Newest Review: ... 2000. And the recipes are tried and tested. The book is an Italian book now translated into English. It was first published in Italy in 19... more
This book weighs too much to encourage browsing!
The Silver Spoon - Phaidon
Member Name: Northern
The Silver Spoon - Phaidon
Date: 24/04/13, updated on 24/04/13 (39 review reads)
Advantages: Lots of recipes, authentically Italian
Disadvantages: Book weighs too much, not many pictures, limited instructions
A year ago my Dad gave me a copy of "The Silver Spoon" cookery book. Before I unwrapped the present I wondered if he had bought me a brick because this book is really heavy! I know it's odd to start a cookery book review with this but it has had a bearing on how often I have subsequently looked at the book. I like cookery books that I can idly browse n the kitchen while the kettle boils or my toast is in the toaster. I can't idly browse through this book. I have to lug it through to the living room and sit down properly to read it at the table.
On the upside there are a lot of recipes in here. There are over 2000. And the recipes are tried and tested. The book is an Italian book now translated into English. It was first published in Italy in 1950. At the beginning of the book they explain that there are differences in Italian cookery books from English speaking ones. Typically Italian ones don't contain many instructions and English ones do, so they had to add in some details in the instructions while trying not to lose the Italian essence of the book. Therefore, each recipe name is in Italian as well as English.
To give an idea about the breakdown of recipes in each section:
- sauces are pages 45-90
- antipasti, appetizers and pizzas are pages 91-200
- first courses are pages 201-350
- eggs and frittata are pages 351-396
- vegetables are pages 397-586
- fish crustaceans and shellfish are pages 587-734
- meat and offal are pages 735-874
- poultry are pages 875-946
- game is pages 947-986
- cheese is pages 987-1000
- desserts and baking are pages 1001-1120
- menus by celebrated chefs are pages 1121-1200
Many pages have two recipes on a page. There are not many pictures throughout the book so if you need a picture to check how something should look then this is definitely the wrong book for you.
At the front of the book there are some notes about the ingredients used, an explanation of cooking terms, and a description of tools and equipment required.
In some of the sections there are extra notes. In fish there is some information on types of cooking, suitable side dishes and useful herns. In meat there is information on the types of cuts used in Italy.
Overall I see this as a reference book rather than a using cookery book. I've only occasionally made one of these recipes, and usually for a special occasion when I wanted to make something different. The recipes have been nice - monkfish stew with turmeric rice was particularly good - but I'm not tempted to take such a hefty book off the shelf and work my way through it very often.
It's also a quite expensive book, selling at around £15 on Amazon. So I can only partly recommend it.
Summary: Only for the experienced cook
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