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on 30 October 2005
The Silver Spoon is really a bible for Italian cooking. Not only does it have an incredible number of recipes, from classics to more unusual ones, it also provides plenty of information on ingredients and their use. Instructions are very straightforward. The book is divided between the stages of the classical Italian meal and also has sections on sauces and baking. I can imagine using this book for years and still finding recipes that I haven't tried yet.
Highly recommended!
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on 13 January 2006
Not much more I can say, everyone else has already done it. It has prompted me into better eating habits as there is a recipe for all occassions. Some of the recipes look to simple to be as delicious as they are i.e the cabbage soup, but it was fantastic, even my husband enjoys it and he usually manages to trot off to the pub after claiming not to be too hungry on soups nights. It is predominantly Italian but does also feature classics from other nations such as the'English' Bread and Butter' pudding. A must have book, the only one you'll use constantly, unlike the other 10+ 'must have' cookery books I own.
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on 5 September 2009
Lots of unusual Northern Italian recipies but lacking in Southern Italian recipies: shame really because la cucina povera rocks!

It also lacks details of how to make insaccati and real antipasti (i sott'olio). Interesting section on meats and fish though.
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on 4 February 2010
An absolutely brilliant book, and not only if you're a fan of italian food. Nearly al the recipes have less then 6 ingredients in them, making them cheap, mostly easy but not at all less tasty. The index is brilliant, you can find everything on ingredient, so if, like me, you sometimes come home form the (super)market with an ingredient you just HAD to buy 'cause it looked so yummy. Flip open this book and find a recipe to use it with.
It's a great mix of low calorie recipes and more calorific ones. If you're a vegetarian (NOT a vegan)or like me, want to watch your meat intake, you'll find it very useful as well. There are many lovely veggie recipes in there. I don't think the were strictly meant to be vegetarian, the just happen to contain no meat or fish. The courgette charlotte for instance is a feast to the eye and absolutely delicious.
Many of the recipes are really healthy and rely, I think, on fresh seasonable produce, not a complicated list of ingredients. The recipes are meant for the home cook and are very versatile. By 'mixing and matching' you can create meals for special occasions or everyday.
The only down side to the book, for me, is there are hardly any pictures. I love to leave through cookbooks to get inspired by what a recipe looks like. This is not the book for that. But the contents make up for that.
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on 3 January 2006
Well may be not EVERY recipe in it, but it is certainly worth cooking your way through and is without much doubt my best christmas present this year.
It covers everything, yes everything, and bar the odd (and hilarious) period item like pineapple mousse to have with ham and set russian salad which reveal it's half-century age, this is about as comprehensive a kitchen tool for Italian cookery that anyone could hope for.
I've already done a kitsch chicken in salsa rossa and a braised beef in barolo. It pulls together all the sorts of things you find in writers like Marcella Hazan into a home-kitchen friendly compendium. It also reveals the food culture differences between UK and Italy - the rabbit chapter is one of the biggest meat sections - and pleasingly assumes that you will make everything from scratch.
It's just a great book. Nothing more, nothing less
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on 27 March 2006
This is really the only book you need if you want to learn to cook Italian food. Many of the recipes are very simple, which I think is the essence of Italian food; fresh ingredients, simply prepared. The syle is very matter-of-fact, which makes the more complicated dishes seem a lot less intimidating. It's also very easy to find every recipe you want.
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on 26 October 2005
I have owned the Italian edition of this cookbook for years and I can say that it has great recipes that are very easy to follow. It has hundreds of recipes covering Italian classics and many more for every occasion. Every one of them is a success. Just try the pesto: the only receipe without garlic that tastes exactly as it should.
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on 20 November 2007
The original is indeed an Italian classic.
The problem is the extremely lazy English translation. Italian cook books are full of terms such as 'add the right amount of' and 'until cooked'.
They have attempted to provide quantities and cooking times for the English version but the vast majority are way off. It is obvious that they have never tested the recipes. For example: in one chapter they advise boiling green beans for up to 20 minutes! Later in the same paragraph they warn about overcooking!

They haven't even bothered to list the chapters in English alphabetical order. The chapter titles are translated, but appear in the original (Italian alphabetical) order. This means that artichokes(carciofi in Italian) appear after broccoli! Unforgivable laziness on the part of the publishers
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VINE VOICEon 28 May 2009
This book assumes a certain basic understanding of cooking and as such the recopies are short and to the point. Very few are more than the odd paragraph long; none are overly prescriptive. They cover a vast range of ingredients so there really is something for everyone's taste in here. There are real Italian classics plus lots of much less well known dishes, from the very basic to the much more challenging and involved. Every time I open this I find something that spikes my curiosity. And it is such a vast compendium of recopies there is plenty to keep even the most enthusiastic cook going for a long time.

Well worth purchasing.
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on 11 January 2011
If I had to jettison all but one cookery book from my collection, then this huge collection of Italian inspired recipes would be be safe.

The Silver Spoon is a compilation of centuries of recipes that have been tried, tested and loved by Italian families and no nation places a higher importance on good food and its pivotal role in the family than Italians.

"Non riesco a sopportare quelli che non prendono il cibo"
(Oscar Wilde - "I can't stand people that do not take food seriously." This is definitely an accusation that can not be made against the compilers of 'The Silver Spoon' who take the preparation of food very seriously indeed, and which has made it Italy's best selling cookbook for over 50 years and now regarded as the bible of authentic Italian cooking.

Many, many excellent recipes but for an explosion of taste try 'Pollo Alla Ratatouille' and 'Fegato Alla Vento', both simple to prepare but extremely flavoursome.
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