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Encyclopedia of Pasta (California Studies in Food and Culture) Hardcover – October 15, 2009
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"100 Million Years of Food" by Stephen Le
A fascinating tour through the evolution of the human diet, and how we can improve our health by understanding our complicated history with food. Learn more
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"This wonderful resource is destined to become the definitive book on pasta. " Starred Review--"Library Journal"
"We needed this book. . . Answers all the questions about pasta. . . Ad many more you never thought to ask."--"Gambero Rosso"
From the Inside Flap
"This handsome book will be the authority for settling bets about the history of pasta. Every ambitious cook will covet these authentic and exciting entries."Paul Levy, co-author of The Official Foodie Handbook and Out to Lunch
Zanini's singular achievement in this book has been to shine a light into every Italian kitchen where a different kind of pasta is made, entertaining us with pertinent historical anecdotes, instructing us with explicit details and techniques, and making us powerfully hungry."Victor Hazan, author of Italian Wine
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Top Customer Reviews
If you ever wanted to know the complex and rigid Italian rules for the mating or sauce and pasta,this is your book. If you wondered about the Arab contribution to noodle cuisine (ravioli, among others), this is your book. If you ever wanted to know the ingredients of different pastas, this is your book. If you are interested in unique and highly specific pasta making tools, this is your book. If you want to amaze your friends with your esoteric knowledge, this is your book. Or if you simply want to curl up with a fascinating compendium about your favorite food, this is your book. Reading it also made me feel very hungry.
And, in case you were wondering, the author reveals that there were records of pasta in Italy 500 years before Marco Polo returned from China.
Well, this book proves the same holds true for pasta. For the pasta lover, this book is an absolute delight. The role of pasta in social settings and in history is explored as well as explanations of hundreds of pastas and their origins.
Ms. Oretta Zanini De Vita not only explores over 300 pastas, but talks about how to make them, what sauce goes with what pasta and how to present the pastas. Entries are illustrated with ingredients and how the pasta is served along with a short history.
This is a fascinating book that must have taken years of research to produce. This is not a recipe book, but rather an exploration of pasta and a commentary on its history and how it fits into our current society.
If you like pasta, this is truly a fascinating look at how variations in the making of the dough produces sumptious dishes that have been the staple of cultures all over the world.
The three very minor complaints I have are that the great illustrations of pasta shapes are not universal, which is a shame - it's hard to get a clear picture of what some styles look like from the description alone. Also, as someone with an interest in making pasta, for all of the homemade (as opposed to factory) styles, I would appreciate minor notations about recipe ratios so that I could try making some of them. I haven't read through the entire book yet, so perhaps I missed a note about this topic. Also, I agree with another reviewer who mentioned that it would be nice to get a translation of the pasta names for those of us who don't know Italian, as the few that I've managed to translate for myself tend to be entertainingly descriptive. These are so minor, however, that I wouldn't even consider them when recommending the book.
I find myself using the index most often: I'll have an ingredient, like rabbit or porcini or anchovies, and I will want to pair it with pasta or a dumpling,. Chances are Oretta has written about some obscure pasta perfect with braised rabbit. Armed with solid knowledge about how to make pasta on my own, her entries tell me most of what I need to go from there.
My only regret is that there were not more illustrations. The line drawings are beautiful and very clearly illustrate what the shape is supposed to look like, which can be tricky with some of the odder shapes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book about the historical and culinary aspects of pasta. The names of different type of pasta are arranged in alphabetical order, from "abbotta pezziende"... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Pichierri Fabio
This is a very well researched book. It's a lot about history. It's a little heavy to read. It is not a cookbook at all.Published 18 months ago by Toni Vicalvi
It must had taken years to do this study. I call it the bible of pasta...and in English. My respects to the authorPublished on June 12, 2013 by emilio mitidieri
Everything you ever wanted to know about pasta and them some. Read it end then have a greated appreciation of the pasta you eat.Published on February 4, 2013 by Tucson Bob
This book is very informative and a great resource for pasta, as well as the regional food of Italy. Read morePublished on September 30, 2012 by S. schillinger
This is a great book if you are interested in all things pasta. It is not a cook book so if that's what you're looking for you'll have to look elsewhere. Read morePublished on October 31, 2011 by M. Palazzolo
This book is one of the best resources for pasta that you will find. very well written with a lot of information about every type listed along with the history and other aliases. Read morePublished on July 14, 2010 by J. Gill