There is keen interest in the exquisite yet simple Italian cuisine and Italian culture. This volume provides an intimate look at how Italians cook, eat, and think about food today. It describes the cornucopia of foodstuffs and classic ingredients. An overview of the typical daily routine of meals and snacks gives a good feel for the everyday life. The changing roles of women are explored with a discussion of the inroads that convenience foods are making. In addition, the current concerns about the food supply, the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and the slow food movement are tied in to the debates on these issues in the United States. Food is one of the main reasons why many Americans travel to Italy. Yet, the fascination with Italian cuisine is not all about health or taste. There is much more to it. Italian food is perceived and portrayed in the media as representing a whole lifestyle: Italians live la dolce vita, leisurely eating and drinking with friends and families, families are still important, and communities are close knit. The reality of Italian society is more complex, and this volume offers a balanced view of Italian culture and identity through its foodways.