Tuscany

Unattributed, The Silver Spoon

ISBN: 9780714860787 Publisher: Phaidon

Tuscany

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Famous for its culture, architecture and history, Tuscany is also the birth place of Italian cuisine as we know it today. The Tuscany cookbook takes us on a culinary journey through its' the regions, from the rustic food of the countryside developed from poverty, making use of what nature has to provide to the refined cuisine of the cities with all the signs of their wealth past and present. Wine, chocolate, cheese, seafood, rare breeds, cured meats such as mortadella and Lard Di Colonnatta (cured and spiced pork fat), to olives, honey, chestnuts and white truffles. Tuscany is a haven for all lovers of good food.

The recipe collection in this book are the essence of Tuscany itself. Be it just a simple "Crostini di Cavolo Nero" allowing the ingredients themselves to make a statement or an unusual, but tasty, dish of "Sedano All Pratese" celery stalks stuffed with meat, coated in parmesan and fried. For a comforting Italian fish stew try "Cacciucco alla Livornese", for a roast "Arista al Finocchoi" (pork loin with fennel) using of course only the best quality pork or for a dish of extravagance "Bistecca Alla Florentina" Florentine style steak, prepared from T-bone steak and top quality olive oil.

Of course Tuscany has plenty to offer those with a sweet tooth why not try "Croatata di Ricotta Garfagnina" a traditional ricotta tart or the famous "Zuccotto" the first semifreddo (Italian frozen dessert) believed to be made originally in an infantryman's helmet and to finish a meal "Canutucci" the famous hard biscuit of almonds and pine nuts accompanied by a glass of Vin Santo to dip them.

This is a beautifully presented cookbook with plenty of photographs bringing Tuscany to life. Recipes are not only easy to follow and generally simple to prepare, there is also plenty of information on the dishes origins and preparation, and even more importantly all recipes are accompanied by a photo of the dish. An exceptionally lovely cookbook.