Read Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons by Matthew Fort Online


'Sicily struck me then as the most fascinating place I had ever visited. I didn't change that opinion over the intervening years, no matter where I travelled. I meant to go back. Time and again I made plans. Time and again I was thwarted.'At the age of twenty-six Matthew Fort first visited the island of Sicily. He and his brother arrived in 1973 expecting sun, sea and good'Sicily struck me then as the most fascinating place I had ever visited. I didn't change that opinion over the intervening years, no matter where I travelled. I meant to go back. Time and again I made plans. Time and again I was thwarted.'At the age of twenty-six Matthew Fort first visited the island of Sicily. He and his brother arrived in 1973 expecting sun, sea and good food, but they were totally unprepared for the lifelong effect of this most extraordinary of islands.Thirty years later, older and a bit wiser - but no less greedy - Matthew finally returns. Travelling round the island on his scooter, Monica, he samples exquisite antipasti in rundown villages, delicate pastries in towns that clung to the edge of vertical hillsides, and goes fishing for anchovies beneath a star-scattered sky.Once again this enigmatic island casts its spell, and Matthew rediscovers its beauty, the intensity of its flavours, and finds himself digging into the darkness of Sicily's past as well as some mysteries of his own....

Title : Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780091910808
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons Reviews

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2019-06-08 19:51

    An entire book focusing on the food of Sicily. Is there really enough to talk about? Clearly! Matthew Fort is a well-known food writer in the UK, and I enjoyed his descriptions of the landscape and the food, particularly the historical bits of which cultures and empires different foods come from. I wish there had been more pictures, and that they had converted the recipes into American-friendly measurements. :)

  • Anna Logvynova
    2019-06-04 03:54

    Ура, я дочитала! Читала я книгу долго, но, согласитесь, сложно читать быстро, если после каждой страницы начинаешь хотеть жрать :)Читать было довольно интересно, тем более мне в свое время на Сицилии очень понравилось (жаль только, что Трапани, где я была, автор посвятил всего пару страниц, да и то вскользь, - а так было бы интересно сравнить впечатления).Минусы - за некую сухость и высокопарность изложения (хотелось больше страсти - это же Сицилия, ну!), за невыполнимость большинства рецептов и за то, что корректор к концу книги явно подустал и приуныл :)

  • Kathleen
    2019-06-11 21:59

    He's a very fun writer who, because he knows Italian, get to give a close up look at people in Italy (in this case Sicily) who are involved in food, from producing to cooking to selling on the street. Very mouth watering.

  • Connie
    2019-05-28 22:55


  • Brenda Tolentino
    2019-06-12 21:54

    Enjoyable read and like the recipes.

  • Sho
    2019-06-11 02:55

    I was so excited going into this. Travel writing combined with food writing. What's not to like?Well. What I didn't like, and what made me put it down (at least I put it down gently, I didn't cast it aside with great force) was that it didn't do enough of either. I stopped reading at page 58 so it is entirely possible (but not probable) that it suddenly improved but i doubt it.I'll give an example: the book is about a journey through Sicily (on a Vespa, natch) to eat and write about the island. It starts in Marsala. Where the fortified wine comes from. And indeed one of the first visits is to a producer of the stuff, which was very popular a few hundred years ago with the British. (I'm partial to a drop myself). But there is no real explanation of the production process, why it's different from, say, sherry, and so on. That's not a massive loss. But to drive past the main square and drop into the narrative the fact that the main church (or was it a cathedral?) is dedicated to Thomas à Beckett (yes, the turbulent priest murdered at Canturbury cathedral. Yes that Thomas à Beckett who was sainted. To whose tomb the pilgrims in the Canturbury Tale were travelling. In short, a very interesting personage) and then not tell us why. Why? Why would you do that? Sheesh.I pushed on but when that happened the book was on warning. There was description of food, using just too much Italian (which I don't speak) for me to know just what he was talking about. So that was annoying. I pushed on into the next chapter because i really like travel books. But again something really interesting was just mentioned in a throwaway comment and I was left wondering why the book had been written at all. Left wanting.So I decided not to waste any more time on it. 2 stars is generous.

  • Sharon
    2019-06-14 19:48

    Readers interested in Italian food and culture will enjoy this vibrantly written account of the author's solo culinary trip through Sicily. The author, a food writer from the UK, introduces readers to authentic Sicilian food that's most likely not accessible to people who travel to Sicily by cruise ship or tour bus. The informal writing reads like an food/travel journal and weaves in the author's observations about Sicilians, their nature and history, and both ancient and modern influences on the food of Sicily. As someone now cultivating an interest in the food of my southern Italian immigrant ancestors, which they continued to grow and eat after emigrating to the US, I was especially keen on descriptions of how Sicilian dishes are made. Like so many regional cuisines, many of the Sicilian cooks whom the author encountered had his or her own idea of how a traditional dish should be made--usually "because that's the way we do it here." Some dishes are quirky: zucchine a coniglio has no "coniglio" (rabbit); spaghetti con le sarde scappate has no "sarde" (sardines), the fish having "escaped". Explanations for those idiosyncrasies make the narrative all the more engaging. That said, the book would have benefited from some editing. Why, for example, is the cauliflower dish on page 150 called "Broccoli con olive" and not "Cavolfiore con olive"?" Why is there no parsley ("premezzolo") in the "Insalata di manzo con cippolle, capperi e premezzolo"? Nitpicking aside, this is a satisfying volume for the armchair traveler who wants to imagine what it would be like to travel off the beaten track in Sicily and eat like a native as they explore the island region.

