The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club by Marlena de Blasi

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The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club by Marlena de Blasi

Category: Biography
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: Pull up a chair and join the Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club. Full of true life tales and delicious food, you’ll leave both moved, and mouth wateringly hungry…
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: April 2015
Publisher: Hutchinson
ISBN: 9780091954307

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Author Marlena de Blasi lives in the (as far as I can tell from having a quick google), beautiful small Italian city of Orvieto – deep in the beautiful Umbrian countryside. Having lived there for some time, she gradually becomes aware of the Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club – a group of Italian ladies who meet once a week for supper, and to talk. Whilst it takes her some time, Marlena eventually manages to be accepted into the group, and begins to cook and eat with these unique and fascinating ladies, sharing both tales of life, love, and death, and taking part in delicious home cooked meals.

There is something incredibly touching about “The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club” – and whilst some of the stories told are incredibly moving and sometimes tragic, these women are not inviting sympathy or praise for their actions, but merely telling tales of their long and interesting lives. Life for them may seem relatively idyllic with the rolling countryside, fresh food and simple lives, but it is clear that all have suffered, all have loved, and all have survived. There is a nice sense of sisterhood that appears throughout the book, but the reader is not beaten around the head with it – it permeates the book and leaves one feeling rather warm throughout, similar to the effects of some of the delicious Umbrian wine described here.

The meals described sound incredible, and are often remarkable in their simplicity. In fact, I think the book is a wonderful counterpoint to our current culture of junk food, convenience meals and imported out of season foods being eaten all year round. These are women who rarely have money, and who choose not to purchase tons of packaged frozen goods – instead they eat what is available – making use of the herbs, plants and vegetables that grow on the Umbrian hills, and often each bringing a simple ingredient to the meal, combining all to form deliciously straightforward dishes. A few recipes are found in full at the back of the book, and are genuinely mouth-watering (the recipes for pasta braised in red wine, and roasted drunken pork will likely be attempted at the weekend)

This is a lovely, life enriching book – it’ll make you appreciate life, food and wine. Spending time in the company of the Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club is a genuine pleasure, and I hope there will be more.

Huge thanks to the publishers for the copy.

For further reading, I would really recommend this to anybody who likes their food to come with a bit of background or story. Fans of the “The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club” will, without a doubt enjoy Toast: the Story of a Boy's Hunger by Nigel Slater – an autobiographical book by my favourite chef, that combines a moving and heartwarming tale of childhood with a journey of discovery and awakening in the world of food.

Buy The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club by Marlena de Blasi at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club by Marlena de Blasi at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club by Marlena de Blasi at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club by Marlena de Blasi at Amazon.com.


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