The Cookbook Meme

I was tagged by Anne of Anne’s Food to do the Cookbook Meme and now I’m finally getting round to it. About time.
I like cookbooks a lot, once I used to buy a lot of them but as the years pass, I realize that I use more or less the same ones all the time and that I nowadays use them more like manuals than actual recipe providers. I look for a recipe as a base to start with and then I embroider it as I want so to speak! There is one cookbook that’s ‘excepted’ from this misbehaviour, you’ll see which in a little while.

1. How many cookbooks do you own?
I recently cleared out a lot of cookbooks that I don’t use, it was difficult but necessary because I don’t have that much space in the kitchen, so now I have about 80, not that many compared with many other food bloggers!

The oldest cookbook I have is a French one from 1695, it is really fun to read it and some of the recipes are really tempting, and the most extravagant cookbook is a two volume one by Dubois and Bernard, La Cuisine Classique from 1856. Just look at the illustrations of how the dishes presented looked like and I’m sure you agree with me! It begins with a section with menus for different occasions and of royal dinners, it’s too good to be true and it really makes me childishly wish for a time machine…

2. Which cookbook is the one you bought most recently?
I think it was one about fish in all forms! It is without author as it is part of a series that a big daily newspaper distributes and sells.

3. Which cookbook is the one you read most recently?
The one mentioned above.

4. Name five cookbooks which mean a lot to you.

Le ricette regionali italiane by Anna Gosetti della Salda. This is my bible and one of the very few cookbooks that has recipes that I actually follow. This is really the best cookbook that you can get on Italian cooking in my opinion, I always find what I’m looking for which isn’t surprising considering that it contains more than 2160 recipes from every region of Italy.

Il libro della vera cucina fiorentina by Paolo Petroni. I don’t particularly like the Tuscan cuisine, it’s good but it is not the best. But despite this I really like this book! My dear friend Laura gave it to me before I could speak Italian properly and I have learnt a lot out of it, both language wise and cooking wise. It has a quite awful lay-out but the recipes are great!

An invitation to Italian Cooking by Antonio Carluccio. I have written about it before so I just mention it here. Dependable and savory recipes from London based Carluccio. It’s quite old, the first edition was published in 1986 but in my kitchen it is a classic.

Faites votre patisserie by Gaston Lenotre (famous French pastry chef, maybe not so famous nowadays though) is an old favourite. I love French pastries and I fell in love with this book when I read the preface where Lenotre declares that it is not possible to make good ‘patisserie’ with second rate material and that you cannot use anything else than butter and definitely not artificial aromas or colourings. I do like some good old dogmatism now and then!

An Omelette and A Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David is not really a cookbook, it is actually a collection of some of her numerous essays and articles (there are some recipes) that she published during her life and it is profoundly inspiring! Every time I reread it (and I do that often), I just want to rush off to the kitchen and start cooking. I have some of her cookbooks and they are really inspiring too but this is my favourite! I wish I could write about food like she does!

Tag time:

Karina of Recipes from a Gluten Free Goddess
Rowena of Rubber Slippers in Italy
Michelle of The Accidental Scientist so that she is forced to blog more!
Moira of Who Wants Seconds? for the same reason as above!