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The Silver Spoon Hardcover – 1 Jan 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1264 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; US edition edition (1 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714845310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714845319
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 6.7 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,568,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Its simple style and authenticity will appeal to both the gourmet and the occasional cook.' (What's On In London)

'I predict this is going to become the new bible on Italian food.' (The Bookseller)

'The Italians have kept their culinary secrets to themselves for too long - The Silver Spoon gives the rest of us a chance to get your hands on them. Buon Appetito.' (Observer Food Monthly)

'Giorgio Locatelli says it is the only book to have made into his mother's kitchen, but that doesn't convince you, look at the numbers. Where else will you get 2,000 recipes for £25?' (The Times magazine)

'Both practical and comprehensive.' (The Daily Telegraph)

'The Silver Spoon reveals a lot of secrets, close to 3,000 of them…one finds not just simple and accurate recipes for the classics, but myriad ideas and new dishes that one has never heard of.' (Financial Times)

'Embodies the entire culinary ethos and unparalleled passion for food that runs through every Italian's veins…Unlike so many cookery books on offer in Britain, The Silver Spoon is not a showy and stylised title (the photography in the book is completely natural, shot without special lighting or food stylist's props), sold on the back of the celebrity of its author. It's about simple good food, treated in an unpretentious, appreciative way. It's about passing on a legacy, an understanding and a passion.' (Scottish Sunday Herald)

'I would like to start this review with a little story: my grandmother - who was in charge of the cooking in our house for nearly 80 years - did not have any cookery books at home. When she died, at the grand old age of 101, my mother took command of the kitchen, and the only book she ever brought into the house was Il Cucchiaio d'Argento (aka The Silver Spoon)…The recipes have been translated in a beautifully simple format, colour-coded for easy use…Throughout the book there is a very good representation of recipes from all the regions of Italy…Inspiration indeed.' (Giorgio Locatelli)

'Pleasantly frill-free.' (The Sunday Times)

'Now translated into English, making its mouthwatering, authentic recipes accessible worldwide.' (Waitrose Food Illustrated)

'A must for anybody who enjoys cooking!' (Giorgio Locatelli)

'THE must-buy book this Christmas…brilliant. If you want to cook Italian food properly, this is the book you need - nothing fancy, just honest cooking.'(Fresh)

'A seriously comprehensive guide that shows that Italian food is about for more than just pasta and pizza…One for serious Italophiles.' (Gordon Ramsey, The Times)

'For someone after lots of recipes, and an entrée to how Italians in Italy really eat, it is perfect.' (Sunday Telegraph)

'Simple, user-friendly, mouth-watering.' (The Sunday Tribune (Ireland))

'A joy to cook from…may well prove to be the only Italian cookery you'll ever need.' (Henrietta Green, Daily Mail)

'If you've just married an Italian, this is the book for you…you'll be able to impress your other half - and your mama-in-law - with your knowledge of classic Italian cooking…wonderful.' (BBC Good Food Magazine)

'It's hard to imagine a more definitive book on the art of Italian cooking.' (Independent on Sunday)

'We'd put it straight after 'a sharp knife' on the list of equipment that every kitchen deserves to have.'(Italia)

'A comprehensive collection and suitable for everyone, from the complete novice to the experienced chef, thanks to the sheer range of recipes available. It's so heavy with meal ideas, just lifting the book guarantees burning calories.' (You Are What You Eat)

'It is hard to imagine that there is a better Italian cook book on the market.' (Nottingham Evening Post)

'If you only buy one cookery book this year, make it this one.' (The Good Book Guide)

'Of the thousands of cookbooks published each year, most have the shelf life of a gallon of milk. Then they sink into oblivion. A few get good advance buzz, and, of those, an extremely small number catch fire. Ladies and gents, it looks like we have fire. The Silver Spoon landed in bookstores Nov. 8 and became an instant bestseller…It's direct. It's real. Is this the reason we love Italian food?' (John Kessler, Atlanta Journal Constitution)

'Italy's version of The Joy of Cooking - The Silver Spoon - has been translated into English for the first time...It presents lucid recipes for every dish a lover of Italian food could wish for - more than 2,000 of them.' (Bon Appetit)

