Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Food of North Italy: Review

The Food of North Italy by Luigi Veronelli is a cookbook giving some general information about the region, cuisine, dining and drinking habits of northwestern Italy.  We also get a collection of over 50 recipes full of "rich, sophisticated dishes, especially those from Turin, once the capital of the Savoy dynasty. Much of the area is rural, however, which has fostered a long tradition of country cooking. The people know how to make the most of their ingredients in such dishes as zabaglione (an egg yolk, sugar, and marsala dessert), agnolotti (meat-filled ravioli), and monte bianco (a chestnut dessert). The region is also famous for its rare white truffles, shaved over risotto, pasta, fonduta, fried eggs, and more. Several of the finest red wines in Italy also come from this region, such as Barolo, Barbaresco, and Barbera, as well as one of the world's best-known champagnes, Asti Spumante." 

What I learned from this book....If these sorts of dishes are what's cooking in northern Italy, then I probably don't want to go  If these recipes involve "sophisticated" dishes, then I am quite happy to remain unworldly.  From an apparent obsession with veal to really nasty looking Watercress Soup with Frog Legs to Bergamo-style Polenta & Game Birds (where the birds look like they were deep-fried whole....seriously) to Horse Steak (HORSE, for crying out loud)--I politely, but emphatically say, NO, thank you.  A great deal of the time I was asking--out loud to my husband who really didn't want to know--"Why the heck would you do that to a horse [bird, frog, rabbit, fill in the blank]???!!!!!  Because, honestly, if I didn't have an aversion to eating horses, I still can't figure out why the dish should sound appealing...not to mention the bird and frog dishes look positively disgusting.  I really mean it.  

I thought learning about authentic Italian food would be interesting. Not really.  My advice: If, after my review, you're still curious and want to check this out for yourself, DO NOT read before dining.  Trust me.  One star.


Shirley said...

Wow! I have a definite aversion to eating horse, especially since it is my favourite in the animal kingdom. I think I'll pass on this book too. I would have expected pasta dishes and some seafood but not what you've described. It's an easy no thanks for me too.

Bev Hankins said...

@Shirley: Horses--I KNOW.

test said...

Now THAT is a cookbook! :) I'm willing to try anything at least once (i've eaten insects, wild boar, and a few other strange things. And no offense to you or those turned off by eating horse meat -- but the larger world definitely has some very different foods that the normally wouldn't make it on the Western table, doesn't make it any less acceptable. I guess it's the lens through which we view what is "acceptable." Thanks for the honest review!

Man of la Book said...

A relative use to bring my mom sausage from Hungary which she loved until she realized it was horse meat.