Monday, November 30, 2009

Review this book, if you dare. Hernia prevention and weight-loss program advised.

In the past, I've written reviews of memoirs and novels, writing craft books, and even a history of Olympic equestrian sports. Not, however, of cookbooks. But this past July, when an editor asked if I was interested in reviewing a "major new Italian cookbook," I said yes faster than I do to most assignments. Hey, I love to cook, and I cook pretty well. I have shelves of cookbooks and know more about Top Chef than is entirely appropriate. I cook a lot of Italian food. Heck, I am Italian. How hard could it be?

I had no idea the book would turn out to be a 980-page, five-pound, 50-years in the making tome from the high lords of Italian cuisine. My review of La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy is in the current issue of Foreword magazine. It begins like this:

In New Jersey, where the Turnpike vertically dissects the state, one asks “Which exit?” to pinpoint where someone lives; in Italy, knowing if one puts raisins or pignoli nuts in meatballs will do the same. In Italy, it’s all about the regions—and no two cook alike...
You can read the rest here. Mangia!

1 comment: said...

Ooooo! What a great start to the review. You are so clever!