  • Laura
    2019-06-10 23:01

    While it's a generally nice read, the writing just doesn't flow. Here's an example paragraph:"What makes penne streaked with a sauce of tomato and pork so satisfying? Could there be anything more straightforward? Well, yes, there probably could be, but you could never have said this was a fancy dish. Yet it was fabulously pleasing on so many levels." (p. 101).What dish is he talking about? You don't know reading this review, and I didn't know when I was reading the book. This is typical of his writing style throughout.I was in the mood to be wooed by this book, to become obsessed with Sicily and envious of his adventures there. The wooing did not happen. There were moments of delight, and he is definitely at his best when describing a meal. Everything else was mush.

  • Bernadine
    2019-05-24 03:45

    As I am planning a trip to Sicily in September I chose this one to get a sense of the island; it's culture, and especially the food. I found Fort's writing informative and enjoyable. I love the dry English humour that comes through every now and then. To my amusement the staple food of Sicily is the melanzane (aubergine) I am very allergic to the gorgeous purple vegetable! I will need to eat with care.A recomended read for anyone planning a trip to Sicily. Lots of detailed information on the less touristy aspects of the Island.

  • June
    2019-05-29 03:52

    I adored this had wonderful descriptions of the places the writer visited as he pootled around Sicily on his scooter; the people he met, and the superabundance of wonderful food.I don't eat pork or take alcohol, so wouldn't eat many of the dishes he came upon , but the fabulous writing still hooked me..and made me wish I was there... Add to that a dash of history as he describes all the influences that have made Sicily the unique place it is.. thoroughly enjoyed it..

  • Kerry
    2019-06-02 03:09

    This book is good for a cursory look at Sicily, but I would expect more from an author who has been a food writer for the Guardian for more than 10 years. He seemed to be going through the motions of writing a book about traveling around Sicily on a Vespa and I was neither engaged in his plight nor satisfied with his descriptions of the food. I finished it quickly, before my own trip to Sicily and I think that's the only way and time to read this book.

  • Sandra
    2019-05-18 21:12

    Despite its interesting title and premise this book was a huge disappointment. A completely inadequate tribute to Sicily, Frost hones in on the food and delves some into the culture and history. Perhaps the only positive of this book are the recpies that Frost includes at the end of each chapter. Although Frost discussions of local food and its history are informative, his descriptions are uninspiring and tedious to read after a while.

  • Nicki Leggatt
    2019-06-08 02:58

    Read it while travelling round Sicily because someone lent it to me. Didn't expect to enjoy it much - I'm not a foodie and anyway lots of the food described I don't eat. But I loved it and found so many coincidences, eg we'd have been talking about some aspect of Sicilian history, or visited a particular café, and the next time I started to read, Fort was doing the same! Also have used a number of the recipes, and thoroughly recommend it as a holiday accompaniment.

  • Ron Davidson
    2019-06-16 00:09

    An informative "taste" of part of my heritage. (I was pleased to see the reference to my ancestral town, Racalmuto, on the travel map at the front of the book, but, alas, the author's experience there was described in half a sentence.) A little slow and difficult in some parts, particularly with all the foreign words (Italian, Sicilian, and, yes, British), but overall a fun and interesting read. It inspires me to experiment more with Sicilian food.

  • Sharon Ripps
    2019-06-04 01:49

    Only read if you are 1) a foodie and 2) are planning a trip to Sicily. It helps to set your expectations for a wonderful experience. Started reading the book right before our trip to Sicily, but did not finish it, since or trip was over and it no longer seem relevant. Replaced it with a new Sicilian cookbook, "Coming Home to Sicily" that puts our experiences in a more useful and more memorable light, particularly since we stayed, cooked and drank at CASA Vecchie.

  • Claire
    2019-06-17 19:52

    This is OK but not hugely enthralling. There is some sense of place but it mostly seems to be about his own gluttony and vignettes of random people he meets. Most of the food sounds absolutely disgusting, though he raves about it. Intestines. Lungs. There is a LOT of octopus.It is an easy read. Didn't love it; didn't hate it.

  • C.G.
    2019-05-21 20:00

    Enjoyable book (liked it better than his travels through Italy), but would probably enjoy it more if I spoke Italian (or even had a passing knowledge of it), or if I had been to Sicily. Still, well written, some fun travel tales, and a few quite interesting recipes. My copy is now dogeared...

  • Smitha
    2019-06-02 03:52

    This book looked very promising, very exciting on the library shelf. Sounded absolutely wonderful. Alas, the book itself fell short of expectations. The narrative didn't capture my imagination like some other travelogues did, and sadly, neither did the recipes excite me. Sigh!

  • Amy
    2019-06-13 00:10

    What a treat to read Matthew Fort's book before & while traveling in Sicily! No, I'm not on a Vespa, but it feels like he is keeping me company, making me more knowledgeable & eager for more contact with Sicily' s people & places.

  • Saturday's Child
    2019-05-26 20:11

    This book has wet my appetite for travel in Sicily.

  • Sophie James
    2019-06-18 01:10

    I really fell into this book and haven't yet emerged. He really helps you understand that food is history on a plate. Some lovely writing. All I want to do is reread it. Lovely recipes too.

  • Michelle
    2019-05-17 19:54

    He travels through Sicily on a Vespa. Some fun parts but not as good as his prior book Eating Up Italy.

  • Martha Fiorentini
    2019-06-08 04:14

    I was hoping for more ambience like I found in "Under the Tuscan Sun." I don't feel that this author did justice to Sicily which I have visited years ago.

  • Lisette
    2019-05-27 02:47

    A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit

  • Pam Strayer
    2019-06-05 04:07

    At least twice as interesting as I had thought it would be before I got it...darling book. The only trouble is you will be tempted to eat Sicilian food.