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Gastronomy of Italy by Anna Del Conte
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Gastronomy of Italy

by Anna Del Conte

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"Gastronomy of Italy" is a lovely book that is a bit hard to use. Lovely because it is so full of exiting facts and recipes, but hard to use because it is alphabetized in Italian. Recipes and tips are tucked in amongst the text entries. The book is so full of information it is almost overwhelming. History, geography, technique, language, it is all there. To a cook who is also a scholar the effect is thrilling.

Whatever you do, though, DO not buy this heavily cross referenced book in its electronic form. It is unusable. Here is the intro to the index:

"Italian terms are cross-referenced to the English term if there is more detail to be found. Words such as ‘with’, alla and di are ignored for the purposes of alphabetization. Italian and Latin terms and book titles are listed in italics. Page numbers in italics indicate a map or photograph. Page numbers in bold denote a recipe."

The index is comprehensive but the entries are not completely bi-lingual. Thus the entry for acciuga says that you should also see anchovies, but the anchovy entry does not reference acciuga. Some of the index entries are Italian only. This is a book that will end up littered with slips of paper and tiny notes. Digital formats are completely unsuitable.

I received a review copy of "Gastronomy of Italy" by Anna del Conte (Pavilion) through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | Apr 27, 2016 |
good, comprehensive book, looking a bit old-fashioned now. ( )
  overthemoon | Jul 6, 2006 |
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