I have always been interested in the origins of food, particularly in southern Italy, where Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Angevin, Bourbon, and French influences mingle with one another, weaving a rich culinary tapestry. Walk into any trattoria in Naples and you will find a dish that fully, or partly, tells the story of some era of conquest. Such is the case for gatto’ di patate, a potato cake whose name derives from the French g√Ęteau (cake). This classic Neapolitan baked dish, made from mashed potatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, and diced ham, has been adapted from a similar recipe brought to Naples by French cooks during the Napoleanic era (1806-1815).