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Monday, June 21, 2010
What nonna never told you
I am a firm believer in fate. I hadn’t read, let alone reviewed the book for Monday’s deadline for the local paper. Seeing a new cover sparkling at me from the cookbook section with proscuttio and other yummy things on the cover, I grabbed one to take home, thinking it would be easier than reading another 200 pages of a novel.
What a wonderful surprise! How come I hadn’t seen this book before? It had first been published in 2006 and 16,000 copies later it is in its fifth incarnation. Being self published, in another state, we had never heard of it until a customer asked us to find her one. Postage being expensive, we ordered a few extra.
I wish I had discovered this book earlier in the year when we had an abundance of summer vegetables and olives. Stepping into the pages of Pietro Demaio’s book is like being invited by a neighbour for a hearty lunch accompanied by good red wine and conversation. In the 60’s Pietro began collecting traditional recipes from his family and friends, and still does, each edition larger than the first as he incorporates recipes and food stories sent to him by readers.
Drying, salting, bottling, pickling, preserving in oil are some of the method preserving that also includes sections on cheese and salami making, preserving fish, and making wines and liqueurs. There are eighteen different ways to preserve olives, how to make bread and build the oven to bake it in. The clearly laid out recipes are interspersed with hilarious stories and traditions, including a section on avoiding the evil eye!
My enthusiasm for the book must have been obvious, we sold all copies and had orders for two more within 24 hours of the review being published – the most successful review ever!
It felt like you should have been given a jar of something to take home with you when you reach the end of the book...that didn’t happen and unfortunately I have to wait for the next lot to arrive before I can have a copy to take home so I can dive into a preserving frenzy.