The Italian Cooking Encyclopediaby Carla Capalbo, Kate Whiteman, Jeni Wright, Angela Boggiano
This is an authoritative, yet easy-to-read, guide to the ingredients of Italian cooking & how to use them in the kitchen. The book opens with a fascinating introduction to the background of Italian cooking. The full-color, illustrated reference guide contains information about all the common & less well-known Italian ingredients. Each section includes facts about how & where the ingredient is made or grown, its history & culinary uses, & essential information on buying & storing, along with detailed cooking & preparation instructions & basic recipes. The recipe section contains over 300 recipes presented in an illustrated step-by-step format. Spectacular!!!
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Just wanted to add some notes: 1. In the Lombardy region, bresaola is most commonly served with olive oil and lemon juice, AND rucola (arugula/rocket), and parmesan cheese pieces. 2. Speck is NOT too fatty to be eaten raw!! You can buy panini (sandwiches) all over Lombardy made with speck! In fact, there is an annual speck festival in Bolzano, where you are served a large cut on a wooden board with a piece of cheese and roggenbrot (bread made with molasses). Other than these MINOR discrepanies, I LOVE this book! I live in Milan, and still manage to impress people with my cooking!
I received this encyclopedia for Christmas and have already made several wonderful recipies, all of which turned out wonderfully. Beautifully illustrated, and easy to understand instructions with pictures. I especially love the Ingredients section which explains, in detail, the common ingredients used in Italy. I was recently told that my family would not move to Italy, as expected, which was dissapointing because of the fact that I wanted to learn how to cook Italian. With this book, I do not feel so bad at all!!
Being 100% Italian, I love to cook, indoors or outdoors. This book brought to life some of the things I only heard of from my grandparents and/or parents. The photographs are great because you can see what your end result will look like. The recipies are so simple, and affordable, that failure is not an option. One of the neat things about this book is that you can just flip to the front to read about what you are about to create. I highly recommend this cookbook/encyclopedia to anyone that is not only interested on learning how to cook, but also learn about the culture and origin of what you are about to create. Whenever I break out this book, my whole family wonders just what I have up my sleeve and what could possibly be for breakfast, dinner or dessert
Besides being a gorgeously illustrated book, it is indispensable for those who would like a reference book as well as an Italian cookbook. Some of the ideas are beautiful and so simple to do. I have laid out a wonderful Italian style buffet for a party, and cooked simple meals for my husband using this book as my only guide. It is very informative about specific foods and groups of food. Our niece spent some time with us recently and loved the book. She will get it for Christmas.