'In keeping with its history, many of the recipes are very traditional, a 'just like Mamma used to make' reference book of classics. Absolutely every dish seems to be included in it, from all over Italy. That's an amazing accomplishment when you consider the range of ingredients and traditions that Italy offers...Overall, the book is solid, well laid-out and very user-friendly...You could call The Silver Spoon an Italian Mrs Beeton, with a touch of the Escoffier about it. It's as relevant to our times as it ever was.' (Lino Poli, Chef at Firenze Restaurant, Leicestershire)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"The Silver Spoon" offers, in over 1200 pages, the ultimate guide to Italian cookery. It is a massive, very heavy book. It is designed to be used, to be explored, to enthuse, to instruct, but overall, to feed your imagination, your palette, your body. And yet it's not a book to leave around casually on the kitchen table … and certainly not the coffee table. For the serious cook, this is a must have. It's a book to be read and used, a book which will be referred to for decades, a book you will pass on to your children.
It begins with the instruction that 'eating is a serious matter'. Cooking is an art form as well as a pleasure. First published in 1950, this cook book has stood the test of time. There are few glossy pictures. The meat of the volume is its thousands of recipes. Simple. Complex. There is primary advice on cooking techniques and terms, what to use, how to use it. You get instruction on sauces and marinades, all the different courses, meat, fish, vegetables, pasta. An absolutely comprehensive guide. The day you buy it you begin wondering how you've lived your life without it.
The recipes are clearly described. No frills, no gloss. Straightforward description of how to cook each dish, how to get the best out of your ingredients, how to enjoy food and feeding others. The layout is simple, accessible, the recipes easy to find, easy to follow. But it's a vast work. You really need to sit and read it, leaf through it, highlight new ideas you'd like to try, refer to the classics and standards which you'll produce again and again.
An exciting, stimulating essential, the ultimate guide to Italian cooking, and a book which, once you own a copy will not only become indispensable, it's a book which will make you evangelical as you try to convince friends and family that they too must own a copy. Give this to someone as a present - they will never stop thanking you.
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By A Customer on 16 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. Admittedly, quite a few dishes are made of bits of animal that I’ve never even heard of, let alone eaten. But there’s a bewildering array of recipes to try, including starters, sauces, soups, pizzas, pasta, and main courses.
The beauty of the Silver Spoon lies in its simplicity. There’s none of the pretentious guff that usually pads out cookery books, and the recipes are very short and clearly explained. And there are plenty of recipes that won’t have you trawling the supermarket for dozens of obscure ingredients. Chicken in almond sauce? Chicken, almonds, onion, garlic, lemon, white wine. Spinach sauce (for pasta)? Spinach, milk, butter.
Incidentally, this is the only cook book I own that is bound in a way that allows it stay open at the right page all by itself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent layout and for such a large book, easy to find recipes for any food item you care to think of.
Each recipe is also easy to follow and made as simple as possible to follow.
Many of the recipes are well known but this still leaves literally hundreds that the reader has probably never heard of or thought of.
When they say this is the only Italian cookery book you will ever need - they are right.
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By A Customer on 8 Nov. 2005
Format: Hardcover
to The Silver Spoon! It's beautiful AND practical. I love the colour coding, the 2000 recipes, the simplicity and authenticity of this sumptous book. AND the fact that it sits OPEN on my kitchen table ( oh the cook books I could name that don't!)Anybody can cook real italian food with a book like this -where on earth has it been until now??Christmas has come early in our house.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are some reviews of this fabulous cook book which complain about the poor translation, the fact that the book isn't in Engish alphabetical order, that the quantities aren't precise enough ... You're safe to ignore all these quibbles provided you accept the basis on which this cookebook was created.

It was designed to guide (young) Italians who were starting to lose their traditional roots in national cuisine and to help them know just how to make high quality food. For this audience it isn't necessary to give exact quantities or lengths of time ... they just know. And after working with this cookery book, you'll get to know these things too.

For me, a precise English/American book telling me just precisely what to do down to the last millilitre, gramme or degree of heat is not letting you be creative, not allowing you to find out what works best for you in your kitchen, and - above all - what great ingredients work with which.

This is a classic book; its English translation works; and I simply couldn't be without it. (And excuse me, if cooking is all about glossy photos, count me out: I prefer pictures that look like what I make, not some bizarre studio impersonation of food.

The Silver Spoon is all about good food cooked by real people in real kitchens. Bravo! Buy it!
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Format: Hardcover
The reviewer who mentions the quality of ingredients being vital to many of these recipes is absolutely correct. The simplicity of some of these dishes necessitates quality ingredients, which are easy enough to get hold of, if you look away from your supermarket and get down the local greengrocers or market on a Saturday (usually much cheaper than supermarkets too). Aslo, if you choose ingredients that are in season, and base your choices on this knowlege, you should get much better results. If you're not sure about what's in season, ask the greengrocer. Stuff that's in season is usually cheaper too.

This sheer volume of recipes in this book makes it more than an average cook book, and it does assume some basic knowledge of cooking, rather than carefully walking you through each step, so it may not be ideal for complete novices. It's more than a reference book in the style of the older cookery writers like Elizabeth David in the days before Delia, and is great for inspiration on the days when you can't think of anything to do with the bits and pieces left in your kitchen at the end of the week.

In short, If you are looking for a cookery reference book you can't go far wrong, but if the idea of over 2000 Italian recipes in one book is a bit daunting, then I suggest you go for the Jamie Oliver Italy book, which is more user friendly and actually rather good.

Happy Cooking!
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