I am a passionate collector of Phaidon cookbooks (www.phaidon.com) and I am starting on a journey of sharing these with you. The first one I have chosen is the lusciously illustrated Tuscany. This cookbook originates from II cuuhiaio d’argento Cucina Regionale, first published in 2008, and from II cucciaio d’argento first published in 1950 (8th edition).
The best way to introduce this book to you is to quote from the book itself: Tuscany is the birthplace of Italian cuisine as we know it today, and is renowned the world over for its simple and delicious food. Tuscany the cookbook contains authentic regional recipes, as well as local food traditions, producers, classic wines and specialty shops, from the mountains of Massa-Carrara in the north, to Florence and Siena, and the woodlands of Grosseto in the north…”
Tuscany is therefore more than just a recipe book. It is a book to read from cover to cover and I encourage you to do just that before you even begin to cook the beautiful food that this book allows you to try. By reading Tuscany as you would any other book you get to immerse yourself into the regions represented here – you get to know the ‘why’of the food, the regional differences and why these traditional cooking is so important. I have read many books on Tuscany but by reading Tuscany I learnt so much more and I felt that part of belonged there – everything in the book spoke to me and I felt very inspired to get back to the simple and delicious food that you will find between the covers of this book. There are 10 chapters covering 10 regions, a two-page list of food festivals and a comprehensive index. The photography by Edward Park is sensational.
I think the best way to truly enjoy what Tuscany represents is to set aside a time for a Tuscan feast. Grab some tables & chairs. invite heaps of your friends and take a recipe from each of the regions (maybe less depending on the numbers you have coming) and start cooking. Ensure that you are cooking when you guests are there and get them involved. Then sit down and enjoy a traditional Italian style sharing of food, laughter, wine and pure enjoyment.
This is truly a cookbook to savour in more ways than one. It will take you on a ‘journey’ from which you will never return and I promise you, it is a journey you will never, ever regret taking. Even if you don’t particularly like to cook, buy a copy and leave on your coffee table – once you pick it up and start to read it, I guarantee you will be inspired to try the simple, easy to follow recipes.
I will be sharing a couple of recipes from the book with you to give you a ‘taste’ of what you can make….. so stay tuned!!
Tuscany can be purchased direct from Phaidon Press – www.phaidon.com and is also available from Booktopia – www.booktopia.com.au