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Cucina Di Calabria: Treasured Recipes and Family Traditions from Southern Italy

November 2, 2010 · Posted in Bestselling Cooking Books 


Product Description
For centuries, Calabrian food has remained relatively undiscovered because few recipes were divulged beyond tightly knit villages or even family circles, but Mary Amabile Palmer has gathered a comprehensive collection of exciting, robust recipes from the home of her ancestors. Cucina di Calabria is a celebration of the cuisine she knows intimately and loves, a cuisine that is more adventurous and creative than that of most other parts of Italy. Nearly 200 recipes of… More >>

Cucina Di Calabria: Treasured Recipes and Family Traditions from Southern Italy

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5 Responses to “Cucina Di Calabria: Treasured Recipes and Family Traditions from Southern Italy”

  1. Richmass@aol.com on November 2nd, 2010 8:08 am

    This book was added to our collection about 2 months ago and it has rapidly become our favorite cook book. The recipes are very easy to follow and the ingredients readily available. It has been like dining at a Trattoria with every meal. Even the addition of a side dish complements other main courses. I strongly recommend this as part of your library or as a gift.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Donna Di Giacomo on November 2nd, 2010 10:01 am

    Even with the knowledge that the author is a first-generation Italian-American (or, more accurately, Calabrian-American), I’m used to these cookbooks proclaiming to contain authentic recipes and they turn out to be nothing more than Italian cuisine that’s been completely Americanized (Giada De Laurentiis is one example).

    Not so with “Cucina di Calabria.”

    I was very happy that the author took the time to authenticate American Italian recipes (which, unfortunately but not surprisingly, have been completely Americanized in many cases) and that she tasted and tested the recipes she got from the always gracious people of Calabria. Her efforts paid off in the final product and I’m proud that, finally, a cookbook of the wonderful cuisine that is Calabria’s is available to the cooking public in the English language.

    While Palmer did an outstanding job with this book, it’s important to know that there is no such thing as *the* definitive Italian cookbook. Many people (sadly, American Italians most of all) don’t realize that Italy has never been a truly united country since Roman times (and even then it was splintered). The North has a heavy French, Slavic, and German influence (among others) that’s prevalent in their cooking (polenta, butter, cream, lard, and the like are staples of Northern Italian cooking) while the South has a heavy Greek, Albanian, and Middle Eastern influence in their cooking style (olive oil, peppers, spaghetti, pizza, etc.). Despite all that, though, the author did one hell of a job in compiling a cookbook that, as it stands now, is the bible for Calabrese cooking.

    It also helps to take the time to read the detailed history of Calabria she included in the beginning of the book. I’m grateful for the fact that she didn’t overlook the Greek and Albanian influences that are prevalent in Calabria to this day and also included the fact that there is a strong Middle Eastern influence in Calabrian food. And I’m glad someone had the nerve to call it like it is with the prejudice that Northern Italians have against their own people in Southern Italy. Not a lot of people would admit to that but it’s very true.

    I couldn’t have said it any better when Palmer said that Calabrian cuisine took the best of the people who invaded the land over the centuries and made it their own. (And an enthusiastic thumbs up for including two recipes she got from one of my ancestors’ towns – Luzzi, in the province of Cosenza!).

    I highly recommend this book for its authenticity and downright delicious and easy to prepare food that will result.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Mary J. Berger on November 2nd, 2010 12:16 pm

    I can still see my mother rolling the dough out on the specially covered tabletop. I knew that whatever she was creating it would be delicious! This book brought back to life the recipes that my mother used for our daily as well as festive meals, ala Calabrese. Here are the recipes that seem to be the basics for Calabrian food preparations. They follow the simple rules for maintenance of nutrition, satisfaction of anyone’s hunger pangs, and easy to follow preparation directions. Ms. Palmer’s recipe for ‘Petrali’ brought back so many warm memories of Easter, Christmas, and New Year celebrations that took place in our home. The ‘Bistecca alla Pizzaiola’ recipe was one of our family favorites. We always skillfully sopped up the flavorful tomato sauce as we ate the fork tender meat, always leaving a clean plate. This cook book is not only recipes, but a history of the Calabrian people. A story of who they are, where they came from, who influenced them to become what they are today, a wonderfully resourceful people from the toe of the Italian boot.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Avid Reader on November 2nd, 2010 2:05 pm

    I received this book in the mail just the other day and I have stayed up late nights reading it. I just love it. My father who was orphaned by 11 years old used to talk about his mother’s wonderful cooking. He especially remembered a type of roll that had an anchovy in it that would melt in your mouth. Lo and behold there was the recipe (zeppole). How I wish he was still with us so that I could make it for him. I recognize many of the dishes I vaguely remember as a child and can’t wait to try them. I also very much enjoyed the essays about Calabria. I have many cookbooks but this is my favorite.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. Anonymous on November 2nd, 2010 3:06 pm

    My mother – who hails from Calabria — is this book’s biggest fan. She is normally suspicious of attempts to capture the richness of the complete culture (historical, culinary, story-telling) of southern Italy, many of which attempts come off as spaghetti-and-meatball tours of a complex place. Amabile Palmer has achieved a consummate tribute to Calabria. The book makes for beautiful reading and cooking, a great present.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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