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Book Group: The Perfect Egg and Other Secrets, by Aldo Buzzi

October 5, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Perfect Egg and Other Secrets, by Aldo Buzzi

The Slow Food Russian River Book Group will be discussing The Perfect Egg and Other Secrets (Bloomsbury, 2004), by Aldo Buzzi. Illustrations by Saul Steinberg. Translated from the Italian by Guido Waldman from L’uovo alla kok: ricette, curiosita (Adelphi, 1979).

About Aldo Buzzi: Aldo Buzzi (10 August 1910 – 9 October 2009) was an author and architect. Born in Como, Italy, Buzzi graduated from Milan School of Architecture in 1938. Though primarily an author of travel and gastronomy books, he also worked as an architect; as assistant director, scene writer, and screenwriter for various film production companies in the former Yugoslavia, and in Rome, Italy, and France.

About Saul Steinberg: Saul Steinberg (June 15, 1914 – May 12, 1999) was a Romanian and American cartoonist and illustrator, best known for his work for The New Yorker, most notably View of the World from 9th Avenue. He described himself as “a writer who draws”.

A few used copies are available from the Book Group coordinator at short notice ($8).

To RSVP email the Book Group at sfrrbookgroup@gmail.com.  The Book Group is open to anyone who can read, loves cooking a dish, and likes a good conversation.

The Book Group meets the first Thursday of the month, 7 – 9pm in Sebastopol. It’s a convivial dinner. Please bring a dish for four and a beverage.


To be a member of the Book Group you don’t need to be a member of Slow Food, although – of course – we hope that with time you will become one.

Summary of The Perfect Egg and Other Secrets

Summary provided by publisher: “The writer who never talks about eating, about appetite, hunger, food, about cooks and meals, arouses my suspicion, as though some vital element were missing in him.” Scholarly, playful, idiosyncratic, and witty, Aldo Buzzi’s The Perfect Egg is an excursion into the food that has obsessed, provoked, and intrigued the author through his life. A book of genial and highly refined chat, enriched with personal anecdotes, recipes, and quotations from literature and history, it is a tribute to the profound pleasures of food. Along the way, the reader discovers recipes from Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and the United States, related by Buzzi in a tone that is casual but delightfully attentive to detail. He writes about how to make lime soup, what goes into an olla podrida, varieties of futurist cuisine, the difference between edible and inedible pigeons, and the emotional resonance of overcooked pasta. And, of course, he reveals how to cook the perfect egg.

Reviews of The Perfect Egg and Other Secrets

The New Yorker: This collection of ruminations on cuisine and cookery offers the perspective of a refined palate wed to a lively intellect. Buzzi expounds upon the olla podrida beloved by Sancho Panza. More…

From Goodreads: “Today I waited half an hour, standing, in about 500% humidity, while feeling sick, for a bus service that would only begin an hour later, so I pulled out Aldo Buzzi’s The Perfect Egg and Other Secrets to cheer myself up. Look at that title, aren’t you smiling already? His mind is so adorable and charming. The first secret is on a particularly perfect sopa de lima, lime soup, that he had in Yucatán, Mexico. In the first paragraph, these words: “The lima is a miniature tropical lemon, perfectly round and the size of a golf ball, green like a frog, full of juice, and it doesn’t taste like a lemon. Lima plural lime, is the Italian word for the Spanish lima, plural limas, and the English lime, plural limes.” .” More…

Reading of a chapter

Rupert Baker reads a piece entitled “Spaghetti Bolognese, Overcooked” which will ring a bell with anyone who has a secret love of tinned rice pudding or soggy Weetabix. Audio

Bibliographic Information

Author Buzzi, Aldo.
Title The perfect egg and other secrets : recipes, curiosities, secrets of high- and low-brow cookery, from watered salad to boarding-house pastina in brodo, from Apicius to Michel Guérard, from Alexandre Dumas to Carlo Emilio Gadda, from the Curé de Bregnier to St. Nikolaus von Flüe / by Aldo Buzzi ; translated from the Italian by Guido Waldman ; with fourteen drawings by Saul Steinberg.
Imprint New York : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, c2005.

Edition 1st U.S. ed.

Descript 150 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm

Note Includes bibliographical references and index.
Subject Cooking (Eggs)International cooking.
ISBN 1582346046 hardcover alkaline paper
Standard # 9781582346045
LC CARD # 2005014701


October 5, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Slow Food Russian River Book Group


Private Home in Sebastopol
Address with RSVP
Sebastopol, CA 95472 United States
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