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Spain...A Culinary Road Trip Hardcover – October 21, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mario Batali is the James Beard Award-winning author of eight cookbooks, including Molto Batali, Molto Gusto, Molto Italiano, and Spain...A Culinary Road Trip, as well as the app Mario Batali Cooks! With a host of television shows to his name; fifteen restaurants; and Eataly, a fifty-thouasand-square-foot Italian marketplace in New York City's Flatiron District that he co-owns with his partner, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali is one of the most recognized and most respected chefs working in America today. Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and northern Michigan with his wife and their two sons.

Gwyneth Paltrow is an Academy Award-winning actress. She lives in New York City and London.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; First Edition edition (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061560936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061560934
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Mario Batali's world now encompasses three New York City restaurants -- Babbo, Lupa, and Esca -- as well as a wine store, The Italian Wine Merchant. He is the host of Food Networks popular Molto Mario, as well as an upcoming new series, Mario Batalis Italy. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit my purchase of this book had less to so with the presence of Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover than the appetizing recipe for slow-roasted chicken on page 245. A quarter-pound of diced pancetta, a quarter-pound of diced pork sausage, two cups of chicken stock and one big chicken...six hours in a pot in a low-heat oven, and you have slow-roasted chicken. That's the kind of easy, rustic cooking that even I could execute. Even though Batali is known more for his Italian roots, he is quick to point out in the book's introduction that his passion lies in Spanish cuisine since he spent his formative years with his family traveling through the Iberian Peninsula. His focus with this pleasing combination travel and cookbook is on the time-honored classic dishes which rely on fresh ingredients more than fancy kitchen techniques. For an in-and-out cook like me, that is the primary draw of this book.

Beyond that, it is obviously a companion piece to PBS travelogue series, Spain... On The Road Again, currently running on PBS of which I have watched only a couple of episodes. While the program is predictably picturesque and oriented to the food they eat, it also meanders quite a bit in following an affable celebrity quartet traipsing all over the country in a semi-reality show format. Batali and Paltrow, already an odd pair, are joined by New York Times food writer Mark Bittman and Catalonian actress Claudia Bassols. Their chemistry wavers depending on how they are paired and what the setting is, for example, the sequence on the Santiago de Campostela pilgrimage seemed endless.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A. K. P. Wilde on April 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't get me wrong, I loved the series - and the book is ok. I bought the book for only one recipe - the paella. The paella from the master paella guy. He made it for 4-6 people and only put in 100g of rice. Even Batalli was amazed at the scant amount of rice and he had to tell us in the series that the norm for pasta is usually 100g per person (he is always comparing everything to an Italian equivalent, which is annoying). Even so, he said it was the BEST paella he has ever had. Many years ago, I was an exchange student in Castellon and this is exactly the paella I used to eat. You eat it out of the paella pan (which in Spanish we just call the paella), which sits in the middle of the table. Even though you are feeding 4-6, the paella pan is enormous - you just want a 1/2 inch thick amount of food - the 100g of rice the master put in was absolutely right. So, I ordered the book out of nostalgia. To my disappointment, Batalli adjust the recipe and includes 2 cups of rice! The scant amount of rice is surely a good secret to know, that and a very big paella pan.
I like Mario, but you have to wonder because the guy has been coming to Spain for decades and wasn't familiar with pisto or the ensaimada in Mallorca... Shame on you Mario for not giving us the recipe from the series! That is what the book is supposed to be about!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Manley VINE VOICE on February 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Mario Batali has several excellent cookbooks he was written. Spain has a delightful and unique cuisine. This book fails to combine the two. I think this book makes an ok coffee table book at best. Many beautiful pictures of pain, food ingredients, scenery, and photos of the author is what the book is mostly comprised of. This book is thin on recipes, and recipes are simple. One recipe for serving pineapple was chopped pineapple, zest of a lime, and 2 tablespoons of molassas. To me, that is a preparation, and not a real recipe.

So if you are looking for a coffee table book and you like Mario Batali, this may be a good choice for you. Beautiful pictures, and tid bits about Spain make this book interesting. If you are looking for definitive recipes of Spain, you need to look elsewhere, this book is extremely thin on recipes.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Maria Dia on November 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Spain on the Road Again, the tv show plus book, is a complete fantasy come true. I love it. It may help that I have been to about half the places in Spain that they describe, but it is beautifully done escapism. The recipes I've tried are great. The book is totally worth it, from one who almost never buys cookbooks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SanNic44 on December 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Spain, A Culinary Road Trip by Mario Batali (with Gwyneth Paltrow) is, quite simply, a wonderful book. I received it as a gift and immediately plunged in, seeking out those Spanish culinary delights that I've come to love during my annual treks. Much to my delight, I encountered numerous items that I normally wouldn't try. However, given the interesting descriptions, I've decided the next time I'm in Spain I'll be expanding my palate.

The book itself may seem like your typical coffee table tome. Don't be fooled. Sure, the book contains many photographs but they are handsomely integrated with the recipes and text. Batali and Paltrow put the food into cultural context, one of the things I appreciate most about this book. Furthermore, the photos show a bunch of people having a great time. The enthusiasm and love for the people and food of Spain literally leaps off the page. You'll meet ordinary people as well as famous chefs courtesy of this duo.

Of course, I'm an easy sell in this department. During my many trips to Spain, I've come to love the culture. Still, I've seen my share of travel, history, and cooking books. This one is among the best. In some ways it brings to life portions of H.V. Morton's A Stranger in Spain. If you are even remotely interested in the subject, don't hesitate to plunk down your cash. You will not be disappointed.
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