Italy Dish by Dish: A Comprehensive Guide to Eating in Italy

Overview

Italy Dish by Dish describes more than 3,000 dishes you’ll find throughout every region of Italy. Even if you speak fluent Italian, regional terms for food and dishes can be confusing. No longer—with this translator you’ll know exactly what’s on the menu, how it’s cooked, what ingredients it contains, and how it fits into la cucina italiana. Lovers of good food and Italian culture will find this guide an irresistible and indispensable stew of culinary information, definitions, and local lore. And any cook will ...

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Overview

Italy Dish by Dish describes more than 3,000 dishes you’ll find throughout every region of Italy. Even if you speak fluent Italian, regional terms for food and dishes can be confusing. No longer—with this translator you’ll know exactly what’s on the menu, how it’s cooked, what ingredients it contains, and how it fits into la cucina italiana. Lovers of good food and Italian culture will find this guide an irresistible and indispensable stew of culinary information, definitions, and local lore. And any cook will soon realize that the detailed descriptions of hundreds of dishes also serve as mini recipes that can easily be followed to create hundreds of authentic meals at home.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"From region to region, Italian ingredients, ingredient names, and preparation styles vary widely. In this guide to dish variations, Cesari (La Cucina Bolognese) briefly introduces each region, discussing geography, distinct traditions, and spotlight ingredients, then covers antipasto, pasta, soups, sauces, seafood, meat, vegetables, dairy, sweets, liquors, and wines. . . . Wisely sticking to its mission to be a concise tabletop culinary dictionary, this clearly organized and indexed guide is divine for travelers who have ever been stunned by what they ordered. Also valuable as an introduction to Italian regional cuisine or as an ingredient-conversion reference for the home cook."—Library Journal

"Italian menus don't have to be daunting...the first-ever English version of Mangia Italiano, a guide that will help decipher more than 3,000 Italian menu items." — Food Network Magazine


"Divided by region, this compact but remarkably detailed guide describes more than 3,000 menu items, from antipasti and pasta to soups and vegetables to cheeses and wines, along with a discussion of ingredients and numerous recipes. A discussion of what makes each region unique precedes the actual descriptions. ....The guide comes with a detailed glossary of fish, meat and vegetable terms." — Chicago Tribune


"It's a delightful compendium for its compact size, its satisfying details and for Cesari's (and Simon's) writing. Descriptions, though concise, are lush. We learn not just what foods to expect, but how they taste, their texture and their aromas....Americans tend to think of Italian food as too familiar, but they taste, their texture and their aromas...Americans tend to think of Italian food as too familiar, but Italy Dish by Dish reminds us that there are many dishes waiting to be encountered." — 
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 

 "The chunky new book, with the dimensions of a nice portion of lasagna, is really a guide to Italian food no matter where you eat it. Region by region, plate by plate and glass by glass, it provides definitions and background for thousands of items." — Florence Fabricant, The New York Times

"Susan Simon's translation is the sort of guidebook—more of a mini food encyclopedia, really—that you pull out when you are in a tiny trattoria in Lombardy, just settling in for lunch (lucky you). But you have no idea what timballo di piccione might be, nor does your waiter have any idea how to explain in English that the Renaissance-era dish is made, according to Cesari, "with rigatoni or a similar pasta shape, mixed with boned, stewed pigeon, then wrapped and baked in short crust." — Jenn Garbee, LA Weekly

Library Journal
From region to region, Italian ingredients, ingredient names, and preparation styles vary widely. In this guide to dish variations, Cesari (La Cucina Bolognese) briefly introduces each region, discussing geography, distinct traditions, and spotlight ingredients, then covers antipasto, pasta, soups, sauces, seafood, meat, vegetables, dairy, sweets, liquors, and wines. Why a menu guide? Because cialzons are sometimes spelled cjalzons but are nothing like calzones (though similar to agnolotti but without meat); biscotti just means cookie and is essentially a prefix with a hundred modifiers; muffulettu can also be cabucio; many dishes are idiomatic, like "bones of the dead" cookies (ossi da morto) and "burn your fingers" lamb chops (scottadito)—and this is only the beginning. VERDICT Wisely sticking to its mission to be a concise tabletop culinary dictionary, this clearly organized and indexed guide is divine for travelers who have ever been stunned by what they ordered. Also valuable as an introduction to Italian regional cuisine or as an ingredient-conversion reference for the home cook.—Benjamin Malczewski, Ypsilanti Dist. Lib., MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781892145901
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 997,726
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Monica Sartoni Cesari has had a long career in the world of Italian gastronomy. She was the educational director of the prestigious school of La Cucina Italiana and was awarded the distinguished Commandeur de la Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France. She is the author of several books, including La Cucina Bolognese. Along with organizing numerous food exhibitions and shows, she has contributed to many well-known Italian food magazines, including Sale e Pepe, Cucina Moderna and A Tavola. She is currently the senior editor ofCucina No Problem.

Susan Simon is the author of six cookbooks, including Visual Vegetables, The Nantucket Table,The Nantucket Holiday Table, Contorni: Authentic Italian Side Dishes for All Seasons, Insalate: Authentic Italian Salads for All Seasons, and most recently as the writer for Pasta Sfoglia, which won a James Beard award.. She writes a bimonthly food column for The Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror and contributes toNantucket Today. She lived in Italy for eight years and currently lives in New York City. Her book,Shopping in Marrakech, is published by The Little Bookroom. 

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Guide to Food & Eating in Italy

    Having lived and traveled in France repeatedly over the years I know pretty well the regional differences when it comes to food. Like what the specialty of a region is, or where a specific dish hails from. Italy is another matter completely. I have a general sense of the regional differences, north versus south, Tuscan, Roman and Sicilian. Those differences also vary widely from village to village and province to province. The longest stretch of continuous time I've spent in Italia was two and half months. I spent that time in the region of Umbria -- smack, dab in the middle of the country. Food there was unfamiliar, and I could easily have used the wonderful book "Italy Dish by Dish" to guide me and answer unending questions I had about the region's food. "Italy Dish by Dish" is here to answer travelers' (both armchair and mobile) questions about what is what when it comes to food, eating, cooking and dining in Italy. The book describes more than 3,000 dishes found throughout every region of Italy. Broken down by region each chapter is organized alphabetically by course then by ingredient and ends with an iconic recipe that represents that area; for example the chapter on Umbria ends with a recipe for Pizza di Pasqua al formaggio -- a dish I remember fondly. There are also listings for the region's cheeses and wines as well as food and wine pairing suggestions. A detailed glossary describes the bounty of the land and sea that makes up la cucina italiana while an index easily puts menu items close at hand. The book is small enough to fit into a day bag. Using it will allow the traveler a deeper, more connected experience to the foods of Italy by knowing exactly what is on a menu, what ingredients a dish contains and how it's cooked. Not only is this book handy for the tourist on a short visit but also for anyone staying longer: renting a summer house, studying, or living for an extended period, or even moving to la Repubblica Italiana permanently. If the book had been available when I lived in Umbria I would have taken it to the local grocery store, referred to it for recipes to cook at home, and used it when eating in restaurants. It will definitely be in my pocket the next time I travel to Italy.

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