Monday, 8 July 2013

Cicchetti, the italian cookery book you have all been waiting for.

co authored by Lindy Wildsmith and Valentina Harris
the cookbook that a lot of people have been waiting for.
Available at all good bookshops and Amazon as of the 15th August 2013

The sales of this book must be going through the roof, as of today, July 8th 2013 there are only 18 copies left on Amazon, and it has yet to be officially published. there is also a note saying that more are on the way, so don't worry, just click on the above link to order your one.

This book is written by two people, firstly there is  Lindy Wildsmith who brought us the definitive guide on curing meat in the book, cleverly entitled,"Cured" and Valentina Harris who anyone with a slight interest in food will have heard about due in part to her infectious knowledge about Italian food. 

So here we have a marriage of like minds and the issue from the partnership is truly one of the best food books I have seen in a while. There is something very homely about the writing and the food, giving a feel of achievability, something a look of cookery books don't seem to care about. With this one if you are unable to make everything in it then really perhaps cooking really isn't for you. Just sit back and enjoy the endeavours of others . As the whole point of Chicchetti is to have just a small amount, there is, as you would imagine rather a lot to choose from. Cleverly broken down into regions of the country you get to choose from everything not just from the region that owns the name Cicchetti. Everyone will have their favourites, I know I do already but I will be also making some of the ones I am not too sure about, that is the great thing about this book, you don't have to make a vast quantity to see what its like. Genius idea.

There is at the start of the book a step by step guide on the ways to fry and the use of polenta in recipes and a whole raft of useful tips that will make the preparation that much easier if you are not altogether used to the terminology of Italian cookery. In fact, the book is peppered with nuggets of stories that make it a good read as well. Also  the names of the dishes make so much more sense when they have been translated for you, as in Agnello a scottadito literally meaning "burn your fingers" so the cutlets have to be piping hot and eaten with the fingers, the book is full of such gems.

I once spent the whole summer in Italy, way down south below Naples and this book has brought back so many memories of my time there and reminded me of the amazing food and hospitality of the people of the region. There was not one day that I didnt have something like this to eat

Where possible, use food that you have grown yourself as it adds to the pride you have in offering your food to friends, just knowing that you have delivered, literally from field to plate makes a huge difference, and the flavour is usually in a class of its own too.

These two make a great partnership and hopefully there will be more coming from them in the future as they have nbeen able to produce a book of note. its the sort of book you should buy two copies of one for yourself and another for a really good friend so you can share the love of the food.

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