Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

metacritic

Excellent cookbooks on regions in Italy

Recommended Posts

I would like to build up my cookbook collection on specific regions of Italy. I know of very few truly excellent English-language books in this vein.

For Venitian cooking I know only Da Fiori

For Calabria I use Arthur Schwartz's underrated but wonderful Naples at Home

For the Garfagnana there is Cesare Casella's exceptional Diary of a Tuscan Chef

For Sicily I use Anna Tasca Lanza's Heart of Sicily (though not as often as I should).

What are essential books or lesser known gems that one will return to with something resembling frequency?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been really happy with all the recipes I've used from Rossetto Kasper's The Splendid Table (Emilia Romagna).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a really great series here.....a member did a year in Italian cooking and ventured through every single region. He talks about the cookbooks he uses too.


Edited by ambra (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad I posted my question if only to resurrect this threat you've pointed us to. That is an appealing project!

There was a really great series here.....a member did a year in Italian cooking and ventured through every single region. He talks about the cookbooks he uses too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Passion for Piemonte, by Matt Kramer. Excellent recipes, an excellent read, an excellent primer on the wines of area.

I recently picked up two used books because they looked interesting, but I haven't cooked from them yet:

Venetian Taste, by Adam Thany, Francisco Antonucci, and Florence Fabricant. As you'd expect, an emphasis on seafood and shellfish.

Biba's Taste of Italy: recipes from homes, trattorie, and restaurants of Emila-Romagna, by Biba Caggiano. Emila-Romagna is well represented in most Italian cookbooks, I know. What was appealing about this book was the assortment of ingredients and dishes less frequent found in cookbooks, such as rabbit, polpettone (meatloaf), and underappreciated vegetables such as cabbage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just bought Efisio Farris' book "Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey: The Mediterranean Flavors of Sardinia"

Will let you know what it is like when it arrives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"My Calabria" by Rosetta Cosentino. she lived there until she was 14 when her family moved to Oakland. they've maintained there food ad culture. this was her first book and it was nominated for an iacp award. she teaches in the San Francisco bay area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just bought Efisio Farris' book "Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey: The Mediterranean Flavors of Sardinia"

Will let you know what it is like when it arrives.

It has now arrived. I lent it to the chef at our local providore/restaurant. He is Sardinian and started his training in a Michelin-starred restaurant on the island. His preference is to cook more traditional Sardinian fare and he serves a lot of this in his restaurant.

His opinion is that it is the best Sardinian cookbook that he has seen and that the author is very true to the cuisine. What's more, he is getting his own copy. Given this recommendation, I'd totally recommend it to anyone who wants to explore this interesting regional cuisine.


Edited by nickrey (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just bought Efisio Farris' book "Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey: The Mediterranean Flavors of Sardinia"

Will let you know what it is like when it arrives.

It has now arrived. I lent it to the chef at our local providore/restaurant. He is Sardinian and started his training in a Michelin-starred restaurant on the island. His preference is to cook more traditional Sardinian fare and he serves a lot of this in his restaurant.

His opinion is that it is the best Sardinian cookbook that he has seen and that the author is very true to the cuisine. What's more, he is getting his own copy. Given this recommendation, I'd totally recommend it to anyone who wants to explore this interesting regional cuisine.

That sounds very exciting. Will go look for this book! Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to build up my cookbook collection on specific regions of Italy. I know of very few truly excellent English-language books in this vein.

For Venitian cooking I know only Da Fiori

For Calabria I use Arthur Schwartz's underrated but wonderful Naples at Home

For the Garfagnana there is Cesare Casella's exceptional Diary of a Tuscan Chef

For Sicily I use Anna Tasca Lanza's Heart of Sicily (though not as often as I should).

What are essential books or lesser known gems that one will return to with something resembling frequency?

For Calabria, there is now "My Calabria" cited in another post. Perhaps you mean Campania for Arthur Schwartz's magnificent "Naples at Table."

I hope I'm allowed to mention a book I translated, forthcoming from University of California Press: "Popes, Peasants, and Shepherds: Recipes and Lore from Rome and Lazio," by Oretta Zanini De Vita. Not sure when it's coming out, but it's all edited and in production. It's a revised and expanded version of "Food of Rome and Lazio: History, Folklore, and Recipes."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going through stuff in my mother's apartment and I came across her old copy of Ada Boni's Italian Regional Cooking. Really interesting! Don't believe I've ever seen it before. Love the murky colored plates showing barely identifiable food overshadowed by architectural wonders and stormy sea coasts. This book is a dissertation on the word "authentic:" If you can dig it up or grab it by the tail, make something yummy with it. Use whatever you can find in your little patch of the world and it will be distinctive. No food processors, no mixers, just pound and knead. But there's no map showing all the regions! Is this book still in print?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is this book still in print?

It was the poster child for "remainder table cookbook" for decades, and many of us first learned to cook Italian from it. One can easily find it used for a song. Highly recommended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Chris Hennes
      A few weeks ago I checked out a copy of Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India from the library, and it is well on its way to earning a permanent place in my collection. I've really enjoyed the recipes I've cooked from it so far, and thought I'd share a few of them here. Of course, if anyone else has cooked anything from the book please share your favorites here, too.
       
      To kick things off, something that appears in nearly every meal I've cooked this month... a yogurt dish such as
       
      Simple Seasoned Yogurt, South Indian-Style (p. 324)
       

       
       
    • By CCB
      I used my homemade toffee in a cookie recipe hoping that the toffee will add a crunch to the cookie... it didn't turn out well as the toffee melted and didn't keep its hardened crunch form. How can I prevent my toffee from melting in my cookie recipe?
    • By KennethT
      Is there a discussion in the book about the purpose of adding ascorbic acid?  I just saw the contest #2 in which the recipe called for it.  I'm curious because a woman I know on the internet used to work in a bakery in Vietnam, and said that to get similar results to the banh mi there, you need to add ascorbic acid.  Does it act as a gluten relaxer?  Traditional banh mi have a very tender and crisp crust, and a very light and tender, relatively closed crumb.
    • By quiet1
      We have a local Italian bakery my mom loves, but they are very expensive and hard for her to get to. She also really likes cookbooks (she reads them even if she never cooks from them  ) so I was thinking for her birthday I could get her a cookbook that has similar cookies and cakes, and offer to make a few things for her on request also.
       
      I'll obviously look myself, but eGullet is always well informed about the quality of cookbooks so I wanted to know if anyone has any recommendations. The thing about the Italian bakery is that the stuff they make seems to me to be not as sweet as classic American recipes, and often have more complex flavors and also are usually on the light end for whatever the item is. (Like even something that's intended to be dense doesn't have a very heavy sensation in the mouth.)
    • By smeems
      Hi.  I'm brand new to this site.  I used to be on Chowhound but I see now that that site is a mess. I found this site and it looks pretty cool.  The main reason I joined is  I’m looking for recommendations for a restaurant to hold my wedding in March 2018. We were hoping maybe in Brooklyn but we are open to anything interesting. There will be 55-60 people and the ceremony will also be at the restaurant. I’m thinking of a brunch/early afternoon affair, most likely on a weekend. Would love to find a funky/old school/unique/charming type of place for my sweetheart. Inexpensive please! Thank you in advance!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×