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Craig Camp

Italian Cookbooks – The Best Of

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Marlena di Blasi--Regional Foods of Northern Italy?

She does divide Emilia and Romagna into two sections.  Also she leaves out Liguria ("too Southern") and Alto Adige ("too Austrian/Germanic").  She also has a similarly titled book on Southern Italy.  The book on the Southern regions is better, IMO. 

She's a strongly mixed bag.  Her recipes are really great, unqiue, and quite evocative of their respective region.  On the other hand she has a pretty "distinct" prose that gets a little thick at times, and she has alot of idiosyncracies that can be frustrating. In addition to the regional discriminations above, she concludes the Southern book with a litany of recipes she could have included but basically decided not too(?!!!).

Edit:  It looks like you saw this in Italy, though.  Everything else, including the yellow cover, meets your description, though.

I'm pretty sure this is not the book I saw. The book I was looking at covered the whole country, was maybe 600 pages (not sure - but it was pretty thick, but I don't remember the book being overly big in its dimensions, and I think it was a softcover as well). But, who knows? I wish I'd written it down.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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When I was in Italy over the summer I saw a copy of the Enoteca Pinchiorri cookbook. I've looked everywhere, but have not been able to find it for sale anywhere. Does anyone know if it is for sale? Is it possible to get here in the States? Can I order it somewhere? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Harlan


"Whatever doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger."

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Thanks for the info. I ordered the book and hopefully it will be arriving later this week.

Harlan


"Whatever doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger."

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If anyone has this book, I would love to hear your thoughts about it. or if anyone knows of a review online that would be great also.

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In preparation for our homeschool support group's International Fair in May, our family has voted to study Italy. We will learn the geography, history, natural resources, and culture of this great country. Food will be important, too, especially as the International Fair ends with a big potluck where the families bring food they've prepared from their countries. My children are almost 18, 13 1/2, and almost 11 and their cooking skills are commensurate with their ages. I know we'll want to try making our own pasta and will seek out some of the best-known Italy-produced ingredients to try. Please recommend one cookbook that isn't too difficult for children of a fairly able cook/mom but that is "authentic," too. If it also has good explanations of the history of dishes and other info, that'd be a plus. I know this is a tall order since Italy's food traditions are so diverse, but thought some of you might have a good one in mind.


~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Culinaria Italy is a good broad stroke look at the entire country, reads like a textbook in many ways.

My wife has found a lot of the recipies in need of modification before attempting though.

-Mike


-Mike & Andrea

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I think that Time Life Foods of the World the Cooking of Italy would be a great place to start - it's really as much of a food and culture reference as a cookbook, although the recipes in this series are quite excellent in my opinion.

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I think that Time Life Foods of the World the Cooking of Italy would be a great place to start - it's really as much of a food and culture reference as a cookbook, although the recipes in this series are quite excellent in my opinion.

plus, you can probably pick up one at a good used bookstore.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Since you have an interest in family history along with authentic Italian food, you might find this book interesting. La Cucina Razza Dei Ciurri was originally self-published by a local family that has operated a restaurant/supper club for many decades as a way to gather and pass on recipes, family lore and traditions to future generations.

Once restaurant customers learned of the book, several hundred more copies had to be printed. The book was featured on local television programs, leading to several subsequent printings, and I understand it's now the most popular cookbook the publisher has ever handled.

You can order direct from the family via:

http://www.italian-cookbook.com/pages/1/index.htm

The "Nona's Hints" interspersed throughout the book are worth the price alone.

SB :smile:

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Kevin, I believe is right to point to Marcella Hazan and her classic, now revised in one volume (Essentials).

She is, as a good friend teases me when I proselytize too much, La Regina della Cucina, the Queen of the Kitchen.

Mentored by James Beard when she left her native Italy for the States, and biology, for cooking, Hazan was not the first to present Italian food in clear English recipes. Ada Boni and others came before her. For American readers, however, she almost single-handedly transformed our sense of the riches of Italian cooking at a time when we were most receptive: the 1970s.

