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The Country Cooking of Italy Hardcover – November 9, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"The only thing better than the anticipation of a new Colman Andrews cookbook is the arrival of the book itself. Reading Country Cooking of Italy, I am torn between getting on the next flight to Italy and going into my kitchen to start making the inspiring and delicious recipes. This extraordinary book, by a brilliant writer, will make better cooks of us all."
-Ruth Rogers, Chef/Co-Owner, The River Cafe, London

"Substantive and succinct. Colman Andrews tops the list of food writers of our generation. He teaches me every day."
-Lydia Shire, Chef/Restaurateur

"I love the book, the recipes, and the pictures! Colman Andrews has gone country with The Country Cooking of Italy - that is, gone to where cooking is simple, from the soul, micro-regional, and always seasonal. In this book, Colman has captured deliciously the soul of Italian country food."
Tutti a Tavola a Mangiare....
- Lidia Bastianich, Chef/Restauranteur

"For me, Italian cuisine has always been more about the spirit of cooking than following a strict old world code of authenticity. Colman captures this spirit beautifully in The Country Cooking of Italy."
-Andrew Carmellini, Chef/Restaurateur

About the Author

Colman Andrews is an award-winning food editor and travel writer, and the editorial director of He lives in Connecticut.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; F First Edition edition (November 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811866718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811866712
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Colman Andrews' first cookbook, "Catalan Cuisine", originally published in 1988, was recently named one of the "50 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by the Observer Food Monthly; his most recent one, "The Country Cooking of Ireland", was honored as Best International Cookbook by the James Beard Foundation in 2010 and beat out all other entries in all categories as foundation's Cookbook of the Year, then went on to win the 2011 Best International Cookbook prize from the International Association of Cooking Professionals. Andrews was a co-founder of Saveur, and its editor-in-chief from 2002 to 2006. After leaving the magazine, he became the restaurant columnist for Gourmet, serving in that capacity until its untimely demise. A native of Los Angeles with degrees in history and philosophy from UCLA, he was a restaurant reviewer and restaurant news columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and for three years edited "Traveling in Style", the Times travel magazine. Throughout the 1980s, he was wine and spirits columnist for Los Angeles Magazine, and published widely as a freelance writer, covering food, wine, travel, music, art, architecture, design, and the entertainment industry. The recipient of eight James Beard awards, Andrews is the co-author and co-editor of three Saveur cookbooks and six of his own books on food: "Everything on the Table"; "Flavors of the Riviera"; "Catalan Cuisine" (which introduced the now-trendy cooking of Spain's Catalonia region to America); "The Country Cooking of Ireland"; "Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food" (a biography of Catalan superchef Ferran Adrià, also available in Spanish, French, and Italian translations); and "The Country Cooking of Italy". His next book, "The Taste of America", will be published in the fall of 2013. Andrews is now editorial director of The Daily Meal, a food and wine mega-site (, and has recently completed writing the first-ever Spanish Culinary curriculum, in partnership with José Andrés, for New York's International Culinary Center. In 2012, Andrews was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi, the highest civil honor granted by the government of Catalonia, in recognition of his services in popularizing Catalan cuisine around the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By I. Seligman on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a wonderful companion and guide to a cook, yielding delicious, often classic dishes little known outside of Italy. It is well written by Coleman Andrews, with his 40 some years of intimate knowledge of Italian cookery. He concisely shares his cooking suggestions and "pearls" in a welcomed educational manner. Finally, it's beautiful book to look at, both with its layout and its photographs. Yes, there's hundreds of Italian cookbooks to select from, and this is already one of my top few.

