Il talismano della felicità (Italian)
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Top customer reviews
Of the four bibles of traditional Italian food, the others being Il Cucchiaio d'Argento,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, the recipes in this book are the most predictably classic in character.
Although there is no table of contents, the recipes are comprehensively divided by type, e.g. antipasti complessi, paste al forgo, sufflè dolci. The 80 colour plates are at the rear, only illustrating a tiny number of the wide selection of recipes in the book.
The layout of the book is unhelpful, in a style more consistent with prose than a recipe book. Headings appear in red capitals, portion indications follow on the same line in body text, immediately after which are the ingredients in italics. A line break separates the ingredients from the instructions, which are written in a running prose with paragraph breaks at often random points. The effect of the whole is to make the recipes difficult to scan quickly.
As the book is written for an Italian audience, and was commonly given to brides-to-be or new brides, the text provides enough information for an individual who is moderately experienced in Italian culinary techniques to replicate the recipes. There is no attempt made to explain any of the basic techniques.
At the back of the book, after some food service advice, an idiosyncratic drinks section and the colour plates, there are two indices. The first is an analytical index, dividing recipes by the same headings used earlier in the book. 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.
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