The Silver Spoon cookbook?
- zitronenmadchen Sep 1, 2009 12:16 PM
Is it worth buying? Reviews online seem to be evenly split between "This is the worst cook book ever written" and "This is wonderful cook book!" There don't seem to be any middle of the road reviews, so I was wondering if anyone here has it and could recommend it, or not. Thanks!
I love it.
It came recommended as "The Italian Joy of Cooking".
Have made several recipes, including the coffee gelato.
In my estimation, the recipes are written concisely and are well-organized.
It's also one of those cooking "tomes" that inspires. Thumbing through it REALLY makes you want to choose a recipe and thrill those around you.
Take a look at www.alibris.com and you make find a discounted iteration.
I'd heard about this for years and bought it as soon as it was published in English in the UK a couple of years back. Apart from my Antonio Carluccio books, it's my next favourite Italian cookbook.
When you read it, you realise that this isnt just a recipe book of Italian classics but is written as a general cookbook for Italians - so it has a number of what would be to them "foreign dishes" - or, at least, dishes with a "foreign" spin to them.
I'd love to know some Chowhound recipe favorites too.
I bought it also - couldn't resist "the Italian version of Joy of Cooking"!, but have never cooked from it either. I think I've nominated it a couple of times for COTM, just to have an excuse. Hmmm...I think I'll look through it tonight and maybe try something for dinner (with 2000 recipes, I'm sure I'll find something!)
I think it would depend on where you are with your cooking abilities. I think its brilliantly written in a fun cutesy girly kinda way. I can remember I just ate that stuff up when I was younger and learning how to really cook. I would consider what I think is a "cozy style", meaning for me, it's quite comfortable to dip into either of the two books and try the recipes out.
But reality is,that along with the cute notes, how to do it suggestion and etc., both books offer many good recipes for; sauces, bbq sauces, dips, salads, appetizer, dinner menus baked items, fancy pastries, jams, baked homestyle dishes, recipe from around the world. Pizza, some good Italian recipes, lots of chicken recipes, cookies and pies, desserts in general. I have both books, I still enjoy reading them. Plenty of good recipes, I hate that when cookbooks give us only a few that are worth cooking.
Not every meal that I want to cook has to be a Julia Child, French Laundry, or fill in the blank for your favorite chef meal. But both, SPand the GT (the books I own) are worthwhile additions to any cookbook collection.
The important thing to understand about the Silver Spoon is that it assumes you already have reasonably strong command of the fundamentals of both general and Italian cooking concepts. It's very, very tersely written, each recipe consisting of just a list of ingredients, and only very basic cooking steps, as opposed to something with any sort of detailed instructions. It's almost a mirror image of a detailed book like Mastering the Art of French Cooking, both in the way it's written, and to a degree, in terms of intended audience.
If you don't already know how to get the right consistency to your raw pasta dough, or how to parboil and shock vegetables properly before sauteing, or how to tell when a roast is ready to come out of the oven, then realistically, there are many other Italian cookbooks that would be much better fits for you. On the other hand, if you have a reasonably strong home cook's practical knowledge of Italian cooking concepts, the book may well become your go-to reference for most any basic recipe you might find in any kitchen across the regions of Italy.
Page through the book at a bookstore; if you can visualize how the recipes fit together, you'll do fine.
I've had this cookbook for a few years, and truthfully I still haven't made anything from it. It's so big that every time I've looked through it, I've gotten overwhelmed. The number of risotto variations alone was mind-boggling to me. I liked it enough to hang on to it, but I can't figure out where to start!
Does your local library have it? It might be one of those that you browse through a bit before you decide if it's worth buying.
I find it useful in the way I find Larousse useful: it's encyclopedic; it's a great refernce book. If you can't find a recipe in some other book or you want to see a range of variations, it's very useful.
So I'd say, yes, it's an excellent addition to a cookbook library (she says after having given it as a gift to a couple of culinary comrades).
I think you should buy it and we all should. I just read that Sheila Lukins died ! I couldn't believe my eyes but here is the beginning of the article.
NEW YORK (AP) - Sheila Lukins, the store owner and cookbook author who helped change how America eats, has died. She was 66.
Lukins died Sunday at her Manhattan home, according to longtime colleague Laurie Griffith. She had been diagnosed with brain cancer three months ago.