The food so lovingly described by Tomasi di Lampedusa in his novel The Leopard is as rich in gastronomic history as it is in fragrance and flavor. The famous timbale gathers strands from all stages of Sicilian history, while the author also makes liberal use of other traditions such as that of pastries made by nuns. Each dish functions primarily as metaphor, most often for a decaying society and approaching death, but Lampedusa's own passionate love for good food fuels his sensuous descriptions, and his own tastes are revealed obliquely through the preferences of his protagonist.

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