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The Gastronomy of Italy Hardcover – October 10, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Hardcover, October 10, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is a revised, expanded, and reorganized edition of a reference work first published in 1987. The original was an A-Z glossary of all aspects of Italian food, from ingredients to techniques to regional specialties. Now the different topics have been given their own sections, and the number of recipes has risen to 200, many of which are shown in full-page color photographs. The book opens with a brief illustrated history of Italian cuisine and a guide to the various regions, which focuses on their culinary contributions. This is followed by the recipe section, which emphasizes regional dishes; a 115-page glossary of ingredients, with colorful and amusingly dated labels from various food products dotting the pages; a shorter glossary of terms and techniques; and an abbreviated wine guide. The recipes are given greater emphasis in this edition they are good, and many will be relatively unfamiliar to Americans but the most valuable part of the book remains Del Conte's (The Classic Food of Northern Italy) authoritative text. A priority purchase.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In any contest to name America's favorite ethnic food, Italian surely wins hands down. Spaghetti, pizza, and Parmesan cheese are as much yearned for as comfort foods as hamburgers or apple pie. Genuine Italian cooking may be subtler and more refined than most Americans understand, but increasing sophistication in American taste has expanded demand for more Italian dishes to polenta, fresh mozzarella, and similar Italian basics. Anna Del Conte has written a new approach to Italian cooking for Americans that, while not ignoring the obvious regionalism of Italian cuisine, seeks to find common ground for the cooking of the entire peninsula. Gastronomy of Italy begins by summarizing each region's contributions to the national whole and offering a list of each province's most typical dishes. Brilliant photographs accompany recipes to make these foods more appealing. Recipes call for ingredients easily found in most city markets. A glossary of common Italian foods helps sort out such issues as salted versus canned anchovies as well as obscure regional products. A smaller list of techniques and cooking terms defines kitchen processes. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Friedman (October 10, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586632965
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586632960
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.7 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,920,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a heavy book in weight and price, but definitely not in content. Written in an easy-flowing style, the recipes are clear, concise and uncluttered - the Author obviously loves the food and the country - it includes a potted history of cooking in the Italian peninsula, detailing the influences from France, Arabia, Germany and the New World. There are numerous references to the formative cookery writers of the past, many of whose recipes remain unchanged to this day!
This is the only book I've seen with such a comprehensive list of ingredients (apart from specialist ingredients books) - almost everything available is described in detail. This list takes up nearly half the book, but is an integral part of it, as it gives one a deeper insight to each ingredient and hence the importance of its use in the recipes.
The recipes themselves range from the classic & regional to the obscure & parochial and many are accompanied by delicious photographs that just beg you to try out the recipes.
This is the way cookery books should be ... gets my five stars.
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Format: Hardcover
`the Gastronomy of Italy' by Anna Del Conte is a dandy little reference to regional Italian recipes, products, wines, and techniques. The list of the author's other works and the imprimatur of the Accademia Italiana Della Cucina demonstrates that this is no quickie knock-off by publisher, Barnes and Noble. An examination of the book's contents confirms this first impression with a very nice collection of information for the foodie, the scholar, and the traveler.

The first chapter on the `development of Italian Gastronomy' is too short to compete with full length books on the subject, but it does give some interesting perspective in twelve (12) pages, with the claim that Italians owned the leadership in European cuisine through the Renaissance, only to let it slip away to the French with the political disintegration of the late seventeenth century. By far the most interesting content of this chapter is the account of major culinary works by Italians from the fifteenth century to the present. It is a revelation to hear writers of 400 years ago advising their readers to concentrate on fresh, seasonal produce. So this was not an idea invented by Alice Waters!

The second chapter on the Italian food culture fills out the picture we get from watching `Molto Mario'. It gives a very nice little list of major Italian food markets, which is a useful guide for someone wishing to create a culinary tour of Italy. The only thing I missed was a description of `Enoteca', the name of an Italian wine bar. The chapter on the culinary regions of Italy gets down to serious business.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a good start for initiating an Italian cooking affair; it gives you dictionary of ingredients, regional description, and few recipes.

The recipes represent important Italian ingredients and cooking techniques, they aren't simple (Lasagna like dish made with Polenta sheets - for example) but capture the Italian flavors and texture.

When you've got the Italian taste, you can use (return to) other books with more complete list of Italian recipes, and this book can be used as a reference book, for finding ingredients substitutes, and basic pasta handling.

In addition the book is beautiful and the recipes are very tasty.
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Format: Hardcover
I haven't dug into this book fully yet, but since there wasn't an in-depth review, I'll add my quick two cents.

Areas covered include a brief history of Italian cuisine, and a region-by-region look at history and specialties. There are recipes, naturally, but the depth of the glossary sections (separate glossaries for ingredients and Italian terms/techniques) can't be overstated. The section on wine was a little too brief, but that information can absolutely be found elsewhere.

I have the paperback version of this book, which I'm guessing is the same version as this one, and feel like I got a heck of a gift from my step-sister this Xmas. While I really like the cookbooks of Lidia Bastianich (pictures are nice - this paperback has none, and the recipe variety is better), this book should be treated more as a reference than a cookbook. A solid addition to your kitchen, or even to your backpack if you're traveling Italy and want to decode the menu.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The information in here is fantastic. However there is one major problem. This book is organized in alphabetical order, by Italian name. What this means is that it is not sectioned off into logical blocks like vegetables, beef, chicken, pasta etc. It means that you have no clue where anything is or where all the information could possibly be. Within 10 pages it can go from a chicken dish, to a soup then a dessert, next term or recipe is then pasta and then back to a dessert or side dish. I would have thought it would be at least organized by the regions of Italy and their food styles etc. Yes that info is in there but you end up just stumbling upon things instead of going in with a purpose.
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