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ScottD

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The Food of France. Ditto Italy.

by ScottD » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:22 pm

I just got The Food of France and The Food of Italy, by Waverly Root, yesterday. I heard them mentioned by Mario Battali on his show and looked them up. I've only just started on France and I'm really impressed; one of those books that you can tell you're going to enjoy from the first couple of paragraphs.

Just wondering who else is familiar with these and what your impressions are/were?
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Re: The Food of France. Ditto Italy.

by ScottD » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:14 pm

Hmmmm..... no one familiar with these titles. Or no one with any comments. I'll post my impressions then. Robin, would you prefer this be moved to the Basement?
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Robin Garr

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Re: The Food of France. Ditto Italy.

by Robin Garr » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:46 pm

ScottD wrote:Hmmmm..... no one familiar with these titles. Or no one with any comments. I'll post my impressions then. Robin, would you prefer this be moved to the Basement?


Nah, it's fine here, Scott. I might have piped up, if I hadn't been so frickin' busy today, to say that Waverly Root's name is certainly familiar, and I understand him to be one of the great food writers of an earlier era, but maybe our parents or grandparents. Sort of like Saintsbury among wine writers? I expect his books would make interesting reading, and probably stylish and literate, but perhaps dated.

That's big talk from a guy who hasn't read the books. :oops:
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Ian Sutton

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Re: The Food of France. Ditto Italy.

by Ian Sutton » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:51 pm

Sorry - not seen them
Interested in peoples views on the "Silver spoon" book (supposedly the Italian cooking bible). Is it to be worshipped on a shelf or a practical guide to culinary enlightenment?
apologies for the hijack
Ian
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Re: The Food of France. Ditto Italy.

by Robin Garr » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:06 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:Interested in peoples views on the "Silver spoon" book (supposedly the Italian cooking bible). Is it to be worshipped on a shelf or a practical guide to culinary enlightenment?


Ian, I love the Silver Spoon, but you should be aware that it's not by any means a "gourmet-style" Italian cookbook. Rather, it's a direct English translation of a much-loved Italian family book that's more focused on everyday fare than restaurant-style dishes, and that includes a few such exotica as Italian takes on Chinese and Mexican dishes for family enjoyment.

Here's a short review I wrote some time back. Since it was buried at the foot of a FoodLetter, I'll just paste it here rather than linking to it:

<i>Book preview: The Silver Spoon</i>

This hefty volume, Italy's answer to The Joy of Cooking, has just come out in English. It's too recent an arrival to justify a full review, but after a quick scan, and trying a couple of quick side-dish and vegetable recipes (a simple steamed cauliflower dish cloaked with a silken instant sauce of beaten egg, and a mess of fresh greens wrapped in foil with garlic, oil and lemon and baked at high heat), I'm already learning to love it.

Thick as a brick but much more readable, it contains thousands of Italian recipes - not fancy restaurant stuff, but the dishes that good Italian cooks make at home, ranging from spaghetti and meatballs to, well, gazpacho and stir-fried green beans with sesame seeds.

It's not a high-budget book: With its cheap hard-coated cardboard cover, thin paper, low-budget photos and design and typography that fall a bit short of prime time, it's far from a slick, professional volume. But it's the contents that count, and this treasure trove of things Italian is a must-have, at least for me.

The Silver Spoon is currently available from Amazon.com for $26.37, 34 percent off the $39.95 list price; and using this link to buy will return a small commission to us at WineLoversPage.com.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... rswineloA/
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Ian Sutton

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Re: The Food of France. Ditto Italy.

by Ian Sutton » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:23 pm

Thanks Robin
I've "mentioned" it as a possible xmas present (for me from "the brains of the operation"). It seemed the right sort of book for me, and your views back that up. Homely is me!
regards
Ian
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Bob Ross

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Re: The Food of France. Ditto Italy.

by Bob Ross » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:30 pm

I'm sure you'll love it, Ian. I bought a copy on Robin's recco, and truly enjoy reading it and from time to time trying some of the techniques and recipes.

One point: the US version has been modified to a certain extent according to the text to accomodate US cooks. I wonder if the UK version is different.

In cases Mrs. Clause heeds your Dear Santa letter, I'd love to learn if there is a UK version of the Silver Spoon.

Regards, Bob
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Re: The Food of France. Ditto Italy.

by David Creighton » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:49 am

these are two of the greatest food books ever written; and i know you saw the oft quoted line harkening way back to caesar's gallic wars - about france being divided into three parts - the land of oil, the land of butter and the land of fat. unfortunatly, in both countries, the modern world has done away with much of the wonderful mentioned - lots of luck finding capon magro for instance.
david creighton

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