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Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons: Travels in Sicily on a Vespa

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  169 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Replete with authentic Siclian recipes culled directly from the out of the way island stoves and cafe kitchens that cook them, Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons presents a travelogue for seasoned travelers, and lovers of all things Italian.

At the age of twenty-six Matthew Fort first visited the island of Sicily. He and his brother arrived in 1973 expecting sun, sea and good food,
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ebook, 352 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published April 3rd 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Anna Logvynova
Ура, я дочитала! Читала я книгу долго, но, согласитесь, сложно читать быстро, если после каждой страницы начинаешь хотеть жрать :)
Читать было довольно интересно, тем более мне в свое время на Сицилии очень понравилось (жаль только, что Трапани, где я была, автор посвятил всего пару страниц, да и то вскользь, - а так было бы интересно сравнить впечатления).
Минусы - за некую сухость и высокопарность изложения (хотелось больше страсти - это же Сицилия, ну!), за невыполнимость большинства рецептов и
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
An entire book focusing on the food of Sicily. Is there really enough to talk about? Clearly! Matthew Fort is a well-known food writer in the UK, and I enjoyed his descriptions of the landscape and the food, particularly the historical bits of which cultures and empires different foods come from. I wish there had been more pictures, and that they had converted the recipes into American-friendly measurements. :)
Kathleen
He's a very fun writer who, because he knows Italian, get to give a close up look at people in Italy (in this case Sicily) who are involved in food, from producing to cooking to selling on the street. Very mouth watering.
Connie
Feb 10, 2012 Connie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
eh.
Sho
I was so excited going into this. Travel writing combined with food writing. What's not to like?

Well. What I didn't like, and what made me put it down (at least I put it down gently, I didn't cast it aside with great force) was that it didn't do enough of either. I stopped reading at page 58 so it is entirely possible (but not probable) that it suddenly improved but i doubt it.

I'll give an example: the book is about a journey through Sicily (on a Vespa, natch) to eat and write about the island.
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Sharon
Mar 15, 2015 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Readers interested in Italian food and culture will enjoy this vibrantly written account of the author's solo culinary trip through Sicily. The author, a food writer from the UK, introduces readers to authentic Sicilian food that's most likely not accessible to people who travel to Sicily by cruise ship or tour bus. The informal writing reads like an food/travel journal and weaves in the author's observations about Sicilians, their nature and history, and both ancient and modern influences on th ...more
Laura
While it's a generally nice read, the writing just doesn't flow. Here's an example paragraph:

"What makes penne streaked with a sauce of tomato and pork so satisfying? Could there be anything more straightforward? Well, yes, there probably could be, but you could never have said this was a fancy dish. Yet it was fabulously pleasing on so many levels." (p. 101).

