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"Gennaro's Passione – a modern classic and a must for anyone with a passion for Italian cooking"

Big Bottom Bugs

Gennaro’s Passione by Gennaro Contaldo Lovingly restored and updated for the modern kitchen, this new edition of Gennaro’s first cookbook features photographs and stories of his childhood on the idyllic Amalfi Coast. With over 100 colourful recipes that evoke Italian life at its most enticing, Passione is the story of Gennaro’s upbringing in Italian food and will teach you to cook like a true Italian. It will inspire cooks of all abilities to taste the true flavours of the Italian coastline.

What’s with Wagashi? This exquisite Japanese culinary experience comes in several forms, from stuffed daifuku mochi to gelatinous yokan. With a base of ingredients including adzuki beans, agaragar (also known as kanten), sugar, and glutinous rice flour, artisans handcraft stunning pieces of edible art. In spring, confectioners carefully re-create the subtle shifts in hue across the petals of a cherry blossom using red and white bean paste.

The big-bottomed ants found in South America that make good eating, are a domineering, allfemale squad. Large as a cockroach and curvy as a pin-up, the “bigbottomed ant”, known as siqui sapa in Peru and hormiga culona in Colombia, is coveted by gourmands around the world, but are not easy to find making them quite the luxury. In South America, the bugs are soaked in salted water, roasted, and eaten like peanuts. At first the flavour is reminiscent of pork rinds, but it quickly evolves into something more earthy and bitter. They are sometimes compared to caviar, which seems an unlikely match until you realize their “butts” are so well endowed because they’re swollen with eggs. International demand for these big bottomed bugs keeps prices high. In the United Kingdom, Harrods sells half a dozen ants dipped in Belgian chocolate for just over £6.

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