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A year of Italian cooking

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So, ordering the regions by favorite:

1. Emilia-Romagna

2. Sicily

3. Rome

4. Tuscany

5. Naples/Campania

6. Puglia

7. Friuli Venezia-Giulia

8. Venice/The Veneto

9. Liguria

10. Umbria

11. Piemonte

12. Calabria

13. Abruzzo

14. Le Marche

15. Basilicata

16. Val d’Aosta

With the bonus month and a number of double-headers, there wound up being only four regions left out. All four, to my observation, lack a depth of cooking literature on them (in the U.S., at least) other than the requisite chapter in regional treatments, which was a major consideration in their omission.

• Of the four, the one I most regret not getting to is Sardinia, which I could probably get a month out of by culling all my resources together. I even debated extending this thread by one more month still to get it in there, but then decided that was pushing it too far. Hopefully it will get a nod in this year’s threads.

Lombardia is home to a number of classic dishes in the Italian repertoire, and Waverly Root’s chapter on this region in Food of Italy is one of the best. Unfortunately, it has the misfortune of being surrounded by three other regions with towering cuisines of their own: Piemonte, the Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna. I'm glad to see that it's the next region up for February; however, I'll have to enjoy the region by proxy and see what everyone else does instead of cook it myself; we're kicking off the diet in earnest this coming month and I'm on sabbatical from the stove.

Trentino Alto-Adige probably could and should have been affixed to either the Veneto or Friuli’s cooking months, but both are such heavyweights in their own right that it would have been hard to make room. T-A-A is one of the last regions to have joined Italy and a couple of authors I’ve read, notably Marlena di Blasi, dismiss it at too Germanic or Austrian: in fact di Blasi leaves out of her Northern Italian cookbook entirely.

Molise, recently separated from Abruzzo, is practically nonexistent in the cooking literature I have. It gets a sidebar recipe in Culinaria: Italy (a ragu made with goat meat). Di Blasi again dismisses it in her Southern Italian cookbook, telling readers interested in the region to just cook something from the mountainous part of Campania for the best approximation. Root’s chapter on Abruzzo-Molise sticks only with Abruzzo and is woefully short still.

Edited by Kevin72 (log)

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Here is the long-promised Bibliography of the preceding 13 months of cooking. I have tried to be as thorough and accurate as possible in recounting which resources were used, but there may have been some oversights and omissions. Fullest apologies if there are.

Bastianich, Lidia (1990). La Cucina di Lidia: Recipes and Memories from Italy’s

Adriatic Coast. New York: Broadway Books.

Batali, Mario (1998). Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages. New

York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.

Batali, Mario (2000). Holiday Food. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.

Batali, Mario (2005). Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at

Home. New York: ECC, An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Batali, Mario (1996-1999; 2000-2004). Molto Mario. New York: Food Network

Television Show. :wink:

Boni, Ada, translated by Maria Langdale and Ursula Whyte (1969). Italian Regional

Cooking. New York: Crescent Books/a Random House Company, Inc.

(1994 ed.)

Bugiali, Giuliano (1992). Giuliano Bugiali’s Foods of Tuscany. New York:

Stewart, Tabori, & Chang.

Callen, Anna Teresa (1998). Food and Memories of Abruzzo: Italy’s Pastoral

Land. New York: Hungry Minds, Inc.

de Blasi, Marlena (1997). Regional Foods of Northern Italy: Recipes and

Remembrances. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing.

de Blasi, Marlena (1999). Regional Foods of Southern Italy. New York: Viking/Penguin Publishing, LTD.

della Croce, Julia (2002). Umbria: Regional Recipes from the Heartland of Italy. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

de Mane, Erica (2004). The Flavors of Southern Italy. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Downie, David. (2002). Cooking the Roman Way: Authentic Recipes from the Home

Cooks and Trattorias of Rome. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Field, Carol (1985). The Italian Baker. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Granof, Victoria (2001). Sweet Sicily: The Story of an Island and Her Pastries. New York: ReganBooks/An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Hazan, Marcella (1973). The Classic Italian Cook Book. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. (1979 Ed.)

