Anthony Di Renzo reads from Bitter Greens: Essays on Food, Politics, and Ethnicity from the Imperial Kitchen (SUNY Press, 2010)

In Bitter Greens, Anthony Di Renzo reflects on Italian food, American culture, and globalization. Despite the inclusion of six recipes, the book is not an ethnic cookbook but a collection of political satire, cultural criticism, and culinary memoir. Set primarily in New York, Di Renzo’s essays consider Italian food at the apex of American imperialism and the twilight of ethnicity, exploring such topics as the tripe shops of postwar Brooklyn, the fabled onion fields of Canastota, New York, the Wegmans supermarket chain’s marketing of Sicilian food, Andy Boy broccoli rabe, and the lure of Sicilian chocolate. Is the new global supermarket a democratic feast, Di Renzo asks, or a cannibal potluck where consumers are themselves consumed?

“With much dash, artistry, originality, keen politics, and classic erudition, Di Renzo takes the reader on a witty and heartfelt romp through history, gastronomy, and the ethnic experience.”–Michael Parenti