Program 345a: Italy's Decadent Desserts; Pasta Respect; Paris Food Markets

Release Date: 05-20-2017


Italian-food expert Fred Plotkin delves into the regional dessert specialties of Italy — and divulges the whereabouts of the best gelato in the entire country. Then a tour guide from Sicily advises us how not to upset the "food police" when eating pasta. Plus, we'll get an overview of Paris's enticing array of open-air neighborhood food markets.


  • Fred Plotkin, author of “Italy for the Gourmet Traveler”   (Kyle Cathie Ltd. Publishers)
  • Tour guide Alfio Di Mauro, based in Sicily
  • Marjorie R. Williams. co-author of "Markets of Paris (second edition)" (The Little Bookroom)

Related Links

  • Fred Plotkin's guide to regional food specialties in Italy is called "Italy for the Gourmet Traveler" and covers the food you can encounter in 504 towns in Italy. It receives many rave reviews from readers on the Goodreads website.
  • Fred says his favorite city in all of Italy for eating is Siracusa, on Sicily.  He recommends the gelato in nearby Noto as the best in the world.   For baked goods, he recommends Trieste, in the northeast corner of Italy.
  • A recipe for frustingolo, a chocolate fig cake.
  • Sfogliatelle Ricce is considered the epitome of Italian pastries by many.
  • Fred recommends "The Italian Baker" by Carol Field for making authentic Italian recipes at home.    
  • Fred Plotkin posts frequently to the Operavore blog on the website for WQXR radio in New York .   
  • [ use this link under "Fred Plotkin": 
  • and this link under "Operavore blog":   ]
  • There’s an interview with Alfio Di Mauro in the tour section of our website.
  • The guide "Markets of Paris" is co-authored by Dixon Long and Marjorie R. Williams.  Marjorie's latest title covers the "Markets of Provence."
  • Marjorie R. Williams includes regularly-updated blog entries about markets in Paris on her website.
  • Wikipedia has an interactive map of the arrondissements of Paris
  • The rue Mouffetard open air food market in Paris is discussed on Trip Advisor. 

Haiku Awards

Stuck in Marrakesh
Open the unknown tangine
Eat uncertainty.
— Diana Turner, New Orleans


Red volcanic rocks
Heat ham and cheese sandwiches,
Snowy crater shines
— Matt Harmon, Charleston, West Virginia


A jumble of arms
At a circular table.
Grandma wants the head!

Beyond the surface,
See what we long to see - our
Own moveable feast.
 Jenny Bright, Greenville, Wisconsin