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Country Cooking of Italy [Hardcover]

Colman Andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 26 2011 Country Cooking
Following the success of their 2010 James Beard Foundation Best Cookbook of the Year, The Country Cooking of Ireland , Colman Andrews and Christopher Hirsheimer achieve the formidable feat of illuminating the world's most beloved cuisine in an entirely new light. Drawing on more than 40 years of experience traveling and eating in Italy, Andrews explores every region, from Piedmont to Puglia, and provides the fascinating origins of dishes both familiar and unexpected. This gloriously photographed keepsake depicts an ingredient-focused culture deeply rooted in rural traditions, in which even the most sophisticated dishes derive from more basic fare. With 230 sumptuous recipes highlighting the abundant flavors of the land, all set against the backdrop of Andrews vivid storytelling and Hirsheimer's evocative images, this luxe package is sure to delight home chefs and lovers of Italian food alike.

Frequently Bought Together

Country Cooking of Italy + The Country Cooking of France + The Country Cooking of Ireland
Price For All Three: CDN$ 114.11

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Product Description


"Substantive and succinct. Colman Andrews tops the list of food writers of our generation. He teaches me every day."-Lydia Shire, Chef/Restaurateur

About the Author

Colman Andrews is an award-winning food editor and travel writer, and the editorial director of He lives in Connecticut.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 9 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great cookbook.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Insight into Italy's Cuisine, with delicious Recipes and Photographs Dec 6 2011
By I. Seligman - Published on
This book is a wonderful companion and guide to a cook, yielding delicious, often classic dishes little known outside of Italy. It is well written by Coleman Andrews, with his 40 some years of intimate knowledge of Italian cookery. He concisely shares his cooking suggestions and "pearls" in a welcomed educational manner. Finally, it's beautiful book to look at, both with its layout and its photographs. Yes, there's hundreds of Italian cookbooks to select from, and this is already one of my top few.

This is a book to cook delicious yet simple authentic Italian meals from. Simple, not fancy. I'm a pretty good cook, and I'd rather master a delicious recipe with 5 ingredients than one with 15-20 ingredients, and hours of preparation time. It's a book to treasure with Andrews' insights on Italy and Italian cooking. I learned that recipes that many think are "traditional" are barely 100 years old. Did you know that tiramisu is less than 50 years old? That classic spaghetti all'Amatriciana is traditionally made with the luscious guanciale, and not pancetta? Scampi are actually a little lobster-like cousin with elongated claws, and not a shrimp? They taste different, too! He shares his decades of "boots on the ground" experience in Italy with you as a chef/friend, opening a window into Italy's culinary history. Bonus- You become better cook in the process. Is each recipe the "authentic one"? Given that a recipe has variations within the same family, town and region, it's definitely authentic to certain credible Italian cooks, and clearly more authentic than recipes "tarted up" by authors who have never dined on a back road "mom and pop" find in Italy.

Delicious cooking depends on fresh ingredients and proper technique. You do your part with getting the former, and Mr. Andrews covers your back well with the latter. There's ways to cook pasta that work: adding oil to the pot doesn't work. Try recipes like duck with bitter orange sauce, Sicilian style pork loin, stewed pork ribs with sausage, veal stew with red peppers and black olives, cianfotta, stuffed eggplant, apfelkuchel, and pear sorbetto, to name a few.

I have visited Italy several times, dined in Italian's homes, and favor simple fresh flavorful dishes. No foams, gratuitous fois gras, molecular gastronomy glues or trendy ingredients here-. they are fine, elsewhere. No Food Network Americanized Italian here. If you need "New York" Italian cuisine, look elsewhere. Properly grilled shrimp with rosemary is ambrosia. Without the proper grill heat, you won't get it right. A fritto misto di mare won't be right unless the seafood's at the right temperature to begin with, then fried at the right temperature too. I've cooked Andrews' recipes and they let you create the real deal, right in your home.

