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The easiest of the Italian cookery bibles to dip into,
This review is from: Il Cucchiaio d'Argento (Hardcover)
This is the Italian language original. For the recent English translation, see The Silver Spoon (Cookery)
Of the four bibles of traditional Italian food, the others being Il talismano della felicità, Il grande libro della cucina italiana in oltre 5000 ricette regionali: [la più completa raccolta della nostra tradizione gastronomica] (Quest'Italia) and La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiar bene, this is the easiest to dip into.
The recipes are comprehensively divided by type, e.g. uova/frittate, animali da cortile, selvaggina. The layout of the book is clean, with ingredients listed in the margins and instructions in an accompanying single paragraph to the side in an easily legible font. Almost all of the recipes are followed by at least one suggested Italian wine pairing.
As the book is written for an Italian audience, and was commonly given to brides-to-be or new brides, the text is succinct. There are almost no pictures.
The text provides enough information for an individual who is moderately experienced in Italian culinary techniques to replicate the recipes. There is a small glossary of culinary techniques at the front of the book, but it serves an aide-memoire, not a basic techniques tutorial.
At the back of the book, after some nutritional information and a few pages for personal recipes to be added, there are two indices. The first is an analytical index, dividing recipes by dominant ingredient, e.g. paste secche, porri. The second is an alphabetical index of recipe names. Using the latter effectively requires an understanding of basic elements such as which pasta shape would accompany a particular sauce.