'The only sauce is olive oil - green as sun-struck jade - splashed in small lustrous puddles, through which one skates the flesh, the fat, the bones, the potatoes, the bread. In the last, best drops, one skates a finger.'
Luscious and evocative, The Umbrian Supper Club recounts the stories of a small group of Umbrian women who - sometimes with their men and, as often, without them - gather in an old stone house in the hills above Orvieto to cook, to sit down to a beautiful supper, to drink their beloved local wines. And to talk.
During the gathering, the preparation, the cooking and the eating, they recount the memories and experiences of their gastronomic lives and, as much, of their more personal histories.
For a period of four years, it was Marlena de Blasi's task, her pleasure, to cook for the Supper Club - to choose the elements for supper, to plan the menu and, with the help of one or another of the women in the club, to prepare the meal. What she learnt, what they cooked and ate and drank and how they talked is the fundamental stuff of this book.
Including a dozen recipes, drawn from the Supper Club, The Umbrian Supper Club is a delight to read and to taste.