Tag Archives: Italy

Normal Service Will Be Resumed Shortly…

Among the wonderful presents I’ve received this Christmas is ‘Antonio Carluccio‘s Italia’, one of those cookery books you can read after eating a five course meal and it makes you feel so hungry that you could eat said meal all over again.  It’s truly stunning.

Each chapter outlines the culinary heritage of each region of Italy, with history, recipes and beautiful photography.  I was sitting up last night at half twelve with a large plate of buttered water biscuits, a thick slice of roast ham and two mince pies, making plans as to what I was going to cook first and trying not to drool on the pages.  I have to admit that I’m really looking forward to the New Year and all the cooking that I have planned.  The first thing I have to do is to invest in some decent notebooks so that I can collate all the recipes that are scribbled on various greasy scraps of paper – I go to people’s houses and beg for bits of paper so that I can copy things down and then get home and just leave them on the kitchen table.  Perhaps a travelling notebook is in order…

Anyway, as of next week, I will be happy at home with a full fridge and heaving cupboards, and I will share some of the recipes in this book.

Wishing you all a very happy New Year!

 

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Giorgio Locatelli – `Made In Italy: Food And Stories’

Cover of "Made in Italy: Food and Stories...

Cover of Made in Italy: Food and Stories

This is a beautiful book, and exactly how a cookery book should be written.  It’s not just a collection of recipes and photographs of the results, but a whole story of where the chef grew up and who influenced him.  It documents the food he ate as a child and discovered as he grew up,  anecdotes of his family and adventures he’s been on, and how he became successful.

The photographs also help to tell the stories – it’s genuinely a pleasure to read and the recipes are fabulous,divided into seven sections:  Antipasti;  Zuppa;  Risotto;  Pasta;  Pesce;  Carne;  Dolci.

None of them are impossibly difficult, and the ones I have tried have produced meals that I could eat over and over again.  If I could reproduce one of the photos here I would – my all time favourite is a photograph of  pieces of focaccia classica on a wooden board – simple but beautiful and will, like all the others, encourage you to make it just so that you can taste how beautiful it looks!

If you are in the mood for buying a new cookery book, or asking for one for a present, I highly recommend this – you won’t regret it.

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The Slow Food Movement

Slow Food

I am an advocate of all things organic, and I also love to support local farmers and food suppliers, even if it costs me that little bit more.  It is so incredibly important in these days of multinational fast food business, and the alarming rise in obesity and its related health issues.  The number of children I see, from day to day, clutching huge bags of sweets, or cheap plastic toys which they got with their Happy Meals, makes me fume, and want to weep, in equal measure.

This is why I love the Slow Food movement.  It was founded in Italy, as a protest to the insidious encroachment of fast food businesses, and it actively promotes the sustenance of organic farming, including the promotion of local culinary traditions, organic farming, education, and seed banks to preserve heirloom varieties.  There are now over 100,000 members worldwide, which is fantastic, but also not enough.

Please, if you have the time and the inclination, click on the link and take a look at the fantastic work they do.

Thank you!

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