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Italian cuisine lecture a feast for the senses

Monday, November 24, 2014

LAWRENCE – Picture your favorite Italian dish. Chances are it contains mozzarella, parmesan or prosciutto. How these Italian staples make it to your table is a story as rich as the meals they produce.

The public is invited to learn about the intricate and costly production of these ingredients in a lecture presented by Jan Kozma, University of Kansas professor emerita of Italian. "Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Parmigiano: Building Blocks of Italian Cooking" will take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. The event is sponsored by the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Kozma’s presentation will blend history, anecdotes and recipes. She has visited many of the Italian towns where the finest salumi (salted, cured, aged meats) and parmigiano (parmesan) are produced. In one such town where some of the most highly regarded prosciutto is produced, few pigs are deemed worthy.

“It's like being accepted to attend Harvard,” Kozma said of the exclusive selection process.

Guests will also be treated to samples of prosciutto and parmigiano.

Kozma taught Italian language, literature and culture at KU for 37 years. She specializes in the 19th- and 20th-century Italian novel. She has published works on such figures as Alberto Moravia, Vasco Pratolini, Francesca Duranti and Grazia Deledda. In recent years, she has taught Italy and the Italians, a sequence of two courses on Italian civilization and culture. Topics covered include Italian geography, art appreciation, literature, and the history of cuisine and wine.

Questions about the event may be directed to event coordinator Brandon Woodard, btwood125@ku.edu or 785-864-4815.

The Department of French & Italian s one of the more than 50 departments, programs and centers in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The College encourages learning without boundaries through interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.