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"The Silver Spoon: New Edition" is an updated version of the original Silver Spoon cookbook. The original cookbook was published in Italy in 1950, and has only recently been translated into English, originally published in the U.S. in 2005. The new and updated version of this cookbook boasts over two thousand recipes, as well as accompanying full length photographs (in my opinion, the most important attribute of a cookbook) of many of the recipes described.
The chapters are divided into Notes about cooking (including the glossary of many cooking terms mentioned in the book, as well as a section devoted to "tools and equipment" with accompanying illustrations), sauces/marinades/flavored butters, antipasti/appetizers/pizzas, first courses, eggs and frittata, vegetables, fish/crustaceans/shellfish, meat and variety meats, poultry, game, cheese, dessert and baking, menus for festive occasions, menus by celebrated chefs, and list of recipes accompanied by an index.
Each page consists of several short recipes, and, for the most part, a photograph of one of the dishes on the adjoining page. As expected, the recipes are absolutely mouth-watering. They include such recipes as: rosemary and cheese rolls, smoked trout, octopus in red wine, stuffed eggplants, avocado and tomato canapés, Tuscan anchovy crostini, crab and apple tartines, Parisian brioches, curried chicken puffs, onion soufflé, four seasons pizza, cream of truffle soup, eggplant and ricotta lasagna, mushroom tortelloni, Milanese risotto, smoked salmon crepes, shrimp with salmon mousse, bread frittata, glazed turkey, baked ham, roasted pork with lemon, duck with peaches, blackberry tart, pear crown, mocha cake, apple fritters, and walnut and coffee cake among many others.
A couple of things really make this cookbook stand out from other cookbooks. First of all, unique chapters. The chapter about making your own sauces, marinade, and butter comes to mind. Recipes include whipped cream mayonnaise, ricotta sauce, red wine marinade, lobster butter, and garlic butter. Pretty impressive. Other chapters, like the ones devoted to vegetables and meat, are creatively categorized by types of vegetables and types of meat (venison, partridge, turkey, goose, pheasant, and duck are just some of the examples). The meat chapter also boasts a re-occuring section called "Italian cuts and cooking techniques" which present a picture of the animal featured in the section, and a careful illustration of all its parts and corresponding names and cutting techniques. I can actually imagine such thins being taught in a cooking school. The level of detail is simply amazing.
The last two sections, "Menus for festive occasions" (including New Year's day, Easter, Christmas Eve, and Christmas) and "Menus by celebrated chefs" (including famous chefs like Lidia Bastianich and Benjamin Hirst among others, with recipes like truffle baked potato soufflés, fish ravioli, Tuscan romano, ricotta, and parmesan, tortelli with white truffle, lemon delight sponge cake, limoncello tiramisu, Bolognese soup, and coffee soufflé in a cup among others) are like a bonus cookbook rolled into one.
The amount of recipes here is jaw dropping--I don't think I've encountered many cookbooks with this much dishes. My favorites so far are the mushroom tortelloni and eggplant and ricotta lasagna. I feel like I'm eating out at an Italian restaurant. An added bonus is the coffee table quality of this book. This book is chock full of information, but still manages to retain its attractiveness.