Friday, 13 January 2012

The PAINTER, the COOK and the ART of CUCINA

This is another wonderful book which I received as a gift from family living in Bari in the beautiful region of Puglia.  I really like the painting of the Red Radicchios on the cover. The Painter, the Cook and the Art of Cucina takes you on a gastronomic journey through the lesser known parts of Italy - Puglia, Piedmont, Veneto, Liguria, Le Marche and Sardinia. The food of these regions is being discovered by visitors and cooks for the first time. In a unique collaboration, Anna Del Conte, the foremost expert on Italian cuisine and leading painter, Val Archer, have travelled around Italy using their eyes, ears and taste buds - this book is the result of their journey. Anna observes how passionate Italians are about the flavour and variety of their foods, seasonality, regional specialties and recipes, local producers and local food customs. In each region there are recipes choosen to represent the best use of the local produce, from restaurants or directly from local cooks. Over 100 rich oil paintings are matched with stories about the food and the recipes from the cooks and food producers. The Italians are, of course, as famous for their music as for their cuisine, and it is the inclusion of information about such composers as Rossini - as well as other fascinating nuggets - that makes the journey such a pleasurable one. At the heart of the book though, of course, are the recipes - and these are straightforward and comprehensible. Perhaps all the ingredients may not be available to us, but there is no doubt that most of the results are achievable with just a little effort.

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