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"Pinch" of Sicily: A Collection of Memories and Traditional Recipes Paperback – December 8, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (December 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595375529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595375523
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,349,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Maria Marchese Sciortino was born in Sciacca, Sicily, Italy in 1938. Three months after her marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Alphonso in 1961, she immigrated to Brooklyn, New York where she raised her two sons and worked as a dressmaker. 44 years later, Maria has 6 grandchildren and enjoys writing about her life in modern America and old world Italy. She is now retired and divides her time between her home in Staten Island and Naples, Florida.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

A beautiful story about a woman with a dream, and great family values. Reading this book reminds me so much of my Sicilian Grandmother. The way its written is like your reading pages out of her diary, which makes the book very personal. A quick read but a great read for anyone who wants to learn a little something, or anyone who has an Italian heritage. Plus the recipes at the and are delicious and authentic!
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In response to K. Pollar's review-The fact that the book could have used "some professional" editing is beside the point. It is certainly not a vanity project. As it stands, "Pinch" shows exactly who Maria is. Trying to preserve her recipes and life is the point of this multi talented woman coming into the computer age. Considering limited access to a professional publisher, I find the homemade quality and typos delicious and charming. Yes, a good editor could have made this into a more professional package; but how many writers have that availability? I found the book full of warmth, wit, charm, sadness, heartfelt honesty, and philosophy. I wonder how many recipes are perfect no matter the chef. If one loves to cook, this book certainly can help anyone start with time worn and innovative food ideas along with a lovely commentary. No one needs to follow anything exactly. We all innovate. Or should! I do not think Maria Sciortino wrote this book expecting a "bestseller." One can look for the faults in any project. K. Pollara's remarks I felt were mean spirited towards the intent. Yes today, the pictures might be better, and the typos omitted. Sometimes, in view of the type of project and who is putting forth the story, certain things tell a story directly as spoken by the author! I loved the book and all it had to say. I believe there is more to be said from Maria if she is inclined or given the change. Her life, her family, her brave journey, and daily cultural juxtapositions are amazing to read. So many of our family members left so much unsaid. In this book, you can hear her voice and thoughts as she documents the years and changes of her family, Italy and life in the United States. This book has sorrow, life, joy and the best part-delicious food-hmmm-I can almost taste it. Read "Pinch" and rejoice!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Pollara on November 4, 2006
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"Pinch" is an ambitious project to record memories for posterity and for that valiant effort Maria Sciortino deserves the highest praise both for her good intentions and for having accomplished her goal. Few of our elders have tried as valiantly to preserve their cultural and culinary heritage for posterity. This is a project that I wish my mother and aunts had done.

Unfortunately, the book could use some serious professional editing and art direction to rescue it from merely being a very personal vanity project. Photos are extremely dark and grainy and do nothing to illuminate the material. The recipes are very simple, maybe too simple. Directions resemble those you may find in your mother's recipe file, that is, sparse and lacking any instructional insight and conventions of organization.

An automated program was used resulting in layout more appropriate to scientific publishing than a memory-cookbook; chapters are arranged with an outline numbering system reminiscent of a government document, hardly lending any warmth. There is no artistic sensibility that ties the book together.

While this book has its charming homemade quality, the low production values add up to a disappointing presentation and not enough recipes that we haven't seen before. A really good editor and designer could have made this book into a much nicer professional package. For a homespun family project, Maria Sciortino gets very high marks, but don't expect to find this on any bestseller list.
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