• 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

15 posts in this topic

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

"Southern" Italy - Carlo Middione - The Food of Southern Italy

Roman - Jo Bettoja - In a Roman Kitchen

David Downie - Cooking the Roman Way

Julia Della Croce - Umbria

Julia Della Croce - Veneto

New York - Mario Batali :wink:


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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

You also have the book Tuscany in the Silver Spoon series. Which is a pretty good book for the rustic Tuscan dishes. (But if you already have the silver spoon it's a lot of the same)

http://uk.phaidon.com/the-silver-spoon/the-silver-spoon-series/tuscany-9780714860787/


'What promoters of vegetarianism maybe don't realize is that much of the world already is living a vegetarian lifestyle, and they ain't too fucking happy about it.'

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."


Maureen B. Fant
www.maureenbfant.com

www.elifanttours.com

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.


Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"

Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By yentakaren
      Hi there Italian chefs around the world -    Two years ago (while visiting my family in New York - we live for 25 years in California))  we went to New York and ate in an Italian Restaurant in Syosset Long Island, New York (Steve's Piccola Bussola) and ordered their Chicken Cacciatore.  It was unbelievable, so savory and tender and juice and it had 4 lean and juicy (no skin, no fat, no gristle) rollups wrapped around what looked like a small (about 1-2" rib bone) (in chicken???_ was able to get some of the recipe because I called them 2x, but after 5 tries at various times, I am giving up.  He (the chef) said they used thighs - but the thighs I know are fatty and tough so I don't know where they got it.  He said they buy the whole chickens and cut it up, so I guess they can get rid of the fat,skin and gristle that way.   One, because I am never able to get their dark brown sauce (don't know how they do it because having a brown sauce by working with chicken, mushrooms, wine and onions is an enigma.  Their sauce is not sweet, or sour just rich and savory.   I saw the kind of sauce that it was when I saw the recipe of Hubert Keller's Beef Borguignon on TV, but it looked soooo difficult and was made with meat, not chicken. That has meat rollups sitting in a dark brown sauce.   Help!  I want to learn how to make that.   The initial recipe that they gave me was this:     Take chicken and cut it into pieces the size of a meatball with or without the bone.
      Take olive oil and make very hot.  Brown.  Add 2 cups chicken stock, salt and pepper, parsley, and simmer for ½ hour.  After brown, put until broiler and brown some more.
      In another skillet, put mushrooms, onions, little tomato sauce, and when sizzling and hot, add white wine (or Marsala) and cook in pan – ½ hour.  Add butter to thicken – but do not boil after butter melts
      Said I can also put a little tomato sauce in there - maybe it was tomato paste.
      After ready, marry the two and cook another 15 minutes all together (or not) – just eat it.
       
      Below is a photo of Steve's Chicken Cacciatore - I know it looks like beef, but this is chicken!
       
       

    • By CanadianSportsman
      Greetings,

      I've cooked several recipes from Keller's "Bouchon" the last couple of weeks, and have loved them all! At the moment (as in right this minute) I'm making the boeuf Bourguignon, and am a little confused about the red wine reduction. After reducing the wine, herbs, and veg for nearly an hour now, I'm nowhere near the consistancy of a glaze that Keller specifies. In fact, it looks mostly like the veg is on the receiving end of most of it. Is this how the recipe is meant to be? Can anybody tell me what kind of yield is expected? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, kindly. 
    • By Lam
      I have been experiementing with macarons these last few months, and I have yet to make perfect macarons. Most of the macarons I have made are hollow on the inside. They're so hollow, if I nudge them a bit, the top crust just comes right off. They still taste decent but not what a successful macaron should be like. I don't think I am overbeating my meringue at all. They are always firm and stiff. I have tried whipping a little less than I usually do but still get hollows. I did some research and saw a few people recommend adding a bit of cornstarch to the dry mix. Yep. Cornstarch.  This really perplexed me because I always see people saying not to use powdered sugar that contains cornstarch, so how could adding cornstarch prevent hollow macs? I also saw one person use tapioca starch to prevent hollows as well. This time around, I whipped the meringue at a much longer time, but no higher than speed 7 (kitchenaid), which gave me a super stable meringue. I also added cornstarch. I piped the batter out, and they looked super perfect the first few minutes in the oven. Sadly, they came out very wrinkled. The first batch was super wrinkled, but the second batch was less wrinkled, or bumpy even. Not sure if this is because of the silpat for the first batch and the parchment pper for the second hmm. Does anyone know what I did wrong to get these wrinkled macs and how to troubleshoot? Also some help on hollow macs would be appreciated! Thanks




    • By Christy Martino
      Ciao!
       
      I'm Christine and I'm a born and bred New Yorker. I’m an Italian by blood (and at heart, of course) since my parents actually came from Italy. My father was from Sciacca, Sicily while my mother was from Sondrio, Lombardy. Despite coming from different regions, or because of it, love for food and cooking has been one of the mainstays in my family home life growing up. And I’ve always loved the dishes my parents prepared during special occasions, and even on regular days.
       
      And of course, I love cooking (and eating) Italian food and I have a few recipes from my mother, but I'd really love to collect some more, especially the traditional ones. And if anyone can contribute some historical background to each dish, that would be really great.
       
      Grazie mille!
    • By Paul Fink
      This unfortunately titled book changed my life. I always enjoyed cooking and idealized Julia Child &
      Jacque Pepin. But I was a typical home cook. I would see a recipe and try to duplicate it little understanding about what I was doing.
       
      Cooking the Nouvelle Cuisine in America talked about a philosophy of cooking. It showed me that there is more depth to cooking. A history. A philosophy.
      The recipes are very approachable and you can make them on a budget from grocery store ingredients. I read it as a grad student in Oregon, in the late 80's I had access to lots of fresh ingredients. And some very nice wines, cheap! I was suppose to be studying physics but I end up learning more about wine & cooking.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.