Joined: 17 Aug 2005 Posts: 307 Location: Far, far away
Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:56 am Post subject:
I still think we should hear from someone who owns and loves the book.
One thing I forgot to say is that the current trend is to be explicit about regionality when it comes to presenting Italian cooking in print, especially to outsiders. Another criticism is that SILVER SPOON was written as a kind manual for mothers to pass down recipes to daughters when they marry, so it didn't matter whether or not you're told that carbonara is from Lazio, the city of Rome, and it's never made with cream, etc. Most of the best new publications are devoted to single regions of Italy (The Splendid Table is model for the genre) or are explicit about regions, when not.
Hazan was more concerned about teaching Italian cooking to Americans than with regions, so you won't find consistent pattern in that book. Her CUCINA is explicit about regions, however, in bowing to current practice.
Joined: 23 Nov 2004 Posts: 450 Location: a Dutchie in HongKong
Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:30 pm Post subject:
Thanks for all your good wishes and thoughts on the Spoon. As I don't own Hazan's book, AND I'm not american - I'm still a happy girl with my new cookbook! It's near my couch, I leaf through it with joy, and will report back when I start cooking from it - but somehow I do a lot more reading cookbooks, watching cookingshows, than te actual cooking at the moment, though my friends did get an italian dinner to celebrate my B-day...(antipasti like grilled vegetables, insalata caprese, breads, olive paste, olives, no meats this time, then 2 different lasagnes (easy to prepare in the morning and just bake when the guests are there, one with ricotta and pesto, the other with fresh salmon and spinach, and as desert my home made tiramisu, a filo-pastry-pie with dates and nuts (very yummie) and some fruit)
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 Posts: 154 Location: North of Auckland, New Zealand
Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:21 am Post subject:
I own "The Silver Spoon" and I love it.
My boyfriend also loves it to bits. It's the first cookbook he will pick up when he is considering cooking anything.
I love it, not necessarily because it is an "Italian" cookbook, but because I can find a recipe that appeals to me for a particular ingredient. For example, I could have a whole heap of brussel sprouts that need to be used, but I left my imagination under my pillow, I can just flick to the section on brussel sprouts and voila, there are a number of different recipes that I can use which will do service to the taste of my brussel sprouts. And there are many, many recipes using many, many different ingredients. My Opa has even asked for a copy of the pigeon recipe section!
I am mindful that "the Silver Spoon" is essentially a "slice of 1950's era Italian life", and would hesitate to jump in there and call anything authentic. There are quite a few french recipes in there for starters.
One thing I have learned however, is that someone can state over and over again until they are black and blue that their particular regiobal recipe for a dish is the "authentic" one, but someone around the corner will be doing the same for their's, regardless of whether there is a slight difference or a major one. Cooking and recipes are so diverse and always, always changing.
Having said that, I would love a cookbook which does explore the regional cooking of Italy more. I don't have enough cookbooks, and there is always the excuse for another, although they can be expensive here.
I would love a copy of any of Marcella Hazan's books, but I have never seen them here. Even when I was working in a bookshop and the cooking section was mine to tidy and look after! Must search harder!
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