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Saturday, March 31, 2012

How Italian Food Conquered the World

 Guest Blogger: Chris Manganaro

There are many different names that are dropped in How Italian Food Conquered the World by John F. Mariani and most of them are celebrities in one way or another. Whether it is a name from the world of cooking or the world of Hollywood, it is most likely familiar to many.
One name that came off as both a surprise and a delight in Mariani’s book was Ernest Hemingway. While the fact that a place from one of Hemingway’s stories exists is not in itself all that hard to believe, it is interesting to find that the place itself is one which is important to the history of Italian food.
In the book, Mariani points out that Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway and was even used in his book, Across the River and Into the Trees. In Mariani’s book, this is just one of the many celebrities who are mentioned, yet it is something that sticks out because Hemingway then mentions it in his own book. This way of referencing back and forth through history is fascinating and shows just how interconnected all things are. It also stands out a bit more than others because Hemingway is one of the few authors mentioned.
Interestingly enough, one can find a recording of Ernest Hemingway called “In Harry’s Bar in Venice.” This recording is curious because Ernest Hemingway was not great at reading aloud and yet it is related to Harry’s Bar. There are not many recordings of Hemingway reading and what there are, are not in terribly good condition. They are like pieces of history. Literary history with an Italian twist.
The history of the world is all connected. It is a giant web that covers the entirety of time. Harry’s Bar was not only important to the history of Italian food, but also to the history of literature in a sense. This is something that is hard not to appreciate. Italian food conquered the world in more than just one sense. It even got to the literary world.

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