I hate to admit it but I was a little disappointed in this book and wish I would have gotten one of Lidia's other books instead. In this book she shares recipes and her daughter shares travel information. While I love her show on PBS, the recipes in this book will be too hard for me to make (get the ingredients). The travel information is okay but not spectacular enough to over come the fact that I can't make most of the recipes in the book.
Without a doubt, another fine labor of love and respect of Italian cooking from our Lidia. Knowing where to begin to describe this voluminous compilation of culinary joy is difficult, in that there is much to tell. Allow me to begin with its intention.
Lidia has covered 10 regions within the cultural offerings of her beloved Italy, and while she gives the reader a gastronomic tour, her lovely daughter, Tanya, gives the historical tour, which was an excellent melting of the two grand reasons to appreciate this culture. To be sure, Tanya has a Ph.D of Renaissance history from Oxford University, and you come away with a deeper appreciation of Italy and the recipes that her mother has offered.
This rather heavy book has superb photography of prepared dishes, ingredients in the raw, spectacular views of the Italian countryside, as well as some of the charming people that she has known along the way, and along the years. Perhaps this is something of a "family" album,...
This book features a culinary tour of Lidia's favorite spots in Italy, showcasing those area's regional specialties. Included also are a sampling of history and culture, and nice photographs, taking this book beyond mere cookbook to abbreviated cultural tour. Many of the recipies are uncomplicated and suitable for even a busy weeknight, and some others allow for advance prep. Because of that, this cookbook is practical. I love the way Lidia introduces us to the regions of Italy included, instead of just throwing a bunch of Italian recipes at us and calling it a day. The only way I think I could enjoy this volume more were if additional regions of Italy were covered, as I am now curious about their particular specialties. Lidia is a very down to earth, pleasant lady and her narrative is enjoyable both in her TV shows and in her books. This is my favorite of her books yet!
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