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Cucina Povera: Tuscan Peasant Cooking Hardcover – September 13, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The "Pasta and Grains" chapter (is) a well-edited introduction to Italian food for those still stuck in a jarred pasta sauce era. --Jenn Garbee in LA Weekly

"The recipes in the book are handed down from harder times when money was dear and nothing went to waste. The author writes that a Tuscan proverb sums up the message behind the book, which translates to `we were better off when things were worse.' "I think that pretty much describes the situation we are facing now. But if being strapped tastes this good, I'm not going to mind." --Kate Lawson, The Detroit News

About the Author

Pamela Sheldon Johns is a well-known cooking instructor and the host of culinary workshops throughout Italy. She has authored 14 cookbooks, many specializing in Italian food, such as Parmigiano! and Balsamico! Pamela has spent 20 years exploring and writing about the back roads of Italian food culture. She hosts many of her food and wine workshops from her farm in Tuscany, which was recently featured as one of the top 20 culinary workshops in Italy by Food & Wine magazine. She returns to the U.S. several times a year to teach cooking classes and promote her cookbooks.

Online:


/foodartisans.com
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449402380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449402389
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Since 1992, Pamela Sheldon Johns has coordinated food and wine workshops in Italy.
A regular visitor to Italy since 1983, Pamela now lives full-time in Tuscany and coordinates wine and food workshops in various regions: Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Campania, Sicily, Veneto, Abruzzo, Piemonte, and more. Info about the workshops can be found at www.FoodArtisans.com

Pamela owns Poggio Etrusco, a 15-acre farm near Montepulciano. She certified organic in 2003 and produces "Pace da Poggio Etrusco," an excellent extra-virgin olive oil. The farm has apartments and rooms for rent and Pamela's breakfast includes her homemade organic jams. Info about Poggio Etrusco rentals, cooking classes, and olive oil can be found at www.Poggio-Etrusco.com

Pamela's culinary workshops and organic farm have been featured in Travel + Leisure magazine, Food & Wine magazine (top 10 cooking schools in Italy), Wall Street Journal (top 10 culinary guides in Europe), Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, Canadian Geographic, and many other reviews.

Pamela returns to the US once a year for a cooking tour. Contact her to receive the newsletter with updates, Pamela@FoodArtisans.com

Follow Pamela on Twitter: PamelaInTuscany
on Facebook: Poggio Etrusco

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I recently spent three weeks in Northern Italy, including Tuscany (Siena, Volterra, Pisa, and Florence). Along the way, I had the opportunity to sample regional Tuscan specialties at numerous osterias, including several Slow Food restaurants. Upon returning home, I was looking for a cookbook that would capture the magical essence of the Tuscan landscapes, honeyed sunsets, and simple but soulful cooking that I'd enjoyed. When I heard about "Cucina Povera," I contacted the author, who was kind enough to write back almost immediately and send a review copy via her publicist.

Pamela Sheldon Johns gives culinary workshops in several regions of Italy, and is the owner of an agriturismo in Montepulciano that has a 1,250-tree olive farm. A regular visitor to Italy for nearly three decades, she has written sixteen cookbooks, many with distinctly Italian themes (Gelato!: Italian Ice Creams, Sorbetti, and Granite, The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Risotto, Prosciutto, Pancetta, Salame, etc.). Her latest work "Cucina Povera: Tuscan Peasant Cooking" focuses on peasant dishes borne of necessity and hardship that are now served in restaurants around the world.

Hit particularly hard during and after WWII, many Tuscan families lived on the brink of starvation, forced to forage and hunt. Leftovers were scrupulously reused, particularly unsalted bread.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book that is more than a cook book. This is a book you, (and your guests), will thumb through just for the beauty of it. The amazing photographs give one a glimpse of Tuscan and mouthwatering views of the food. The recipes are ones that I found easy to make. The Ricotta Cake is super easy and amazing to serve to guest with coffee. The Acquacotta is now a simple but favorite soup in our home. We also love Uova ai Piselli alla Marelia, (Marelia's Peas and Eggs). This lovely "cookbook" is perfect for gift giving and is one you will want in your home as well.
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Format: Hardcover
Italian regional cookbooks appear on bookshelves like mushrooms in the fall. There are many good ones but //Cucina Povera// is simply awesome. This hard-covered volume is medium sized and its production spared no expenses--it is beautiful. Illustrations match the peasant theme with many photos showing village folks in their homes and surroundings, landscapes and, of course, food. Most photos are full color but some are black and white--they are all artistic and wonderful. Each chapter is preceded by a full-page black and white photo and its own table of contents--very convenient.||The first 41 pages include stories and memories of the villagers and accompanying photos. Recipes are excellent and range from very simple (sliced cured meat arranged on a board) to fairly complex but few cooks would have problem following any. Each recipe is illustrated, and head notes are informative and appropriate to the recipe. The layout was designed with cook's convenience in mind--rarely do you need to flip pages to work on a recipe. Ingredients in the 60+ recipes are mostly easily available anywhere and when uncommon, the author gives alternatives. The subject index, both in English and Italian, is excellent, well cross referenced.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book and it's concept...that is why I bought this book!!!
Stories surrounding the recipes warmed my heart...and reminded me of my Italian grandmother.
The recipes are inspiring. Wonderful food made with simple ingredients. These dishes were meant to be shared.
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Format: Hardcover
I have a very large collection of Italian cookbooks, and this one is easily my favorite. The recipes are easy to follow, most with familiar ingredients. This is the kind of Italian food I love - simple yet delicious, no fussy sauces, Italian to its core. In addition, the cookbook includes fascinating stories of the origins of the recipes, and life in post-war Italy.
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Format: Hardcover
Cucina Povera by Pamela Sheldon Johns pays homage to the peasant cuisine of Tuscany, and it's a treat for all your senses.

The gorgeous photos of Andrea Wyner lure you in from the cover on through; they are bursting with color and emotion, especially those of the older women to whom so much of the information in the book is credited.

The women's voices echo throughout the prose of Johns, which provides an impressive amount of background and history on Tuscan peasant culture in the first 40 pages of the book. The reader gets an excellent sense of the origins of la cucina povera and why it still holds such a special place in the hearts and homes of many Tuscans.

The recipes come straight from these women's country kitchens, and you can just smell the schiacciata all'uva (grape focaccia) baking in the oven, feel your teeth sink into i gnudi (spinach and ricotta dumplings in tomato sauce), and taste the cinghiale e carciofi in umido (wild boar and artichokces) as it melts on your tongue. With over 60 recipes in all, Cucina Povera covers everything from appetizers through desserts, offering clear step-by-step instructions for even beginner cooks.

The book itself is an excellent size, compact but still thick (nearly 200 pages) and just packed full of information. The pages are hearty with a distressed feel and slightly jagged edges, perfectly reflecting the nature of cucina povera itself. Even if I didn't enjoy the content of this book (which I do), I'd still love to hold it and flip through. It just *feels* nice in your hands, and for all these reasons, I give it five stars.

This book is a masterpiece on Tuscan peasant cuisine and would make a wonderful gift to anyone interested in cooking, Italian regional cuisine, or Tuscany. Simply fabulous.
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