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The Silver Spoon: New Edition    edited by Phaidon Press order for
Silver Spoon
by Phaidon Press
Order:  USA  Can
Phaidon Press, 2011 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Kelly Thunstrom

In 1950, a book was published that is now considered the Italian home cooking bible, Il cucchiaio d'argento. It is a very popular wedding gift in Italy today. In 2005, the English version of this book, The Silver Spoon, came out in the United States, becoming an instant New York Times bestseller. This newly-revised version features more than 2,000 updated recipes and is illustrated with 400 color photographs. For those who love Italian cooking, this is simply a must for your kitchen, as it is the most comprehensive Italian cookbook ever.

Italian cooking, more than any other, is all about love ... Grandma cooking her gravy over a hot stove (sorry ... I'm not Italian; I call it sauce) all Sunday long, endless dinners with wine for every course, and recipes passed down through generations. The Silver Spoon includes these homemade, traditional recipes from all Italian regions. It is divided by course into eleven chapters, including Antipasti, Appetizers, and Pizzas, Sauces, Marinades, and Flavored Butters, and Cheese. It also provides directions for how to plan a traditional Italian feast and what items need to be in every Italian kitchen. To keep things very up-to-date, menus and recipes are included from today's superstar chefs, including Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich.

Editor Emilia Terragni keeps things simple and easy-to-read in every chapter. This could have easily been overwhelming to a cook, but the recipes are short and sweet. Most pages have three or four recipes on them. Preparation time, cooking time, and how many it serves are in bold type. There is even a lovely cloth bookmark for cooks to hold their place. I especially enjoyed how each chapter is broken down into even smaller parts. For example, if you have some cucumbers in your refrigerator, it has a whole section on what to do with them. There are even sections for pheasant, quail, and frogs (although I don't think I'll be using them very much). The dessert section is worth the price of the book alone ... from cinnamon cookies to a beautiful cherry tart.

This book is highly recommended for both the inexperienced and gourmet cook. The recipes are easy enough, the pictures are gorgeous to look at, and the book is beautiful to have on your shelf.

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