you call them, are going through puberty. You teach in a high school. You know what hormonal changes they are going through, and you know that sins of a sexual nature are the majority of what they bring into the confessional so that we can give them absolution.
        “I can’t imagine you are so naïve, Joseph, as to think that sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds might not be initiating sexual advances towards their teachers as much as the other way around.  My God, you know how teenage girls fall in love with their handsome English teacher, or a boy who may be insecure seeks sexual pleasure from young nun. How do you know how many of the girls were impregnated by their boyfriends, rather than their teachers?  And I do not need to tell you that there are some very oversexed young ladies who enjoy seducing their teachers. Just think of Heloise and Abelard!”
         Joseph could hardly believe what he was hearing, not least about a thousand-year-old tale of a brilliant adult woman student who becomes romantically entangled with her equally brilliant professor. They secretly married, had a child. But Abelard was arrested and castrated, then became a monk; Heloise became a nun. It was not a tale Joseph was about to debate with this bishop, who he now knew was wholly antagonistic to the young priest’s entreaties for help. Joseph just kept his mouth shut and listened to the rest of what his bishop spewed.
         “Joseph, I am an old man, but I was once young like yourself, and I suffered, as all men do, from the temptations of the flesh. Our vow of celibacy makes it a hundred, a thousand times harder for us!  But I must confess that there were times—very few, thank God—when young girls approached me in a sexual manner when I was teaching. Even in confession these girls would tell me things I had to shut my ears to. I’m sure it is no different—and probably much worse—today, with the way young women act and dress.”
         Joseph had sunk back in his chair, everything within him growing queasy.
         “And let us be understanding of others, Joseph,” said the bishop, putting his hands together as if to pray. “Just as we have to forgive these young people for their actions, so, too, we must be prepared to forgive our priests and brothers and sisters for theirs.  They are, after all, only human. They fall from grace. They tumble into sin. And celibacy makes it all the worse. And while I do not like to think about it, the principal cause of priests, brothers and sister leaving the Church is because they cannot keep their vow of celibacy. You yourself must hear it in the confessional.”
         This last statement did indeed ring true with Joseph, who had heard the confessions of his colleagues and granted them absolution for telling of their sins against the flesh, the battles they fought nightly to keep from masturbating—which the Church called “pollution” and “self-abuse”—the doubts they had about their sexuality, even moments of improper touching of students.  Absolved of their sins, they swore never to commit any again. Most would. And he did indeed know many religious who had left their orders because they could not abide celibacy or because they had truly fallen in love with another human being, man or woman, and could not live without that love.
         “So did the bishop do anything with your information?” asked Katie.
         Joseph rubbed his eyes, looking very tired and worn down. Once a stocky kid, he had lost weight since Katie saw him last, which she attributed to a priest’s diet with little of the Italian food they’d both grown up with.
         “I got the feeling De Castro was going to look at the material and stash it away somewhere. He did say he’d get back to me and would like to keep in contact in what he called ‘a discreet manner,’ by which I assumed he meant I was not to discuss this with anyone else. He said, ‘Remember, Joseph, people’s reputations and entire careers are at stake.’
         “So, weeks went by, then months, and I heard nothing, even after I wrote him a letter. Meanwhile, I was still snooping around, but I was finding that my immediate colleagues and friends had grown very silent when I brought up the subject. They said they felt sure the archdiocese was taking care of it.
         “And, Katie, that was the problem and always is. They take care of it in their own way. And I started to think back about those priests in our own parishes in Fordham where these priests came for a few months then left and were assigned somewhere else. We had a Jesuit at St. Helena’s named Eugene O’Brien, who was a known molester and the order finally had to settle a suit with one of his accusers for $25,000. But he kept on teaching, still is.
         “Back then I didn’t really think about it, but after I was ordained I realized that the various religious orders—especially the Jesuits—do not just bounce priests they’ve invested so much time and money in to another city after a few months. It’s usually years, sometimes decades before anyone is moved, and then it’s more often than not to bring in the new priests and give the older ones a cushy parish somewhere, either with rich parishioners or a church with very few parishioners left.”
         Katie had never given those change-overs much thought either, nor did she have any direct evidence of pedophilia going on in her parish, parochial school or high school, though there had been instances of priests and nuns moved elsewhere without any explanation.
         Joseph smiled and put his hand on Katie’s arm and said, “Hey, remember we used to watch that Bing Crosby-Ingrid Bergman movie The Bells of St. Mary’s every Christmas?”
         Katie smiled broadly and said, “Oh, yeah, I love that movie. I still watch it every year.  You and I used to watch it together.”
         “Right,” said Joseph, “and we were so in love with Bing as Father O’Malley and Bergman as Sister Mary that we promised each other I’d become a priest and you’d become a nun.”
         “I still cry my eyes out when Bing gets orders that he has to send Bergman away because she has tuberculosis but had promised her doctor he won’t tell her the reason for her own good.”
        “Right,” said Joseph, “when Bing protests, the doctor asks him, ‘Don’t you people always have to follow orders without asking why?’ And Bing reluctantly agrees. . ."
    “Yeah, and when he tells her she thinks Bing just doesn’t like her and wants to get rid of her. I’m tearing up right now!”
         “Then in the end Bing goes against his word and tells her she’s sick and has to go away to get well. .
         “And Bergman absolutely glows hearing that! That she can accept and do.”    
         “Great movie,” said Joseph, “but I’m sorry to report it’s just a fairy tale. I’ve been dealing with nightmares.”


