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on 11 August 2010
I am a chef, albeit Patisserie & Confectionery based, however, I love my food and I adore this book. If you can't swing for the hardback edition, have this in paperback but cover it carefully as you will be splashing it with sauces, oils and food as you cook from it in your kitchen. I would buy this in preference to Veneziana which I feel is more of a vanity project...
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on 24 November 2006
From the introduction:-

'My aim in writing this book has been to share some of the delights that have been part of my life here. More than an informative guide, it outlines the basic goings-on taking place on stovetops in a place whose culinary fame is steadfastly rooted amongst the hills and within tradition.........Throughout the months of the year you will find the ingredients of Tuscany just as they become available to the Tuscans. In each month there are recipes for all the courses of an Italian meal - though as you will see in 'The Italian Meal', even an Italian doesn't eat all the courses all the time......Although it is my belief that with good ingredients anyone can cook a good Tuscan meal, I recognise that not everyone lives in Tuscany and so I have occasionally given alternatives to those harder to find. The rest, I trust you will shift, find, improvise and add to suit your personal space and marketplace.'

415 high quality, shiny pages mainly split over the twelve months of the year, plus a section on 'The Store Cupboard', 'The Italian Meal', 'Wine Notes', 'Basics', 'How to', along with an introduction, a glossary and a concise index.
Each chapter opens with an endearing description of the relevant month along with a photograph. Each recipe within has its Italian name and English version. Introductory text opens each recipe which is clearly laid out with the ingredients on the left, along with the number of servings and the method on the right.
Vibrant photographs, some black and white, but not that many of the recipes.

A taste of the recipes within:-

Mixed Fish Soup with Tomato
Mixed Meat Stew
Bread with Rosemary and Olive Oil
Roast Rack of Pork
Crepes with Pastry Cream & Praline
Orange Salad
Mashed Potato Cakes
Apricot Jam Tart
Gratinéed Mussels
Pumpkin Ravioli with Butter & Sage
Ricotta Tart
Lasagne
Chargrilled Chicken
Lemon Tart
Vanilla Ice Cream
Minestrone
Chocolate & Vanilla Sponge Pudding
Tuscan Style Tripe
Stuffed Zucchini
Tiramisu
Risotto with Asparagus
26 people found this helpful
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on 29 August 2006
I have book shelves lined with cookery books, most of which are vegetarian cook books & I love nothing more than to sit with a glass of wine & read recipes! Having absolutely fallen in love with the food of Tuscany whilst on my honeymoon last year I couldn't wait to try cooking something similar myself when I returned home. I picked up this book at Waitrose. Yes there are meat and fish recipes, but there are also many wonderful vegetarian recipes too. I haven't looked back & thanks to this book I would say that 70% of the cooking I now do is Tuscan inspired. I've gone on to try recipes of my own based on combinations I've learnt from Tessa Kiros. I tried out the plum jam and plum cake this weekend and wowed the family with the delicious results. I'd definitely recommend this.
49 people found this helpful
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on 3 December 2002
The recipes presented are down-to-earth, and easily within the ability of cooks of any calibre. I liked the fact that this was obviously the food that would be on the average Tuscan table at any given day and that the recipes were economical of time and energy. This is not cookery with a list of ingredients that fills a page, but a few, simple, well-chosen items whose flavours come together to 'sing'.
Another plus is the way the book is organized. Original and completely logical. By month. It was lovely to read Ms. Kiros' introductions as to how the locals shop and what is available for that month and then go on to the recipe entries that typify the month in question.
Beautiful book too - great photography - thoughtful text. A cookery book that's also a really good read.
2 people found this helpful
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on 22 August 2005
Falling Cloudberries is the first book of Tessa Kiros that I bought. When I saw she had written another one, I had high expectations because Falling Cloudberries is just one of those exceptional books - original, beautiful and personal. Twelve does not disappoint. Whereas Falling Cloudberries is a collection of recipes from all over the world, Twelve is all about Tuscan food. The pics of the countryside and her family together with the delicious Italian food make you want to hop on a plane to Italy straight away. The next best thing is to lose yourself in this magical book. If you thought like me, who needs another italian cookbook, take a look at this beautiful book and you will change your mind.
44 people found this helpful
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on 22 August 2005
I saw this book on Amazon and couldnt believe that I had missed it in hardback. My Mother-in-law gave me Falling Cloudberries last Christmas and I loved it so much that I have given it as a present twice already. Twelve, also by Tessa Kiros is only about Italy this time but it is such a mouthwatering and evocative book to flick through I found myself sitting in my kitchen earlier on a rainy morning in London looking through this and feeling as it I have been on holiday. There is the most fantastic plum or nectarine cake that I can really recommend and as with Tessa's other book the recipes really work.
31 people found this helpful
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on 12 July 2008
I'm writing this review because I'm so surpised to see the previous one suggesting the recipes don't work and that people who like the book cannot be serious cooks. I've cooked many recipes from this book and have found them to be simple and very successful.It is probably my most used cookbook, and I'm someone who owns a LOT of cookbooks! I should come clean about the fact that I do have the advantage of actually living in Tuscany, but I cannot believe this factor alone determines whether the recipes are successful! What I can say is that the recipes really do reflect Tuscan food and what is in season here. The month by month idea is important, these are recipes that should be cooked when the veg or fruit that are included are at their peak, though in other countries this may not be the same month as here in Tuscany. I find the book a joy to read and inspiring, Tessa Kiros writes very well and her books and desriptions really make you want to cook the recipes. Personally I don't find the recipes convoluted, most fit on one page (I have the hardback edition)Some are very short and simple, a reminder of how good simple food can be if it's fresh, seasonal and high quality-things which are the eseence of eating well in Italy.
Here are some of the recipes I have cooked succesfully from '12', some of them many, many times :spezzatino di cinghiale-wild boar stew-though I use beef as suggested as a subsitute, cipollline in agro-dolce-sweet and sour baby onions, asparagus with poached eggs,strawberry risotto, broad bean and precorino salad, tagliolini with lemon sauce, piselli alla fiorentina-green peas cooked with prosciutto, cherries in syrup, aubergine rolls, panzanella, stuffed zucchini flowers,preserved apriocts, tomato brushetta, gratineed tomatoes, pappa al pomodoro, butter cake with caramelised nectarines, plum cake, peaches in white wine, pannacotta,watermelon sorbet,crostini with pears, gorgonzola and honey,pici alla bascaiola-pasta with procini and tomato sauce, apple cake, fig jam, gratineed mussels,walnut bread, creme caramel,zabaglione. So a beautiful book, a lovely read and one that cooks well too in my experience.
13 people found this helpful
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on 16 December 2002
The recipes presented are down-to-earth, and easily within the ability of cooks of any calibre. I liked the fact that this was obviously the food that would be on the average Tuscan table at any given day and that the recipes were economical of time and energy. This is not cookery with a list of ingredients that fills a page, but a few, simple, well-chosen items whose flavours come together to 'sing'.
Another plus is the way the book is organized. Original and completely logical. By month. It was lovely to read Ms. Kiros' introductions as to how the locals shop and what is available for that month and then go on to the recipe entries that typify the month in question.
Beautiful book too - great photography - thoughtful text. A cookery book that's also a really good read.
9 people found this helpful
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on 1 September 2005
If you are an Italian food lover this book is a must-have. Or even if you are not, it is still simply stunning! I love it and am so pleased that I have discovered Tessa!
Mouth-watering, simplyeand just plain delicious. I just don't know what I did before Tessa.
16 people found this helpful
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on 21 December 2009
I expected a better classification of the recipes and recipes which are closer to the international cuisine so that everybody could try them.
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