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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small but very broad in scope, 13 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Gastronomic Dictionary: Italian-English (Travel Books) (Paperback)
Around 10x15cm in size, and 5mm width, this is a pocket guide that can be taken out in public without tearing the seams of said pocket and doesn't leave you with one side of your jacket longer than the other.

The book is an odd mixture. It describes itself as "The Perfect Pocket Italian Restaurant Menu Dictionary" but that doesn't quite get the scope of the thing. When it arrived I opened it at random and my eyes immediately picked out the word "istrice" - hedgehog. Is hedgehog the delicacy of some Italian region? Ditto with white whale - I cannot imagine sitting down to dinner and seeing that on the Specials board. But examples like this do suggest that the book is comprehensive. However, I then looked up "salmoriglio," a sauce that accompanies chicken and seafood, and is very common on Sicily. But there is no listing for that, even though it really is an Italian rather than regional term. There were a couple of other terms that I looked up on menus that were not listed, although many were. So as a restaurant decoder it is a bit of a mixed blessing.

On the other hand, if you pick up an Italian-language cookbook or two to bring home when in Italy, this is amazingly helpful as it gives you a lot of the words that you will need to translate the recipes, like "blanched," "thickening" and "grind."

More randomly, although still food-related, it includes words like "digestible," "gluttony" and "swallow." You might want to say some of these things, but this is an Italian to English only dictionary so the dictionary appears to assume that you will be reading this somewhere where you will need to translate these words from Italian into English, which seems a bit unlikely.

On which point, this is only Italian to English so you cannot look up food items and ingredients that you might like to look out for on a menu, and there's no indication for how to ask for your steak rare or well done.

Overall, this was very inexpensive and is so small and light that it is well worth buying to throw into your luggage. It's a bit of a mixture but great fun to read randomly and it does help with menus and recipes.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Andie
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: London, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 936