Sadly, in today’s world, 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce – that rate even higher in California. If any of us were told that we would have a 50 percent chance of being run over by a car if we crossed the street, surely most of us would not bank on those odds and stay safely put. But despite the awareness of those odds, many of today’s couples, as they always have, double down and make the nuptial plunge. In her first memoir, “Gastronomy of Marriage: A Memoir of Food And Love”, author and certified foodie, Michelle Maisto, well aware of the pitfalls of marriage, takes great care and thought into her own decisions. As the title clearly states, it’s about food and love: two subjects that for Maisto, and for the benefit of the reader, are scrumptiously intertwined.
Maisto, who is Italian-American, opens up her heart like a well-stocked pantry. Though her eyes, she recounts the story of her courtship and engagement to Rich, a fellow writer who happens to be Chinese American,(It’s like Marco Polo realized in America!) in an honest, thoughtful and well, just down right delicious way. Maisto observes her thoughts on love and life and blends them tastefully with her fondness and fascination with food – instilled in her from generation to generation though her Italian heritage.
As anyone who has been in a relationship knows, when two people come together, we come as individuals: with different backgrounds, different points of view and in many cases (especially now-a-days) - different religions and cultures. Along with all of that, of course, are differences with regards to what, when and how we eat. All these things we bring to the table and Maisto, a self-professed home kitchen expert, takes up the Iron Chef challenge.
All told, I must say that this story was most revealing to me because I know the author and her husband, Rich, personally. Rich and I were roommates and friends for over two years in Los Angeles and we have continued somehow to stay in touch despite his and Michelle’s successful and busy lives in New York. I always understood how much they meant to one another but reading about them really brought a depth and texture to their relationship that I could have never otherwise appreciated. Michelle has not just written a book about recipes and ingredients for great tasting meals; it’s about taking everything you have, what’s available, what’s nourishing and creating your own ingredients for deep, kind and lasting relationship.
(Reader Caution: make sure you are not hungry while reading! The author of this book possesses mysterious powers in which she uses words that will titillate the taste buds!)
Michelle Maisto will be hosting three upcoming book signings here on the West Coast:
Thursday, September 24, 6PM at OMNIVORE BOOKS
3885 Cesar Chavez St
San Francisco, CA 94131-2013
Friday, September 25, 12:30 PM at ALEXANDER BOOK COMPANY
50 Second St
San Francisco, CA 94105
Saturday, September 26, 2 PM at BOOKSOUP
8818 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069-2125
Also you can visit her wonderful blog, The Market Report.