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Elizabeth David's Italian Food was one of the first books to demonstrate the enormous range of Italy's regional cooking. For the foods of Italy, explained David, expanded far beyond minestrone and ravioli, to the complex traditions of Tuscany, Sicily, Lombardy, Umbria, and many other regions. David imparts her knowledge from her many years in Italy, exploring, researching, Elizabeth David's Italian Food was one of the first books to demonstrate the enormous range of Italy's regional cooking. For the foods of Italy, explained David, expanded far beyond minestrone and ravioli, to the complex traditions of Tuscany, Sicily, Lombardy, Umbria, and many other regions. David imparts her knowledge from her many years in Italy, exploring, researching, tasting and testing dishes. Her passion for real food, luscious, hearty, fresh, and totally authentic, will inspire anyone who wishes to recreate the abundant and highly unique regional dishes of Italy.


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Elizabeth David's Italian Food was one of the first books to demonstrate the enormous range of Italy's regional cooking. For the foods of Italy, explained David, expanded far beyond minestrone and ravioli, to the complex traditions of Tuscany, Sicily, Lombardy, Umbria, and many other regions. David imparts her knowledge from her many years in Italy, exploring, researching, Elizabeth David's Italian Food was one of the first books to demonstrate the enormous range of Italy's regional cooking. For the foods of Italy, explained David, expanded far beyond minestrone and ravioli, to the complex traditions of Tuscany, Sicily, Lombardy, Umbria, and many other regions. David imparts her knowledge from her many years in Italy, exploring, researching, tasting and testing dishes. Her passion for real food, luscious, hearty, fresh, and totally authentic, will inspire anyone who wishes to recreate the abundant and highly unique regional dishes of Italy.

30 review for Italian Food

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Italian Food, Elizabeth David Elizabeth David's Italian Food was one of the first books to demonstrate the enormous range of Italy's regional cooking. For the foods of Italy, explained David, expanded far beyond minestrone and ravioli, to the complex traditions of Tuscany, Sicily, Lombardy, Umbria, and many other regions. David imparts her knowledge from her many years in Italy, exploring, researching, tasting and testing dishes. Her passion for real food, luscious, hearty, fresh, and totally aut Italian Food, Elizabeth David Elizabeth David's Italian Food was one of the first books to demonstrate the enormous range of Italy's regional cooking. For the foods of Italy, explained David, expanded far beyond minestrone and ravioli, to the complex traditions of Tuscany, Sicily, Lombardy, Umbria, and many other regions. David imparts her knowledge from her many years in Italy, exploring, researching, tasting and testing dishes. Her passion for real food, luscious, hearty, fresh, and totally authentic, will inspire anyone who wishes to recreate the abundant and highly unique regional dishes of Italy. When she began writing in the 1950's, the British scarcely noticed what was on their plates at all, which was perhaps just as well. Her books and articles persuaded her readers that food was one of life's great pleasures, and that cooking should not be a drudgery but an exciting and creative act. In doing so she inspired a whole generation not only to cook, but to think about food in an entirely different way. Italian Food, originally published: 1954. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه اکتبر سال 2010 میلادی عنوان: غذاهای ایتالیایی؛ نویسنده: الیزابت دیوید؛ ایشان کتاب آشپزی فرانسوی را نیز در سال 1959میلادی چاپ کرده اند ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    Maybe I was Italian in a past, past life. Reading this book made me yearn for those magical few days in Italy, eating outside, drinking cheap wine, and eating fresh, simply prepared food. A lot of criticism for this book is that the recipes aren't very detailed. As one who never follows recipes and rather takes them as "suggestions," the book was perfect for me. I like that David doesn't dumb down the recipes for readers and already assumes some knowledge of cooking and general kitchen skills. Th Maybe I was Italian in a past, past life. Reading this book made me yearn for those magical few days in Italy, eating outside, drinking cheap wine, and eating fresh, simply prepared food. A lot of criticism for this book is that the recipes aren't very detailed. As one who never follows recipes and rather takes them as "suggestions," the book was perfect for me. I like that David doesn't dumb down the recipes for readers and already assumes some knowledge of cooking and general kitchen skills. The "recipes" are more like small nuggets of ideas that can be used to spark creativity in the kitchen. The book was also pretty funny in how anti-French it was. David clearly sees a bias towards French cooking from her research and on her trips to the boot-shaped country. It was also good to keep in-mind the different time in which she wrote this book. I guess England was not as international-food friendly back then. Disclaimer: I skipped the section of the book about land meat and game, because I don't usually cook or eat those animals anymore.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    A wonderful long weekend with a well-read, well-traveled, charming, engaging friend reminiscing about our times together eating our way through Italy. That is how I felt about this book. I am going to try several of the recipes and read several of her recommended books,, but mostly I loved this for its ability to transport me to to Italy and England in her care.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark Palmieri

