Have you ever googled "Fernet Branca"? You probably haven't. Not surprisingly, I have. I am writing a blog here, people. It's necessary research. Should you ever decide to give it a try, you'll notice that this site is nowhere to be found. I'm sort of bitter about our exclusion, but that's cool. After all, Life is Bitter. So it goes.
On the other hand, one of the things that you will find are several links directing you to a book by James Hamilton-Paterson called Cooking with Fernet Branca. Disappointingly, it is not a cook book.
No, that's not it. This is it.
Given that I am CLEARLY way too busy authoring a dumb blog and deciding exactly how many Snuggies de Gigantes I'll be purchasing for friends and family this Spring to read this thing myself, I asked one of my besties to give the book a spin. Here's what Fernetiquette Senior Literary Correspondent Brigid J. Barry said about Cooking with Fernet Branca :
Okay so this is basically a comedic novel about a composer (from the made-up country of Voynovia) and a ghost writer (from the made-up country of England) who become neighbors on a remote Tuscan hillside.
Tuscany: Home of the best Olive Gardens in the world.
Language and cultural barriers cause many miscommunications with hilarious (and sexy...???) results. The ghost writer is also a self-described gourmand who loves to come up with recipes that the reader will gradually realize are all a) disgusting and b) based on fernet-branca. The composer's home country has its share of fairly nauseating cuisine. The two find they have a secret affection for fernet in common, although they both insist out loud that it is vile. [This is how Fernet works, people. It's insidiously delicious and grows on you like a fungus.- Ed.] It is told in chapters that alternate between their perspectives, a technique which rarely works but which is quite effective here because both narrators are totally unreliable.
Like this minus the suck!Overall I highly recommend it, especially if Fernet holds any place whatsoever in your heart.
Which it does, obvs.
You can buy Cooking with Fernet Branca on Amazon (HINT HINT *FOR ME* HINT HINT) and enjoy some of the lovely Ms. Barry's own work here.
Filed Under: Cooking with Fernet Branca, Life is Bitter, It's not really that bad ya know, almost assuredly the only book review this blog will ever publish