This is a book to cook delicious yet simple authentic Italian meals from. Simple, not fancy. I'm a pretty good cook, and I'd rather master a delicious recipe with 5 ingredients than one with 15-20 ingredients, and hours of preparation time. It's a book to treasure with Andrews' insights on Italy and Italian cooking. I learned that recipes that many think are "traditional" are barely 100 years old. Did you know that tiramisu is less than 50 years old? That classic spaghetti all'Amatriciana is traditionally made with the luscious guanciale, and not pancetta? Scampi are actually a little lobster-like cousin with elongated claws, and not a shrimp? They taste different, too! He shares his decades of "boots on the ground" experience in Italy with you as a chef/friend, opening a window into Italy's culinary history. Bonus- You become better cook in the process. Is each recipe the "authentic one"? Given that a recipe has variations within the same family, town and region, it's definitely authentic to certain credible Italian cooks, and clearly more authentic than recipes "tarted up" by authors who have never dined on a back road "mom and pop" find in Italy.

Delicious cooking depends on fresh ingredients and proper technique.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By P. Repetti on November 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have many Italian cookbooks. After reading a good amount of this latest tome from Colman Andrews, I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised that there's still a great deal of unmined culinary information from the foods of the ubiquitous Italy.
Besides the very accessible recipes, the photography is inspirational, atmospheric, and inspiring.
I'm planning on gifting this book to quite a few people this holiday!
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Elisavet Pasiali on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a nice, luxury, coffee table book and nothing more.
I've really been looking forward to Colman Andrews new book,which became a huge disappointment to me!
There is very little of Colman Andrews himself,his in-depth gastronomical knowledge about Italy,his prosa, his bright spirit! A book with laconic recipies,almost no stories,no special effort from the writer.I have a sence of a product which was forced to be created,to be published, to sell in right time(for Christmas presents).
If I wanted a book with good recipies I should choose one of Marzella Hazan.I was expecting much more
from the legentary founder and editor-in-chief of SAVEUR.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Mercik on September 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seeing the other reviews posted here made me want to post my 2 cents worth. I usually shy away from cookbooks whose price I suspect is boosted up by lots of lavish food-photos and high grade paper. But there is so much useful (to me) info in this particular book that I find myself using it a lot these days. Here's why.

First off, there is nothing in "Country Cooking of Italy" that addresses so-called Italian-American cooking. This is Italian food. (Note: I was not born in Italy, so I am always in learning-mode when it comes to getting a some sort of understanding of Italian cuisine. I have been over there though, working for a brief time ... this book reminds me of that time) It comes down to the fact that a good regional cuisine invariably incorporates and exhibits the values of that region's culture. This really interests me ... and the photos, recipes, and commentary in this book all communicate a lot of information in that regard. It makes for better cooking, and for better understanding of what makes for a good meal, Italian style.

Next, I have to say that, in general, I don't think the recipes are difficult. One of the hallmarks of country cooking is simplicity. Granted, some of the ingredients are exotic (cardoons, for example, or Gó fish) and most of my friends avoid anchovies, so I end up avoiding anchovies... But that is what they eat over there sometimes, and I want to know that. This book actually covers a very wide range of food types in its recipes. The ingredients lists tend to be pretty short, and the preparation steps are usually (although occasionally not) well-described.

Finally, I've made several of these recipes and they all came out really well. For example, I've made three caponatas since I got the book ....
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Format: Kindle Edition
With a strong voice backed up by commanding experience and knowledge, the author presents recipes for Italian country dishes that make your mouth water, and make you want to rush to the kitchen to make the food and make your mouth water for real!

Besides the 250 recipes, the book includes roughly 50 short essays on various topics, scattered throughout the book: mozzarella, bruschetta, Apicius... This is in recognition that many cookbooks are bought to be read these days. Actually, the essays alone could make up a fascinating book!

The author is a food scholar, so there is plenty of information about the history of dishes, the Latin names for foodstuffs, quotes from classic cookbooks both modern and from the past going all the way back to Apicius, the relations of the food to other Mediterranean cooking, explanations of unusual ingredients.

My favorite section is the Soup chapter, that offers the widest variety of Italian soups I have ever seen a cookbook. But not being a meat-eater, I had a hard time getting through the meat chapters. They are for true and dedicated carnivores.

The author includes a fascinating bibliography, which is highly unusual for a cookbook, and a treasure trove for Italophiles.

Please read my full and illustrated review at Italophile Book Reviews.
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