    I guess the reviews I read on Amazon were wrong. I bought this book b/c I am spending a month in Italy in the near future and wanted a book on the history of italian cooking (ex: where pesto comes from and why it started; knowing why rice was big in northern italy but not the south; the stories behind the sauces and dishes, not the recipes themselves). So, I was a bit disappointed...however, in her own right, David does tell a few anecdotal stories that will help (ex: in her opinion, Venice has I guess the reviews I read on Amazon were wrong. I bought this book b/c I am spending a month in Italy in the near future and wanted a book on the history of italian cooking (ex: where pesto comes from and why it started; knowing why rice was big in northern italy but not the south; the stories behind the sauces and dishes, not the recipes themselves). So, I was a bit disappointed...however, in her own right, David does tell a few anecdotal stories that will help (ex: in her opinion, Venice has the best food market in all of Italy, but you need to get up pretty early to see the action). I do plan to keep this book and use it for many recipes. On that level, it's 4 stars. The authenticity in the recipes is fantastic. Sure, she doesn't give measurements, but she explains early in the book that traditional Italian cooks all had different ways to measure the same recipes, so there was no real point in taking away from the authentic style of Italian cooking. It helps to understand the food culture of Italy a bit more. They used what they had available. A coffee cup doubles as a flour measurement and so on. I'm still on the lookout for that book that will take me through Italy and explain, not just how, but why Ragu started in Bologna, how melanzane parmigiana came to life in Sicily, etc. etc. So if anyone knows what book that is, please let me know.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Robin Piggott

    I have owned this book since it first came out in paperback in 1965. I have to confess have not read it from cover to cover as I do these days.The Pizza Napoletana is one of my favourites. The book was first written in 1954 so many of its pages will be a little outdated now although I am sure there have been more recent revisions David is still one of the greatest food writers of her generation and her books inspired me to break out and make the preparation of food a fun occupation and not a chor I have owned this book since it first came out in paperback in 1965. I have to confess have not read it from cover to cover as I do these days.The Pizza Napoletana is one of my favourites. The book was first written in 1954 so many of its pages will be a little outdated now although I am sure there have been more recent revisions David is still one of the greatest food writers of her generation and her books inspired me to break out and make the preparation of food a fun occupation and not a chore. I think, despite it's age you'll get plenty of enjoyment from it,

  6. 5 out of 5

    erik

    If you care about food, hunger for authenticity and context, and you're not afraid of a little ambiguity, you owe it to yourself to read Elizabeth David's Italian Food and French Provincal Cooking. Elizabeth David's books, along with Richard Olney's Simple French Food, were the inspirations behind Chez Panisse and indirectly helped to spark America's interest in what it puts in its mouth.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter John

