It seems only appropriate to start a blog on reading and cooking with a subject which combines both. So what could be more appropriate than a cookbook review? Allow me to introduce my favorite cookbook in the whole world (so far): Italia in Cucina.
Italia in Cucina is a joy of a book. As indicated by the title, it covers Italian cooking (and was published in Italy!), but don’t fear: the text itself is in English. So here are 10 things I love about it, in no particular order:
- The recipes are delicious. Really, when choosing cookbooks, isn’t that most important?
- The illustrations are lovely and there are plenty of them. You can see what you’re going to get and can start salivating in advance.
- The recipes are each marked with a difficulty level and time estimate so you know what you’re getting yourself into when you start one.
- Along those lines, you can find whatever type of recipe you need, whether’ it’s a quick weeknight dinner or you’re trying to impress someone with a gourmet meal.
- There is a section of “basic” recipes at the beginning of the book that are later incorporated into other recipes but can also be eaten on their own.
- The recipes are reasonable–the ingredients are not esoteric or unappealing.
- …but just in case you’re shaky on what to call that pasta shape, there is a small ingredient dictionary at the front of the book.
- At 800 pages, this cookbook includes plenty of variety! I never plan to buy another Italian cookbook, I just won’t need it.
- Authenticity–this is a real Italian cookbook, published in Italy and with foods that my Italian-American brother-in-law loves.
- Did I mention delicious? I’ve never tried anything out of here that I didn’t like!
The only minor gripe I have with this cookbook is that the index is not as substantial as I wish it was, but browsing is fun and the minimal existing index is functional.
In summary: this cookbook is worth its very substantial weight in gold.