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Tuscany

tuscanyEveryone loves Tuscany, and we all love Italian food. But if we had to explain just what Tuscan cooking was, how many of us could do it?

Did you know, for instance, that this is not food for the rich and elite. Many of those comforting heart-warming soups are made better by the use of foraged ingredients such as wild herbs. Those melting roasts are often created using tougher cuts, and offal is transformed into magnificent dishes in such a way you would never guess their origin. Honey and sultanas enters dishes unexpectedly, even in seafood, and wild game such as rabbit, boar and birds augment the menu.

At last, here we have an authoritative book, sumptuously illustrated, that can lead you through nonna's kitchen and on to the stoves of restaurant chefs within a few pages. 

What's more you will soon learn that the food of Lucca is not the same as that of Maremma - or Chianti, or Florence. The subtle regional differences reflect the background of each area - what its soil and climate would produce, and whether it was isolated for centuries, or trading with other parts of the country or indeed the world.

This book is another of Phaidon Press's esteemed Silver Spoon titles. Watch for the next one, Vegetables from an Italian Garden coming soon.

Tuscany, Phaidon, rrp $49.95. March 2011, hardcover.

 

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