The Food Of Italy
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Claudia Roden travelled up and down Italy for a year, through every region, taking in city and countryside, to discover the local specialities on their home ground. She visited the kitchens of both professional and private cooks, watching them at work and listening to their stories. From simple and rustic to grand bravura, the recipes she collected and tested represent traditional regional dishes as they are cooked today in Italy, and as they can now be cooked in our own kitchens, with ease and delight. The food of the Italian regions - simple, unaffected but fresh and full of flavour - is the kind of food we all want to eat today.
Made up of over 300 recipes, Claudia Roden's timeless and enchanting book is set against a backdrop of the story of Italy and its people - 'a splendid history, geography and cooking lesson rolled into one'.
d’tomatiche, with tomatoes; mostarda d’uva, a fruit preserve made with grape must and mustard essence; and saussa d’avie, a mixture of honey, ground walnuts or almonds and a little broth, with a few drops of mustard essence. The bollito was preceded by rice with fonduta poured over, and followed by sliced fruit cooked in butter with sugar, then, finally, a Milanese panettone. The list continues with dishes for Carnival, Lent, Easter, Ascension and spring. Trattorias and restaurants still serve
(sometimes with cheese) and flavoured with orange, lemon, vanilla, saffron, orange flower or jasmine water, aniseed or honey. An unusual, bitter honey is made by bees that feed on the bitter red fruit of corbezzolo, or arbutus. Crowded in little towns and villages (once for protection from brigands), in tightly-knit clans of relatives (same last names are common), with a powerful communal spirit, isolated from their neighbours, with little outside contact and perpetual feuding, Sardinians have
piercing sunlight to illumine the labyrinth of streets; and in the Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque churches and splendid Renaissance villas, palaces and fortresses that dot the mountains. It is also present in the dishes. Only two Ligurian wines are widely known and available: the white Cinque Terre and the red Rossese di Dolceacqua. Both are light and fresh but highly alcoholic and go well with the local fish dishes. A fortified dessert wine is Sciacchetra. FOCACCIA SERVES 8 OR MORE About
have the most. This creamy paste of salt cod and olive oil spooned over fresh or grilled polenta (here) or crostini, is a favourite appetiser in the bàcari (bars) and eateries of Venice where antipasti are called cicchètti. Ask your provider of salt cod how long you need to soak and desalt it, as that varies, and if at all. It needs to be soaked in cold water for between 12 hours to 2 days depending on the strength of the cure (stockfish, which is preferred in Venice takes even longer to
ready-made, and – grandest of all – with a rich grating of truffles. Bakeries sell tozzetti and ciambelloni, biscuits to dip into sweet wine. Pastries, many of them of Longobard and German origin (the old nobility was of Frank origin, from the time of Charlemagne, and Longobard) and some of which go as far back as the Etruscans, are reserved for festive occasions. Every feast has its speciality. Christmas has pinocchiatte, which are biscuits with pine nuts, and sweet tagliatelle with sugar,