    The best

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    What a fascinating look at how far we have come since the 1950s when Elizabeth David wrote this book and meat was still rationed in England. In the section in "The Italian Store Cupboard" about brodo (stock), she writes that she sometimes "had no alternative but to use the then recently introduced Swiss bouillon cubes. In those days they seemed quite acceptable. Now (1987) I don't find them so. They appear to taste predominantly of salt and monosodium glutamate". From 1966 to 1970, the import in What a fascinating look at how far we have come since the 1950s when Elizabeth David wrote this book and meat was still rationed in England. In the section in "The Italian Store Cupboard" about brodo (stock), she writes that she sometimes "had no alternative but to use the then recently introduced Swiss bouillon cubes. In those days they seemed quite acceptable. Now (1987) I don't find them so. They appear to taste predominantly of salt and monosodium glutamate". From 1966 to 1970, the import into this country of Italian cured but uncooked pork products such as Parma ham, salame sausages and coppa, was banned owing to repeated outbreaks of African swine fever in Italy.       In April 1970 the ban was at last lifted, and, at the time of going to press with this edition, genuine Parma ham and Italian salame are once more to be found in English shops and restaurants. [The Italian Store Cupboard] It's amazing to see the note on the recipe for Lasagne Verde al Forno (Baked Green Lasagne) cautioning readers to "beware of those English-made green noodles that are artificially coloured. The colour comes out in the water when you cook them" Italians are inordinately fond of rosemary. [...] [F]illets of pork are most exquisitely tied up ready for roasting, adorned, almost embroidered, with rosemary. They overdo it, to my way of thinking. Rosemary has great charm as a plant but in cookery is a treacherous herb. The oil which comes from the leaves is very powerful and can kill the taste of any meat. Finding those spiky little leaves in one's mouth is not very agreeable, either. Dried, it loses some of its strength, but should still be treated with caution. [the Italian store cupboard] ~ ~ ~ How much cheese is a handful? How much more or less is a cupful? What is the capacity of a glass, a tumbler, a soup ladle? How much is a pinch? How much greater is a good pinch? In the Introduction to this edition I have referred to the rather rough-and-ready methods by which Italian cooks tend to measure their ingredients. To a certain extent all household cooks everywhere use such methods. (In the Middle East, I remember, an English round fifty cigarette tin was a common kitchen measuring unit; simply as "a tin" of this or that ingredient I have come across this unit in published recipes, to me obviously authentic, but baffling to anyone not familiar with kitchen procedure in the countries concerned.) [Kitchen Equipment] ~ ~ ~ Italian cookery should provide plenty of ideas in this respect [of flavouring], and slavish adherence to the book is not necessary for the recipes which follow. [Soups] Oddly, salt and pepper are often missing from the ingredients lists, but appear in the instructions for the dishes. This omission occurs throughout several of the soup recipes. (I confess I stopped noticing with subsequent recipes.) In spite of this oddness, the book is a wonderful resource of zillions of authentic Italian recipes. ++++++++++++++++++++++ It took me ages to finish reading this book because when I started reading a library e-version copy in January 2018, the e-copy expired and wasn't renewed by the library until late in 2019. (The library does have a hard copy of the book but it isn't as easy to read late at night because the print is quite small.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    It is still a delight to read Elizabeth David. This book first published in 1954 still works, surprisingly, as a great introduction into genuine Italian cooking, but has become an interesting piece of British culinary history. How the food scene has changed over the last sixty years… At least in Britain, less so in Italy. And then there is Mrs David's language. It is beautiful, elegant, precise. And often amusing, in a very British, understated kind of way.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Misa

    Fantastic recipes done in the original ways

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shane C

    food italian is very delicious like this book!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Clío

    A must-have for those interested in reading about early Italian cooking. What a terrible shame that Renato Guttuso's original drawings for this book have been banned from inclusion. It's worth reading "Midnight in Sicily" for additional background information on this.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shirley

    Lovely, historical and so interesting. Worth owning so I can go back and re-read parts. I love the fact her "voice" comes through so clearly in her writing. The version I have also has her 1962 "update" so fun to see where she disagrees with her earlier self.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is a classic book on traditional Italian cooking, worth reading for its introductions as much as the actual recipes. I won't cook most of the recipes (feral pig bbq, anyone?) but did copy down a few.

  15. 5 out of 5

    K.

    "Orioli also describes seeing a woman at Genazzano in Calabria at the public fountain, washing what appeared to be a large white fur or woollen blanket; it was an entire ox tripe, and she was bashing it against the marble basin of the fountain."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Avis Black

    Elizabeth David has long had the reputation as a good literary stylist, but I've never found her readable. Her prose suffers from the two great flaws of the artistic personality, namely fuzzy-headed thinking and too much free-associating.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    A classic. My copy is a well-thumbed treasure which I have used for over 25 years, although I now know the some of the recipes by heart. Chicken Risotto is very special.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Again not just a cookbook, a good read. ( perhaps with a glass of wine, some olives, a few..... )

  19. 5 out of 5

    Al Maki

    There are a number of Italian cook books I use more than this one but it has some interesting recipes. Her Veronese mushroom sauce is a favourite of mine I've never seen elsewhere.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Frank O'connor

    This book is about the truth of Italian cooking verses the fictions of the nineteen fifties and sixties. It a fascinating historical object and David has a strong voice.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barry Lillie

    One of the first books on Italian cooking, and still one of the best. The seminal work of this genre. Still relevant 60 years on.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karen Stone

    essential

  23. 4 out of 5

    Frank O'connor

    This book is about the truth of Italian cooking verses the fictions of the nineteen fifties and sixties. It a fascinating historical object and David has a strong voice.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    This was one of the books that started me on my love of cooking. It brought back memories of childhood journeys through Italy, and influenced my way of cooking for well on 40 years.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Timeless classic. I'll never stop reading it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    A fantastic book of Italian cooking--simple recipes that will teach you to use your senses when you're cooking, and not measuring cups and spoons.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christine Dyck

    My favourite cook book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Uber Dove

    Don't read on empty belly.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Yara

    If you are wanting to learn about and cook Italian food; this is the book you need. It's much more than a 'cookbook'. A classic, must-have book for any foodie. 5* without hesitation.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joy

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