Emiko Davies is a writer, photographer, illustrator and cook, originally from Melbourne but now living in Tuscany. Last year, she confirmed her reputation as one of the leading authorities on traditional Tuscan cuisine with her first book, Florentine: The true cuisine of Florence. In March this year she released her second book – Acquacotta: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany’s Secret Silver Coast.
The sliver of land in southernmost Tuscany known as Costa D’Argento – the silver coast – is one of the hidden secrets of Italy. Named for the shimmery salt-and-pepper sand along this part of the Tyrrhenian Sea, it’s a region of rolling hills, long beaches, overgrown fig trees, rambling vineyards – and rich culinary history.
In Acquacotta, Emiko has compiled and adapted her Italian family’s best-loved recipes from Capalbio, Monte Argentario, Giglio Island and inland to the hot springs of Saturnia and the ancient Pitigliano. In words and pictures, she guides readers through the use of local ingredients, as well as sharing the history of rustic, storied dishes including scampi and potato soup, hand-rolled strozzapreti noodles, spinach and ricotta tortelli, chestnut gnocchi and the classic fig and chocolate bread, pagnotella. Plus, of course, the book’s namesake acquacotta, a quintessential Maremman peasant dish that captures the spirit of this special place.