Customer Reviews


4 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALMOST AS GOOD AS A VISIT TO THAT STORIED REGION, 30 Nov 2010
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking from Italy's Undiscovered South (Hardcover)
Italian food lovers will rejoice, those who yearn for the flavors of Calabria will be ecstatic with MY CALABRIA, the first cookbook devoted entirely to the distinctive cuisine of that unique rather remote region. As author Costantino notes in her Introduction, "At the southern tip of the peninsula lies an Italy that few people know: a land of fragrant citron and bergamot orchards, ancient olive groves and terraced vineyards; a place of persistent tradition and ritual, where the annual swordfish catch and hot pepper harvest are celebrated with elaborate festivals, and where women still roll pasta dough around knitting needles."

Yes, this is the area that popular cooking teacher Costantino knows and loves; it is where she was born and raised, nourished with homegrown, homemade food. Her knowledge of and affection for Calabria is evident on every one of this book's 416 pages and in every gorgeous full color photograph.

Beginning with Antipasti and Pasta we're treated to a cornucopia of hearty dishes under the headings of Soup, Rice, Polenta; Bread, Cheese, Eggs; Seafood; Meat; Vegetables; and Desserts. Each recipe mirrors the Calabrian's need to create nourishing and delicious food from what they grew or caught. The Desserts, many of which are a part of religious celebrations, are especially appealing.

While MY CALABRIA would stand alone as an outstanding cookbook it is so much more - it is a delightful armchair tour of the region (one we've enjoyed over and over again), a listing of places to stay and eat, and a comprehensive ingredient resource guide. Costantino finds her Peperoni Cruschi and Pecorino di Toscano at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Michigan [...]. We followed her lead and have thoroughly enjoyed the Peperoni Cruschi, made from the peppers in which the Calabrians take such pride, and the Pecorino di Toscano, which we grated to garnish our pasta.

MY CALABRIA is both a celebration of rustic family cooking and a tribute to the traditional ways of preparing food - enjoy!

- Gail Cooke
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare jewel full of soul, 13 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking from Italy's Undiscovered South (Hardcover)
This book instantly struck a few chords. I fell in love with it right after the first flip through. This is nothing like the usual more "Americano" versions of Italian, this is the real thing.

Rosetta Costantino left a successful engineering career behind to become a cooking school teacher, because she grew increasingly worried that the traditional dishes of her native Calabria in time would face a close brush with extinction. Rosetta is determined not to let that happen, and created this cookbook which is a real and rare jewel that deserves a lot of attention.

Make no mistake: this is a "foodie" book. You have to be seriously seriously into southern Italian cooking to fully appreciate the recipes in it. Fancy ingredients or haute cuisine cooking techniques mean nothing where Calabrian cooking is concerned. Flavor and freshness are everything. Simple ingredients well combined is what makes this food so delightful.

Calabria's cuisine is a simple peasant cuisine, that of a people living off the land and the sea and by the seasons. Hand-reared pigs and lamb, fresh seafood, lots of herbs, and beautiful sun-ripened vegetables. Earthy, sun-drenched, and spicy flavors are dominant. And of course, this being southern Italy, pasta rules supreme.

Most dishes are easy to make and follow a pattern: Where preparation takes up a little bit more time, you can look forward to a short cooking time; again, where the cooking times are a bit longer, very little preparation is involved. Ingredient lists are mostly short and easy to remember, but this also means that when things unexpectedly go wrong there's nothing to mask that fact. So be observant of your bell peppers slowly roasting to smoky sweetness in the frying pan; have an eye on (and a stir through) your tomato sauce every now and then to make sure nothing sticks; get your pasta and rice perfectly al dente - and the full and gutsy flavors that await you will knock you off your feet.

The ingredients are easy to obtain if they are not already staples in most households. If you have access to: salted anchovies, tuna (fresh and canned), sardines, peppers, chiles, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, potatoes, fresh lamb and pork, pancetta, salsiccia, extra virgin olive oil, pecorino cheese, mozzarella, wild mushrooms, capers, black and green olives, sweet and hot paprika, parsley, basil, oregano, mint - you're ready to go! Here's a few dishes they make:

Crostini di pesce
Crostini with a topping of mashed sardines and garlic. They are served warm and I found them very gutsy and morish.

Minestra di fagiolini verdi e pomodori
Water, salt, pepper, olive oil, peperoncino, basil, runner beans, tomatoes, and potatoes (new ones work) is all this soup asks for. Humble? Absolutely. And flavorful to boot. Have it with a slice of bread on the side. This is pure heaven!

Tonno alla menta
Succulent tuna steak perfumed with white wine vinegar and fresh mint leaves

Parmigiana di zucchini
Exclusive to Calabria, this is made with zucchini instead of eggplant

Parmigiana di melanzane
A more elaborate Calabrian version of the famous dish from Naples, slices of hard-boiled egg and soppressata are added, and the mozzarella is replaced by ricotta cheese

Risotto con le cozze
Does this sound suspiciously northern to your ears? It is only where the preparation method is concerned. Black mussels, fully ripe fresh tomatoes, sweet onions, paprika, saffron are ingredients typical for this part of Italy, and the dish is every bit as good as the hallmarks from the Veneto.

Tiella di agnello
Slowly baked lamb shoulder with with fresh artichokes and peas

Ravioloni Calabresi
Large ravioli filled with ricotta cheese and soppressata, served in a spicy tomato sauce

The dessert section requires more dexterity, and I must admit that I have not tried any of them yet. They sure sound mouthwatering: Typical for Italy, it features lots of ice creams, for example with torrone (Italian nougat), chocolate and chile, and ricotta cheese; also pastries and tarts made with raisins and nuts. The first one I'll make I've decided is the walnut cake as this one sounds easy enough.

The book is more than just a recipe collection. The style of writing is soulful and entertaining when Rosetta shares memories of her Calabrian childhood and her travels to research for the book, explains how meals are served in Calabria, or how tuna is caught. Each of the over 100 recipes is well laid out and steps are well explained, sometimes meticulously as for making pasta and bread dough. As a result, they work beautifully and turn out a treat. The book is beautifully illustrated, although not every recipe has a picture but I am sure we all know by now what spaghetti con aglio, olio e peperoncino looks like. ;-)

A beautiful, beautiful cookbook. Excellent job, Rosetta. Italian cooking couldn't be more authentic than this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Calabria Rustic Family Cooking, 22 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking from Italy's Undiscovered South (Hardcover)
Lovely book - both as a recipe book and a coffee table one to read about the area and to see some lovely pictures
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great, personal guide to Calabrian food, 7 Oct 2013
By 
parker (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking from Italy's Undiscovered South (Hardcover)
Great guide to the ingredients, recipes and culture of Calabria, I hauled this book with me to Capo Vaticano where it added hugely to my experience (it actually served well as a travel guide to Calabria). Lots of great recipes and inspiration, you can sense the pride and passion of the author for her birthplace and its traditions without a hint of pretension.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking from Italy's Undiscovered South
My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking from Italy's Undiscovered South by Shelley Lindgren (Hardcover - 29 Oct 2010)
22.10
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews