It took me years in the bowels of the UCLA library and several trips to Italy (ah, the pain) to give birth to Ugo Di Fonte and his adventures. Now The Food Taster has been published in over 20 countries around the world and is on its way to becoming a film.


I was fortunate to receive wonderful reviews from around the world for The Food Taster, but the following one says it all.



DiFonte, Ugo. The Foodtaster. Tr by Peter Elbling. May 2002. 288 p. Permanent Press. 526 (1-57962-047-7)

This raucous faux memoir of sixteenth-century food taster Ugo DiFonte was actually penned by Peter Elbling. Elbling, fronting for the hapless peasant pressed into service by a reviled duke, records the misadventures of a man victimized by time and circumstance. After being appointed by Duke Federico to be his official food taster, Ugo and his beautiful daughter, Miranda, are forced to move into the palace where they confront danger and intrigue on a daily basis. Keeping himself alive and keeping beguiling nubile Miranda out of the clutches of a succession of lechers become his only priorities. Developing a keen sense of self-preservation, he manages to extricate himself from one breathtaking escapade after the other before exacting his own ironic brand of revenge. Loaded with humor and laced with fascinating period detail, this hilarious Renaissance romp also doubles as an enlightening microcosm of sixteenth century society and customs. - Margaret Flanagan

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