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Note: This edition of The Italian Cookbook has been updated to include Metric equivalents.
Contrary to popular belief, Italy is the mother of continental European cookery. Dating back to the ancient Romans, Italy’s fame in the culinary field came long before that of France. Although French cookery has taken on its own characteristics, it grew to some degree directly out of the Italian.
Italian dishes are purely traditional and have been influenced very little by the cultures of other countries. Many popular foods such as vegetables, salad greens and wines were used in the days of Nero in much the same way as in present-day Italy.
The bases of the most colorful Italian dishes are tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. Yet, foods in Italy are as diversified as they are traditional. It is not at all unusual to find an Italian who likes neither tomato sauce nor garlic—he probably has his spaghetti with a butter and cheese sauce and prefers Melon and Prosciutto to an ordinary antipasto course.
From the Alps to Sicily—from the rice and polenta-eating North to the tomato-loving South—these recipes are designed to bring a cross-section of Italian cookery right to the door of the American kitchen.
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