Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not-So Everyday Italian

As we've mentioned before, we all have fairly extensive and expansive cookbook collections. Gourmet Galley's compilation is exceedingly well rounded - on our collective shelves you'll find everything from Julia, Thomas, and Martha to Mario, Ina, Jamie, and Michael. While ours may already be an accumulation to be envied, we cannot be stopped from adding just one more! We're always open to the possibility of that next fabulous tome shouting at us from the bookstore shelves. Perhaps it comes as no surprise then that today we welcome La Cucina, The Regional Cooking of Italy, into our library.

Have you heard of it?

We think it's okay to judge two things by their cover - cookbooks and wine. That old saying 'you eat with your eyes first' isn't just about food ya know. La Cucina doesn't so much jump off the shelf as wait for the wandering eye to hit it - it's subtle burnt orange cover hovers in the background amidst the other bolder black, red, and white cookbooks. The title font and sheer volume are the next things to notice - the very pretty yet classic lettering apprising us of the '2,000 authentic recipes' which lie between the covers only brings us closer to a sealed deal. All of this along with the lack of a TV personality on the cover makes this cookbook pretty much an instant winner!

The jacket blurb informs us that La Cucina was borne out of the Italian Academy of Cuisine - an organization founded in the 50s with aims of covering the Italian countryside and recording classic Italian preparations for many dishes we know and love and those we may not yet know but will inevitably love once we discover them. This 'bible' of authentic Italian cooking has only recently been translated into English, so you know it's legit. The hefty $45 price tag is totally worth having this gem alongside you in the kitchen - a quick scan of the index will turn up recipes for everything from horse meat stew and 'larded' leg of lamb to bolognese and about 40 different types of risottos. Heaven! A must-have for any cook - accomplished or not.

Buon Appetito!

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