cookbook review… jamie’s italy
i love cookbooks! i could stand in a bookstore for hours looking through them! for me they have to have pictures – clearly my inner 5 year old want to have pictures tell me the story! someday i would love to have a store dedicated to beautiful cookbooks… in the meantime however, i will continue to collect them so i can spread them out over the coffee table-couch-floor-kitchen-desk, wherever and immerse myself in the stories they tell! in honor of my love of cookbooks, i thought i would start reviewing them on the blog so that the masses can experience the same gorgeous books i discover!
the first book i am reviewing if one of my all-time favs (as is evident by the wavy, and smudged pages)! i have long been a fan of jamie oliver and his passion for food. his book on all things italian is amazing! it showcases my favorite kind of italian – rustic italian. it is clear he had an epic adventure traveling across all parts of italy immersing himself in its eclectic culture. the other thing that makes me love this book so much is my own personal obsession with italian food and culture! it is the simplicity and focus on beautiful, fresh ingredients that makes italian food so impeccable. something jamie said in his introduction sums it up perfectly,
“…like all italians, i love my family for better or for worse and becasue food has been something i’ve grown up around. if you are at the market and you ask the fruit man if you can taste one of his beautiful grapes, he will immediately recognize you as someone who cares and will give you respect… i wanted to find the food of the “real” italy – not the place that conjures up images of olive groves and lemons – and to celebrate the recipes from the people i met along the way, from fishermen to family bakers, from the street full of mamas making fresh pasta to all those taking part in the local pasta competition in the town square.”
it is no secret that italians love to eat. i remember the first time i went to italy when i was 13 – my family went to visit our neighbors at their vacation home in asti, italy. when we arrived at the house, everyone was next store getting the afternoon-dinner started. the first course was pasta with lemon juice and red pepper flakes, which was followed by a salad, then brick-oven fired pizza that was made in their back yard in their homemade brick oven. i’m pretty sure their was a course of meat somewhere in there, all followed by some sort of amazing pudding tort. and although i wasn’t near old enough to partake, the wine was flowing all night long, made from grapes grown in the back yard.
jamie stayed true to this tradition in his book, jamie’s italy. he included everything from bruschettes in the antipasti section, street food and pizza, soups, pastas, risottos, salads, fish, meat, sides, and desserts! all the recipes in the book were written while jamie was still on his italian journey so that he could maintain the authenticity of the food, the people and the culture. and i must say, i honestly don’t think an italian could have done any better themselves! tutto bene jamie!