Hazan, Marcella (1997). Marcella Cucina. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Jenkins, Nancy Harmon (1997). Flavors of Puglia: Traditional Recipes from the Heel of Italy’s Boot. New York: Broadway Books.

Johns, Pamela Sheldon (1997). Parmigiano! 50 New & Classic Recipes with

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese. Berkley, CA: Ten Speed Press.

Johns, Pamela Sheldon (2000). Italian Food Artisans: Traditions and Recipes. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

Kasper, Lynne Rossetto (1992). The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food. New York: Morrow Cookbooks/ HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Kasper, Lynne Rossetto (1999). The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy’s Farmhouse Kitchens. New York: Scribner

Kramer, Matt (1997). A Passion For Piedmont: Italy’s most Glorious Regional Table. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Luongo, Pino (1998). A Tuscan in the Kitchen: Recipes and Tales from My Home. New York: Clarkson N Potter, Inc.

Maresca, Tom and Darrow, Diane (1994). The Seasons of the Italian Kitchen. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.

Maresca, Tom and Darrow, Diane (1988). La Tavola Italiana (A Common Reader Edition, 1998). Pleasantville, NY: The Akadine Press.

Martin, Damiano (2003) The Da Fiore Cookbook: Recipes from Venice’s Best

Restaurant. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Negrin, Micol (2002). Rustico: Regional Italian Country Cooking. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.

Palmer, Mary Amabile (1997). Cucina di Calabria: Treasured Recipes and Family Traditions from Southern Italy. New York: Hippocrene Books, Inc (2004 ed.)

Piras, Claudia and Medagliani, Eugenio (Eds) (2000). Culinaria Italy. Cologne: Culinaria Konemann.

Plotkin, Fred (1997). Recipes from Paradise: Life and Food on the Italian Riviera. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company.

Plotkin, Fred (2001). La Terra Fortunata: The Splendid Food and Wine of Friuli

Venezia-Giulia. New York: Broadway Books.

Roden, Claudia (1989). Claudia Roden’s The Food Of Italy: Region by Region. South Royalton, VT: Steerforth Press (2003 Ed.).

Root, Waverly. (1971). The Food of Italy. New York: Atheneum (Vintage Books Edition, 1992)

Schiavelli, Vincent (2002). Many Beautiful Things: Stories and Recipes from Polizzi

Generosa. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Scicolone, Michele (2001). Italian Holiday Cooking: A Collection of 150 Treasured

Italian Recipes. New York: Morrow Cookbooks/ HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Schwartz, Arthur (1998). Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania. New York:

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Spieler, Marlena (1997). The Islands in the Sun Cookbook. Los Angeles: Lowell House.

Steingarten, Jeffrey (2002). It Must’ve Been Something I Ate: The Return of the Man

Who Ate Everything. New York: Alfred A Knopf, Inc.

Willinger, Faith (1996). Red, White, and Greens: Italy’s Way With Vegetables.

New York: Harper Perennial/HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Wolfert, Paula (2003). The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipes for the Passionate

Cook. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Edited by Kevin72 (log)

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Thanks to everyone for the ongoing encouragement and discussions throughout the year. It was a lot of fun being able to share this with all of you, discuss variations on dishes, new ways to do it, new resources to search for. The thread wouldn’t have been even half what it was without your input and probably wouldn’t have made it as far without everyone sharing. The new thread, and the direction it appears to be taking, is a great extension of that and has far exceeded my expectations. Everyone’s doing a great job and I’m really looking forward to extending my stay and learning from you all!

Thanks to my wife for her patience and support (particularly while she sat at the table waiting for me to snap 10 different shots of the same dish!). Every meal I make is a tribute and inspiration to her; I can’t conceptualize a dish without imaging her expression when she tries it for the first time.

Thanks to Italy, for, well, being Italy: home to the most comforting, honest, inspiring, appetizing, welcoming food on Earth.


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