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Bitter Almonds

 Recollections and Recipes from a Sicilian Girlhood

Written with Maria Grammatico 


The story of a Sicilian pastry chef who learned her trade in an orphanage run by nuns. It includes the recipes that have made her world-famous.


            …an unforgettable portrait of a unique world; the preservation of a culinary art that has in some measure been lost forever; and a haunting, inspiring story of one powerful woman’s triumph over cruel circumstance and culture.

                                               –  Courier Lifestyles

            No one brings Sicily to life for us quite like Mary Taylor Simeti. Bitter Almonds introduces Sicilian baker Maria Grammatico, a woman of such engaging warmth, wisdom and grit that even if you don’t cook (and her food is superb), you will find her and the book irresistible. What a jewel.

                                          –  Lynne Rossetto Kasper, author of The Splendid Table.

            “A unique and special book.” 

                                               -  Library Journal