For today’s 30 Day Book Challenge, our topic is “my favourite romance book”. I’m not sure how much “romance books” I read – probably more than I’d like to admit. But, aside from the best sellers (e.g., Nicholas’s Sparks “A Walk to Remember“, John Green’s “A Fault in Our Stars“, Jojo Moyes’ “Me Before You“), I don’t have a strong recollection of what all those books are about. I guess there wasn’t many which are unique and distinct enough to remember. Well, except for this book which someone lent me about 9-10 years ago and I still can’t forget.
So, I’d like to say that my favourite book is Anthony Capella’s “The Food of Love.” This book is about Laura Patterson, a twenty two years old American, who is on her first “soul-searching” trip in Italy. Here, she met Tommaso, who introduces himself as a chef at the famed Templi restaurant and begins to woo her with his gastronomic creations. But the thing is, the real chef is actually his best friend, Bruno who secretly loves Laura as well. Bruno’s labour of love is by cooking for Laura in which his food demonstrates his feelings by tempting and seducing her from afar. Hence, this results in a romantic comedy set against the culinary magic and the sensual atmosphere of Italy.
I was initially drawn to the book because I liked the idea of reading a “love story” with food and travel elements. The chapters are arranged according to an Italian Dining menu – Antipasto, Primo, etc… which makes it such a delight to read! Plus, the book is peppered with occasional sayings in Italian, with post-script translations, hence adding a splash of colour and authenticity and transporting the readers to Italy itself.
“Anni, amori e bicchieri di vino, nun se contano mai.”
“Years, lovers and glasses of wine; these things must not be counted.”
But, let me tell you now, the wanderlust beauty is just skin deep. The real charm of the book is in the sexual imagery the food brings. In “The Food of Love,” the affair between Tommaso and Laura was revealed quickly in order to spend a large chunk of the book unraveling using Italian food as its poetry. Yes, authentic Italian food is their language of love. I was truly impressed by how Capella infused his food reference with intricate sexual imagery that really brings “food porn” to a whole new different level. Every meal – its ingredients, preparation and taste – is described in loving sensual detail, as is the glorious Italian-food-themed sex it inspires. Honestly, sometimes, its difficult to decipher if Laura is aroused by Tomasso’s manliness or Bruno’s dishes. Very gourmet, very funny and very sexy -one can’t help but just to devour this whole book. *wink*
To let you have a free taste, you can start with the first two chapters from Capella’s site here or an excerpt of the deleted scene below.
When he still demurred she sighed, exasperated, and popped the last olive into his mouth.
He could not help it. As soon as her hand touched his lips he ignored the fat bullet of juicy olive and tasted instead the fingers that were holding it. They were smooth and slippery, coated with olive oil and anchovy, but just for an instant, as he touched them with his tongue, he tasted something else as well, something so heady and so perfect he almost fainted. It was just as he had imagined her to taste, but stronger, in the same way that a jus is more intense than the flavours from which it has been concentrated. He sucked the fingers gently, trying to glean every morsel of the impossible flavour from her skin, and a moment later he saw the expression – part puzzlement, part panic – in her eyes.
“They’re very good olives,” he said quickly. “Delicious. I should have brought some more while I had the chance.”
Are you hooked yet? I suggest for you to read the book. A gentle warning though, you might get hungry, aroused, or both while doing so. Haha!
Plus, check out Cumuloquoise’s favourite romance book. It definitely requires less “parental guidance” than mine. Haha! I’ll catch you tomorrow for my favourite childhood book – a huge leap from what we are talking about today! Tata! ❤