What dish is he talking about? You don't know reading this review, and I didn't know when I was reading the book. This is typical of his w
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Bernadine
As I am planning a trip to Sicily in September I chose this one to get a sense of the island; it's culture, and especially the food. I found Fort's writing informative and enjoyable. I love the dry English humour that comes through every now and then.
To my amusement the staple food of Sicily is the melanzane (aubergine) I am very allergic to the gorgeous purple vegetable! I will need to eat with care.
A recomended read for anyone planning a trip to Sicily. Lots of detailed information on the les
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June
Mar 15, 2012 June rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, italy
I adored this book...it had wonderful descriptions of the places the writer visited as he pootled around Sicily on his scooter; the people he met, and the superabundance of wonderful food.I don't eat pork or take alcohol, so wouldn't eat many of the dishes he came upon , but the fabulous writing still hooked me..and made me wish I was there... Add to that a dash of history as he describes all the influences that have made Sicily the unique place it is.. thoroughly enjoyed it..
Kerry
Aug 30, 2013 Kerry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is good for a cursory look at Sicily, but I would expect more from an author who has been a food writer for the Guardian for more than 10 years. He seemed to be going through the motions of writing a book about traveling around Sicily on a Vespa and I was neither engaged in his plight nor satisfied with his descriptions of the food. I finished it quickly, before my own trip to Sicily and I think that's the only way and time to read this book.
Sandra
Jun 04, 2009 Sandra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Despite its interesting title and premise this book was a huge disappointment. A completely inadequate tribute to Sicily, Frost hones in on the food and delves some into the culture and history. Perhaps the only positive of this book are the recpies that Frost includes at the end of each chapter. Although Frost discussions of local food and its history are informative, his descriptions are uninspiring and tedious to read after a while.
Nicki Leggatt
May 21, 2016 Nicki Leggatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it while travelling round Sicily because someone lent it to me. Didn't expect to enjoy it much - I'm not a foodie and anyway lots of the food described I don't eat. But I loved it and found so many coincidences, eg we'd have been talking about some aspect of Sicilian history, or visited a particular café, and the next time I started to read, Fort was doing the same! Also have used a number of the recipes, and thoroughly recommend it as a holiday accompaniment.
Ron Davidson
Oct 27, 2015 Ron Davidson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An informative "taste" of part of my heritage. (I was pleased to see the reference to my ancestral town, Racalmuto, on the travel map at the front of the book, but, alas, the author's experience there was described in half a sentence.) A little slow and difficult in some parts, particularly with all the foreign words (Italian, Sicilian, and, yes, British), but overall a fun and interesting read. It inspires me to experiment more with Sicilian food.
Sharon Ripps
Only read if you are 1) a foodie and 2) are planning a trip to Sicily. It helps to set your expectations for a wonderful experience. Started reading the book right before our trip to Sicily, but did not finish it, since or trip was over and it no longer seem relevant. Replaced it with a new Sicilian cookbook, "Coming Home to Sicily" that puts our experiences in a more useful and more memorable light, particularly since we stayed, cooked and drank at CASA Vecchie.
Claire
Oct 27, 2013 Claire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is OK but not hugely enthralling. There is some sense of place but it mostly seems to be about his own gluttony and vignettes of random people he meets. Most of the food sounds absolutely disgusting, though he raves about it. Intestines. Lungs. There is a LOT of octopus.
It is an easy read. Didn't love it; didn't hate it.
C.G.
Jun 15, 2014 C.G. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-book-list
Enjoyable book (liked it better than his travels through Italy), but would probably enjoy it more if I spoke Italian (or even had a passing knowledge of it), or if I had been to Sicily. Still, well written, some fun travel tales, and a few quite interesting recipes. My copy is now dogeared...
Smitha
Jan 06, 2014 Smitha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book looked very promising, very exciting on the library shelf. Sounded absolutely wonderful. Alas, the book itself fell short of expectations. The narrative didn't capture my imagination like some other travelogues did, and sadly, neither did the recipes excite me. Sigh!
Amy
Mar 29, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, sicily
What a treat to read Matthew Fort's book before & while traveling in Sicily! No, I'm not on a Vespa, but it feels like he is keeping me company, making me more knowledgeable & eager for more contact with Sicily' s people & places.
Saturday's Child
This book has wet my appetite for travel in Sicily.
Sophie James
Jun 02, 2013 Sophie James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really fell into this book and haven't yet emerged. He really helps you understand that food is history on a plate. Some lovely writing. All I want to do is reread it. Lovely recipes too.
Michelle
He travels through Sicily on a Vespa. Some fun parts but not as good as his prior book Eating Up Italy.
Martha Fiorentini
I was hoping for more ambience like I found in "Under the Tuscan Sun." I don't feel that this author did justice to Sicily which I have visited years ago.
Lisette
Dec 15, 2016 Lisette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit
Pam Strayer
Aug 25, 2012 Pam Strayer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At least twice as interesting as I had thought it would be before I got it...darling book. The only trouble is you will be tempted to eat Sicilian food.
Noel Entee
Noel Entee rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2014
Oksana
Oksana rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2017
Bunia
Bunia rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2012
Aisyah
Aisyah rated it it was ok
Dec 11, 2013
Nic
Nic rated it really liked it
May 07, 2012
Hilary Kemp
Hilary Kemp rated it really liked it
Apr 10, 2014
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