|The cover of Sandra Scagliotti’s book on Vietnamese cuisine. — Photo vietnamplus.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Researcher Sandra Scagliotti, director of the Centre for Research on Việt Nam in Turin, Italy, has recently published a book on Vietnamese food.
The 155-page book is titled Viet Nam, Spinaci d’Acqua e Melanzane, Una Civilta Vegetale Fra Storia e Letteratura (Việt Nam, Water Spinach and Pickled Egg Plant: A Plantation Civilisation from History to Literature).
“Việt Nam today has become a rising star on international cuisine centres with diverse ways of making food,” she said. “Yet to all Vietnamese people, steamed white rice, water spinach and pickled egg plant are the country’s typical food in both a literate and figurative meaning, which represents a wonderful plantation civilisation.”
Different from many previous books on Việt Nam, Scagliotti takes cuisine and the farming tradition in Việt Nam as the main topic for her book.
She writes about Vietnamese cuisine in various historic upheavals, and compares it to cuisines of other countries. She considers cuisine a mirror reflecting people’s behavior and minds.
Scagliotti admitted that she wanted to send a message: Eating makes people. Vietnamese cuisine expresses spirit, behaviour and the view on life of the Vietnamese people.
“They are close, simple, witty, humane and intellectual,” she said.
Scagliotti said books helped bridge the gap for Italy and European countries to do research on Việt Nam.
Scagliotti has edited Đường Kách Mệnh (Revolunary Way) by President Hồ Chí Minh, which was published in Italy in September this year.
In 2017, as a specialist on Việt Nam, she published a special edition on the East Sea titled Yellow Sand Beaches, Việt Nam and its Archipelagoes on the East Sea.
She is also the author of various books on history and culture of Việt Nam like Dragon & Fairy: Việt Nam’s Modern and Contemporary Politics and Poetry (2013); Investment in Việt Nam: Country, Culture and Economics in the third Millenium (2014) and Vietnamese Language for Beginners (2016). — VNS