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metacritic

Excellent cookbooks on regions in Italy

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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?

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

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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.

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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)

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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!

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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."

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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?

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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.

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