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Jul 19, 2012 10:06 AM

The Silver Spoon New Edition opinions?

Hi all! First post here, just joined chowhound though I've read many discussions before.

So, here's the thing: I'm currently looking for a good cookbook on Italian cuisine. I want something quite comprehensive and authentic. (I like more modernist, non-traditional things and making stuff up as well but that's not what I'm looking fo right now)

One of the books that obviously came to my attention was the Silver Spoon by Phaidon but I've read a lot of bad stuff about it, regarding wrong measurements and untested recipes as well as non-sensical, badly translated instructions.

However, it soon came to my attention that Phaidon has released a new, updated version, in late 2011 and I was wondering, how is it?
Did the issues get fixed? Is it comprehensive like I want? What kind of non-recipe info does it include?
Also, how does it compare to Culinaria Italy, considering I've heard some very good things about the Culinaria series?

Feel free to give other suggestions regarding which book to buy :)

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  1. Nobody has any opinions whatsoever? Nor recommendations?

    1. I have the Silver Spoon but never - absolutely never - use it. Don't know why. It seemed like a good idea when I bought it but somehow just doesn't have any appeal when it comes time to cook something. Instead of either of those books, I'd recommend Marcella Hazan's Italian Cooking (is it called Classic Italian Cooking? I can't remember - the big one, anyway) OR almost anything by Mario Batali - especially Molto Italiano. Batali isn't as comprehensive as Hazan but the recipes are good and stick pretty close to the Italian roots.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve

        Thank you, I'll keep note of those books.
        Mind telling me what do you think about Culinaria italy? And what may make Italy cooking by Marcella Hazan better?

        1. re: Migas

          Now I know I am completely off my rocker. About an hour ago I replied that I didn't know the Culinaria book so couldn't comment on it. Then I went downstairs and - bingo - it's on my bookshelf. It's a beautiful book and I bought it because it was so beautiful but honestly I'm not sure I've ever cooked from it. It looks good for ingredients and for some photos of technique. But for sheer down and dirty recipes I still trust Marcella. And, as I said before I edited my reply, I really enjoy disobeying Marcella's very strict instructions when I want to do things differently. It's like cooking with your mom, if your mom were Italian. Mine was Hungarian and I could never never meet her standards of pickiness. I see Marcella like that. And, as I also said, I really like Mario Batali's recipes and the way he writes them. They're pretty trustworthy and seem authentic - and when they're not authentic he tends to say so.

          1. re: Nyleve

            LOL no problem. I'll add those to my cookbook wish list :)
            But since you have it, mind telling me about how many recipes the Culinaria books have? I also like to read about the food culture of a country so I like books that are more than just recipes, but I also don't want a book with too little recipes!