John Mariani, 2018




By John Mariani



       Unless a winery is owned by a woman, there’s a good chance that the name and artwork on the label will be a testosterone-fueled cue that what’s in the bottle is a manly man’s wine. Just about every country flaunts such imagery: In California there’s Stag’s Leap, Ram’s Gate and Black Stallion; Italy’s Chianti Classicos all wear the Black Rooster on their labels; Hungarians love their Egri Bikaver “Bull’s Blood”; Australia’s The Prisoner label depicts Goya’s grisly chained inmates; South Africa has The Wolftrap; the French have, well, The Arrogant Frog, dressed in a beret and ascot.
         Since fewer than 20% of winemakers and distillers are women, it’s easy enough to see why masculine imagery is so widely used. But what is forgotten by male winemakers is that 59% of wine buyers are women, for whom the picture of a leaping stag or man manacled to a prison cell might not have much appeal.
         Dr. Christina Chi, professor at the School of Hospitality Business Management at Washington State University, has studied how wine labels influence not only the perception but the taste of a bottle of wine, finding that a “more feminine” wine label alters the female drinker’s sensory expectation and the taste of the wine, ultimately swaying their buying intention.”
I interviewed Dr. Chi about her findings. 


Do you believe the industry as a whole is blind to these data even though women constitute half their consumers?

Let me share with you how we came up with the idea to do this project. It was during a department function when we were talking about the purchasing power of female wine consumers and how the industry should cater to their preferences. One of our colleagues made a comment that once she bought a wine with a very masculine looking label (a muscular man in exercise). She bought it because she exercises, and the wine is marketed to be healthy. After tasting, she found the wine to be light and fruity in taste and to her liking. She just felt the label was misaligned with the wine taste and also did not speak to a female audience. This makes us think that because the wine-making industry is traditionally male dominated, the marketing is likely to be dictated from a male perspective. But today’s female consumers are embracing their sexuality and identity, so they prefer designs that reflect femininity. They believe that feminine design is not inherently less valuable than masculine ones. Why can’t high-end wines have colorful and feminine looking labels? This inspired us to do this study.


Do women tend to prefer different kinds of wines overall than do men, such as white, roses, sparkling, fruity, low in alcohol, etc.? 

Our study did not investigate whether women prefer a certain type of wine. In fact, the wine we used for our wine tasting experiment is one of the most common and preferred wines based on the consumer report: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot red blend with medium body, medium tannin, and medium alcohol level. Our wine expert panel assessed the wine to be non-fruity, mainly characterized by sweet spices, tobacco, and peppers. Interestingly, our experiment found that participants were more likely to report fruity flavors for the wine with feminine (vs. masculine) labels, even though the same wine was served.


Do women consumers gravitate to labels when feminine cues (vs. masculine cues) are presented on wine labels?

Our research conducted at WSU consisted of three experiments using different samples, i.e., two online studies and one tasting study. All three studies found that female consumers indicated higher purchase intention for wines with feminine (vs. masculine) wine labels.


