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Sunday, June 26, 2011

cookbook review: A Tuscan-American Kitchen by Cassandra Vivian and Vivian Pelini Sansone

Authors: Cassandra Vivian & Vivian Pelini Sansone
Publisher: Pelican
Soft Cover : 416 Pages
Photos: No...but there are illustrations

Chapters/Sections: Introduction, Tuscan Country Cooking, The Immigrant Year, Shopping all'Italiana, Our Italian Kitchen, Appetizers, Beverages, Breads, Schiaccate, and Pizzas, Desserts, Fish and Game, Meat: Beef, Meat: Lamb and Veal, Meat: Pork, Omelets, Eggs, and Egg Tortes, Pasta Poultry, Rice, Salads, Snacks, and Sandwiches, Sauces, Soups, Vegetables, Grand Mixed Fry

Unique or Cool Features:  The whole first part of this book is fascinating reading!  Before you even flip through the numerous pages of recipes, you'll find an Introduction (seriously, it's interesting enough to merit a mention), The Immigrant Year, Shoppinng all'Italiana, and Our Italian Kitchen.  Combined, they make up a total of 70 fact-filled, history-laden good reading.  While I think so many recipes are sound fabulous, I'd buy it just to read this primer.

(a few of the) Recipes Destined for my Kitchen:  Schiacciate con Uva, Chestnut Cake w/ Rosemary & Pinenuts, Halibut Steak w/ Anchovy Sauce,  Braciole Arrotolate con Ripieno, Pork Chops w/ White Beans, Homemade Salami, Savory Prosciutto and Ricotta Pie, Chickpea Soup w/ Egg Noodles

My Thoughts/Review:  Not only is this a jam-packed is also a fantastic guide.  There are no color photos, but since I look at this as sort of a handbook/workbook, I don't think this detracts from the glory of this book.  It does have wonderfully drawn illustrations when something needs a visual accompaniment, though.  Originally published in 1993 and titled Immigrant's Kitchen: Italian, it has been updated to compliment the new American pantry and cooking methods.  Distinctions have been noted throughout the book as to whether a recipe is Tuscan or from a different Italian region.  A great addition to any Italiaphile's, food-lover's, bookworm's, or cook's bookshelf.
My copy is bursting with bookmarks and wonderful illustrations
 *I received a free copy of this book to review from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.
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  1. Excellent choice! The Tuscan cuisine is one of the best in Italy. Hello, Laura

  2. You will kill my budget! I have to have this book! Do you think if I begged the publisher they'd send me one?!!

    Seriously, great review, great!! If you love Italian food this is a gotta have...I can see that now!

  3. I'll try to search out the book. Books like this can be hard to find in my smallish community. You've made it sound like a culinary adventure that's well worth the time it takes to read. Have a great day, Heather. Blessings...Mary

  4. I never feel like i have too many Italian cookbooks but this sounds like one I need more than all others! A great read with great recipes as well is hard to find.