Essentials has not been surpassed despite the hundreds of Italian cookbooks subsequently published in English. If you look through Kevin's Year of Cooking from 2005, you'll notice lots of other names such as Lynn Kasper Rossetti. If you check this month's cooking thread on Friuli-Giulia Venezia, you'll notice we're all very fond of Lidia Mattichio Bastianich. Mario Batili's Molto Italiano is really fine, too. However, you have to start with Marcella, as unsexy as the cover and pages might appear at first.

That said, the book was written in the belief that there is AN Italian cuisine, something that unites a country of resolutely stubborn, individualistic and proudly distinct regions even though they use butter in the north and olive oil in the south.

If you want something that respects all of Italy and treats each region separately, united in one book, go to the remainder table in Borders if you have one in PA and see if you can find a large, glossy book for less than $15 on regional cooking of Italy. I don't remember the title exactly, but the pictures of places and food would surely capture the children's attention in the way Hazan may not. However, I'd call that a supplement.

There's also a fine, comprehensive book that offers a few recipes from each region of Itay that I like, called Rustico . Sorry, I don't recall the author's name, but try a keyword search. (Initials are NM, I think.)

I still think Hazan's the Patron Saint of the genre even though she smokes like a chimney and isn't always nice...so I've been told.

Now, let me go light candles at her shrine.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I have Boni and Hazan. My eleven year old has cooked out of both (with a fair amount of help) and had far fewer questions with Hazan. I just looked at both of them and I think Hazan's directions are better, too. However, the pictures in my Boni are really beautiful and her write ups of the regions are very informative. I'd check out both from the library.

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Marcella is my muse. I love her so much, although she was snippy to me at the Fancy Foods Show once (I think she couldn't hear my question.) I learned a whole new way of thinking about food from reading and cooking out of books. But, Guiliano Bugialli's The Fine Art of Italian Cooking is chock-full of neat history. And his Classic Techniques of Italian Cooking is huge and detailed, the La Technique of Italy. Check those out; either he or Marcella, you can't go wrong. How about a two-book curriculum, her combined book and Guiliano's Technique?

I did teach myself to hand-stretch pasta using the drawings in Marcella's Classic Italian Cookbook. So...


Edited by essvee (log)

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Thanks so much for the thoughtful replies. I knew choosing would be hard! I'm leaning toward Marcella at this point, but will probably request a variety of your recommendations from the library -- I tend to be thorough that way.


~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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If you look through Kevin's Year of Cooking from 2005, you'll notice lots of other names such as Lynn Kasper Rossetti. 

I just would like to correct an error since Lynne Rossetto Kasper is a major figure in her field, host of an NPR show and author of a featured article in this month's issue of Gourmet that takes Italian Regional Cooking as its theme.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I third for Time/Life Foods of the World, Italy.

You'd probably need to look on line for a used copy or see if your library can dig one up.

Its interesting, talks about different regions, has beautiful pix and I began cooking out of the series when I was 9, so the recipe instructions are definitely kid-friendly.

Since the series was published 30-40 years ago, it wont have the latest advances and changes in Italian cooking, but it has a great view of history.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I was excited today to find Foods of the World -- Italy for $3 in a used bookstore. I'd been to the library and come home with a boatload of cookbooks already, but this one already looks to be the best for the kids. I'm borrowing a friend's pasta machine, so we're getting geared up.

Confession: For yesterday's Italy Day homeschooling learning activities, I wasn't feeling well, so our grand cooking portion turned out to be "make your own french bread pizza" with canned sauce, bagged cheese, and grocery store french bread. Where else can we go but up????


~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Hi,

Does anyone know of a good cookbook for Italian Cuisine, such as Escoffier's cookbook is to french cuisine?

Thanks!

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I think most will agree that Marcella Hazan is a good author to start with, particularly Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Whether or not it's analogous to Escoffier is debatable, but it's very good.


 

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For anyone who's interested, a revised version of Carol Field's "The Italian Baker" will be published this fall.

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