You say that “Female wine consumers who are highly identified with their identification in the group of women are more likely to be influenced by the feminine (vs. masculine) cues in wine labels.” What do you mean by “identification in the group of women”?

In-group gender identification is about how individuals identify with their respective gender group. One’s in-group gender identification can range from low to high based on how they feel about their own traits, interests, and values. For instance, females with high in-group women identification usually embrace women as an important label of herself and have strong social bonds with other women. 
For our study at WSU, we assessed “identification with women” with questions such as, “I identified with the group of women,” “I feel strong ties to other women,” “Overall, being a woman is an important part of my self-image” and “Being a woman is important for me.” 


Are female customers’ expectations of the color, aroma, taste, aftertaste, and overall evaluation of the wines higher when feminine cues (vs. masculine cues) are presented on the wine label before tasting?

Yes. After reviewing one of the two wine labels (feminine vs. masculine) from a digital device, female participants completed questions related to their expectation of the sensory qualities of the wine. The findings showed that before tasting, participants’ expectation of the color, aroma, taste, aftertaste and overall evaluation of the wines were higher when they saw feminine (vs. masculine) cues on the wine label.


Are there any data to suggest that women have a more sensitive palate for wine than do men?

Our study did not address the palate differences between women and men, since the study focus was on female consumers. But it’s certainly an interesting research question for our next study.


What if a woman is very knowledgeable about wine? Is she just as likely to be influenced by the feminine cues in wine labels?

Our research found that wine knowledge changed how feminine labels influenced female consumers’ attitudes toward the label and sensory expectations. That is, for more knowledgeable female consumers, the influence of feminine cues on their attitudes toward the wine label and sensory expectation of the wines were not as strong, compared to those less knowledgeable ones.


You also say that “favorable attitudes toward the wine label and hedonic liking of the wine sensory qualities will ensue, which further prompts female consumers’ intention to purchase the wine.” What would be some of those female- appealing clues on a label?

For this study, we spent plenty of time designing our study stimulus, i.e.,  wine labels with masculine, feminine and neutral cues. After extensively researching current wine labels in the market, we created 18 fictitious wine labels and conducted a pilot test, asking a panel of female consumers to rate these labels on the perceived masculinity and femininity level (0 = extreme masculine, 50 = neutral, 100 = extreme feminine). We finally selected the three most representative labels based on the scores. We found that labels that ranked high with feminine cues included female figures/portraits, flowers/flowering plants, and cute-looking pets. It’s always advisable for marketers to pilot test the wine labels for femininity cues.      


How do women react to labels without gender clues, such as a graphic design or simply an illustration of the wine chateau?

Our study also examined how wine labels with neutral cues influence female consumers’ purchase intention and found that neutral labels triggered medium level of purchase intention (feminine > neutral > masculine labels).   


Do women support wineries owned by women?

Thank you for asking this question, because that’s what we would like to study next. We would like to find out whether wine labels featuring women wine-maker’s image and their story would make a difference in women consumers’ purchase decisions and other behaviors. Your interest in this research question has confirmed to us it is worthy of pursuing.   



"I Am So Tired of Hearing About Everybody’s Gut Health: Brands are more willing to talk about our gas and bad poops than ever, and it’s getting a little uncomfortable" by Amy McCarthy, (Jan 23, 2024).




 Any of John Mariani's books below may be ordered from

   The Hound in Heaven (21st Century Lion Books) is a  novella, and for anyone who loves dogs, Christmas, romance, inspiration, even the supernatural, I hope you'll find this to be a treasured  favorite. The  story concerns how, after a New England teacher, his wife and their two daughters adopt a stray puppy found in their barn in northern Maine, their lives seem full of promise. But when tragedy strikes, their wonderful dog Lazarus and the spirit of Christmas are the only things that may bring his master back from the edge of despair. 


“What a huge surprise turn this story took! I was completely stunned! I truly enjoyed this book and its message.” – Actress Ali MacGraw

“He had me at Page One. The amount of heart, human insight, soul searching, and deft literary strength that John Mariani pours into this airtight novella is vertigo-inducing. Perhaps ‘wow’ would be the best comment.” – James Dalessandro, author of Bohemian Heart and 1906.

