Rhody Reads: Feast your eyes on six food-themed books

May 2022

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Mangia!” In this month’s Rhody Reads, we’re featuring six books that highlight the fantastic culinary scene in Rhode Island. From cooking and eating to how food serves as the centerpiece of our lives, check them all out and be sure to purchase yours at your local bookstore. Now, let’s dig in! 

Chef and author Jeanie Roland runs two restaurants, Ella’s Food & Drink in Westerly and The Perfect Caper in Punta Gorda. With her new cookbook, The Perfect Caper, you can enjoy Roland’s delectable dishes in the comfort of your own home. Combining a refined French technique and Asian influences, every recipe offers a delightful experience for the
food connoisseur.

Rhode Island is probably best known for its Italian cuisine and you can find some of the best examples in Providence native Nancy Verde Barr’s book, We Called it Macaroni. From appetizers to desserts, Barr, who worked for years with Julia Child, covers the best recipes from southern Italy and gives them her own local flair. 

Lydia Walshin and Jennifer Leal take a different approach in their cookbook, Rhode Island Recipes, creating healthy choices for families with an emphasis on local dishes. From lasagna to fritters, you can explore the biggest meals from the littlest state but with healthy twists so you don’t have to feel guilty about appreciating some

homegrown favorites.

Food is at the heart of the family and in the center of The Pie Sisters, a novel by Rhode Island residents and real-life friends Victoria Corliss and Leigh Brown. When three sisters return to their family home for a birthday celebration, they seek ways to come back together, mining their past to find common ground. It’s a great read that will inspire you to bring your loved ones together to bake. 

When you can’t get to the Ocean House in Watch Hill, you can bring their recipes into your home with their cookbook, Ocean House: Living and Cooking Through the Seasons. The perfect collection for any chef, food lover, or admirer of the historic yellow beach hotel, the stunning imagery is the next best thing to
being there.

Very few delicacies are more unique to Rhode Island than the stuffie, and there are a million different ways chefs personalize their recipes to make it their own. Join David Norton Stone on his expedition to find the perfect one in Stuffie Summer, an entertaining read for any time of the year. With humor and history, Stone makes the case for recognizing stuffies as the official state appetizer.

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