The fifteen chapters amply cover soups, pastas, rice and polenta, savory pies, foccacia, fish, shellfish, poultry, rabbit, pork, lamb, goat, veal, beef, game, offal, salads and desserts. No shortage of recipes, each with helpful hints on preparation and the dish's culinary background. With over 375 pages of recipes, this could have been two or three books for most other authors.

Simple cooking is cook-friendly, with most recipes needing only a handful of ingredients. This assumes that you already have fresh herbs and spices, olive oil, butter, and flour. Toss out that grocery store-bought olive oil bottle, and flour, and buy some fresh, before you begin-your taste buds will thank you.

For Italian ingredients not readily available in all grocery stores, be it pheasant,wild game, goat, guanciale, lentils, cheeses, etc., there's a list of top quality suppliers in the back. His list of consulted cook books can be a guide to completing your Italian cookery library with well written classics.

Buy The Country Cooking of Italy so you can cook some wonderful savory and sweet dishes that easily look as attractive as the photos, and equally enjoy it as a great reading companion. And yes, this will be a great gift for that special friend or relative!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual Italian cookbook Nov. 22 2011
By P. Repetti - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have many Italian cookbooks. After reading a good amount of this latest tome from Colman Andrews, I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised that there's still a great deal of unmined culinary information from the foods of the ubiquitous Italy.
Besides the very accessible recipes, the photography is inspirational, atmospheric, and inspiring.
I'm planning on gifting this book to quite a few people this holiday!
19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars VERY LITTLE OF COLMAN ANDREWS Nov. 10 2011
By Elisavet Pasiali - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a nice, luxury, coffee table book and nothing more.
I've really been looking forward to Colman Andrews new book,which became a huge disappointment to me!
There is very little of Colman Andrews himself,his in-depth gastronomical knowledge about Italy,his prosa, his bright spirit! A book with laconic recipies,almost no stories,no special effort from the writer.I have a sence of a product which was forced to be created,to be published, to sell in right time(for Christmas presents).
If I wanted a book with good recipies I should choose one of Marzella Hazan.I was expecting much more
from the legentary founder and editor-in-chief of SAVEUR.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I find that this book has a great deal to offer Sept. 3 2012
By J. Mercik - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Seeing the other reviews posted here made me want to post my 2 cents worth. I usually shy away from cookbooks whose price I suspect is boosted up by lots of lavish food-photos and high grade paper. But there is so much useful (to me) info in this particular book that I find myself using it a lot these days. Here's why.

First off, there is nothing in "Country Cooking of Italy" that addresses so-called Italian-American cooking. This is Italian food. (Note: I was not born in Italy, so I am always in learning-mode when it comes to getting a some sort of understanding of Italian cuisine. I have been over there though, working for a brief time ... this book reminds me of that time) It comes down to the fact that a good regional cuisine invariably incorporates and exhibits the values of that region's culture. This really interests me ... and the photos, recipes, and commentary in this book all communicate a lot of information in that regard. It makes for better cooking, and for better understanding of what makes for a good meal, Italian style.

Next, I have to say that, in general, I don't think the recipes are difficult. One of the hallmarks of country cooking is simplicity. Granted, some of the ingredients are exotic (cardoons, for example, or Gó fish) and most of my friends avoid anchovies, so I end up avoiding anchovies... But that is what they eat over there sometimes, and I want to know that. This book actually covers a very wide range of food types in its recipes. The ingredients lists tend to be pretty short, and the preparation steps are usually (although occasionally not) well-described.

Finally, I've made several of these recipes and they all came out really well. For example, I've made three caponatas since I got the book .... all with little variations from the printed recipe due to what's in the house .... and according to all of the guests, they were all really savory & delicious. Never any leftovers, for sure.

In Summary: You might well find me reading this book at the coffee table but it's not a coffee table book, IMHO.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book July 20 2013
By LuAnn - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book---beautiful photo images, and many recipes I'm anxious to try.
It's a lug of a book to carry around though!
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