“John Mariani’s Hound in Heaven starts with a well-painted portrayal of an American family, along with the requisite dog. A surprise event flips the action of the novel and captures us for a voyage leading to a hopeful and heart-warming message. A page turning, one sitting read, it’s the perfect antidote for the winter and promotion of holiday celebration.” – Ann Pearlman, author of The Christmas Cookie Club and A Gift for my Sister.

“John Mariani’s concise, achingly beautiful novella pulls a literary rabbit out of a hat – a mash-up of the cosmic and the intimate, the tragic and the heart-warming – a Christmas tale for all ages, and all faiths. Read it to your children, read it to yourself… but read it. Early and often. Highly recommended.” – Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author of Pinkerton’s War, The Sinking of The Eastland, and The Walking Dead: The Road To Woodbury.

“Amazing things happen when you open your heart to an animal. The Hound in Heaven delivers a powerful story of healing that is forged in the spiritual relationship between a man and his best friend. The book brings a message of hope that can enrich our images of family, love, and loss.” – Dr. Barbara Royal, author of The Royal Treatment.


The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink by John F. Mariani (Bloomsbury USA, $35)

Modesty forbids me to praise my own new book, but let me proudly say that it is an extensive revision of the 4th edition that appeared more than a decade ago, before locavores, molecular cuisine, modernist cuisine, the Food Network and so much more, now included. Word origins have been completely updated, as have per capita consumption and production stats. Most important, for the first time since publication in the 1980s, the book includes more than 100 biographies of Americans who have changed the way we cook, eat and drink -- from Fannie Farmer and Julia Child to Robert Mondavi and Thomas Keller.

"This book is amazing! It has entries for everything from `abalone' to `zwieback,' plus more than 500 recipes for classic American dishes and drinks."--Devra First, The Boston Globe.

"Much needed in any kitchen library."--Bon Appetit.

Now in Paperback, too--How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave Macmillan)  has won top prize  from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  It is a rollicking history of the food culture of Italy and its ravenous embrace in the 21st century by the entire world. From ancient Rome to la dolce vita of post-war Italy, from Italian immigrant cooks to celebrity chefs, from pizzerias to high-class ristoranti, this chronicle of a culinary diaspora is as much about the world's changing tastes, prejudices,  and dietary fads as about our obsessions with culinary fashion and style.--John Mariani

"Eating Italian will never be the same after reading John Mariani's entertaining and savory gastronomical history of the cuisine of Italy and how it won over appetites worldwide. . . . This book is such a tasteful narrative that it will literally make you hungry for Italian food and arouse your appetite for gastronomical history."--Don Oldenburg, USA Today. 

"Italian restaurants--some good, some glitzy--far outnumber their French rivals.  Many of these establishments are zestfully described in How Italian Food Conquered the World, an entertaining and fact-filled chronicle by food-and-wine correspondent John F. Mariani."--Aram Bakshian Jr., Wall Street Journal.

"Mariani admirably dishes out the story of Italy’s remarkable global ascent to virtual culinary hegemony....Like a chef gladly divulging a cherished family recipe, Mariani’s book reveals the secret sauce about how Italy’s cuisine put gusto in gusto!"--David Lincoln Ross,

"Equal parts history, sociology, gastronomy, and just plain fun, How Italian Food Conquered the World tells the captivating and delicious story of the (let's face it) everybody's favorite cuisine with clarity, verve and more than one surprise."--Colman Andrews, editorial director of The Daily

"A fantastic and fascinating read, covering everything from the influence of Venice's spice trade to the impact of Italian immigrants in America and the evolution of alta cucina. This book will serve as a terrific resource to anyone interested in the real story of Italian food."--Mary Ann Esposito, host of PBS-TV's Ciao Italia.

"John Mariani has written the definitive history of how Italians won their way into our hearts, minds, and stomachs.  It's a story of pleasure over pomp and taste over technique."--Danny Meyer, owner of NYC restaurants Union Square Cafe,  The Modern, and Maialino.



MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly.  Publisher: John Mariani. Editor: Walter Bagley. Contributing Writers: Christopher Mariani,  Misha Mariani, John A. Curtas, Gerry Dawes, Geoff Kalish. Contributing Photographer: Galina Dargery. Technical Advisor: Gerry McLoughlin.


If you wish to subscribe to this newsletter, please click here:

© copyright John Mariani 2024