FOOD - "The Delicious"

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

July 20, 2010

Ok, so I’m fully aware that everyone and their mother has either read or at least heard of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. In case you’ve been living under a rock though, it’s about a woman who goes on a sort of spiritual journey where she attempts to balance worldly pleasure and “divine transcendence” in three stops: indulging in Italy, engaging in devotion in India, and finding the balance between the two in Indonesia. I saw a preview to the soon-to-be-released movie (August 13th to be exact) based on Gilbert’s story starring Julia Roberts, and it was then that I decided to pick up the book.

Gilbert’s writing is so entertaining, well-researched and hilariously funny at times (“My thoughts have become like old neighbors, kind of bothersome but ultimately rather endearing – Mr. and Mrs. Yakkity-Yak and their three dumb children, Blah, Blah and Blah“). Maybe since I’m a writer, I look for different things when I read a book, but I definitely came across some passages where I just utterly devoured her metaphors and details. Here’s one I really enjoyed, where she describes best pizza she ever had in Italy (naturally, in the birthplace of pizza, Naples):

“So Sofie and I have come to Pizzeria da Michele, and these pies we have just ordered–one for each of us–are making us lose our minds. I love my pizza so much, in fact that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair. Meanwhile, Sofie is practically in tears over hers, she’s having a metaphysical crisis about it, she’s begging me, ‘Why do they even bother trying to make pizza in Stockholm? Why do we even bother eating food at all in Stockholm?’….

“You need to get there fairly early in the day because sometimes they run out of dough, which will break your heart. By 1:00 PM, the streets outside the pizzeria have become jammed with Neapolitans trying to get into the place, shoving for access like they’re trying to to get space on a lifeboat…They only have two varieties of pizza here — regular and extra cheese. None of this new age southern California olives-and-sun-dried-tomato wannabe pizza twaddle. The dough, it takes me half my meal to figure out, tastes more like Indian nan than like any pizza dough I ever tried. It’s soft and chewy and yielding, but incredibly thin. I always thought we only had two choices in our lives when it came to pizza crust — thin and crispy, or thick and doughy. How was I to have known there could be a crust in this world that was thin and doughy? Holy of holies! Thin, doughy, strong, gummy, yummy, chewy, salty pizza paradise. On top, there is a sweet tomato sauce that foams up all bubbly and creamy when it melts the fresh buffalo mozzarella, and the one sprig of basil in the middle of the whole deal somehow infuses the entire pizza with herbal radiance, much the same way one shimmering movie star in the middle of the party brings a contact of high glamour to everyone around her.”

See what I mean??

Eat, Pray, Love is available on Amazon.com.

x
Shy

6 thoughts on “Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

  1. sana j.

    I read this while traveling and totally recommend doing so…or maybe I just recommend it in general.

  2. Miranda

    Hi,

    I met you when you came to speak at the mediabistro class, I was the woman who spilled water all over myself.

    I just wanted to say, another WONDERFUL book about food is, Cakewalk by Kate Moses. It’s a memoir / series of recipes. It’s very well written. It will break you heart and make you laugh out loud. I can’t recommend it enough

  3. shyema Post author

    Hi Miranda!! So nice meeting you at the class, and thanks so much for the book suggestion. I’m definitely going to get myself a copy of Cakewalk…needed a good recommendation. Have to say, I’m reading a Sedaris book right now that’s not as easy to get through unfortunately. I think I might be in the minority on this somehow, but I’m sure it’ll end up on my blog somehow for better or for worse.

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