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The Silver Spoon

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  5,723 ratings  ·  148 reviews
'The Silver Spoon' has over 2000 traditional and modern recipes. Its simple style and traditional authenticity should appeal to both the gourmet and the occasional cook. It has a new layout and specially commissioned artwork and photography.
Hardcover, 1263 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Phaidon Press (first published 1950)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sandra Lassiter
First of all, I want to be clear that this review is for the new, 2011 edition. This book has been updated and includes 400 new photographs. I was blown away by the size of this cookbook, and things just kept getting better from there. The quality of the book is outstanding with nice quality paper, sewn binding and a ribbon bookmark. I was a little surprised that there was only one bookmark as another cookbook from the same publisher that is much thinner has two bookmarks. This book could really ...more
Stephen
If you like to cook, and you like to cook authentic Italian home-style food, then this is the book for you. You might not find the ingredients to some dishes, but don't let that stop you from buying this massive tome of Italian cookery. What makes this book so special was its tradition of a gift from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law. Another way of saying, "your cooking sucks, learn how now?"

Anyway, some of the dishes are obvious, others are eh, okay. But some are splendorous. There is no other
...more
Linsey
Jul 19, 2007 Linsey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any aspiring chef
This book is F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C!!! (And I'm the sort of girl who usually avoids cooking from recipes...)

The directions are just detailed enough, without being absurd; everything I've tried (Strawberry Risotto, Glazed Radishes, Brased Beef with Barolo, Carrots with Rosemary, and the Penne Rigate in Vodka) has all been wonderful. The only difficulty is that there's no "Pasta" section (rather odd, for an Italian cookbook), and most recipes make no mention of the prep/cook time (apparently "time" is
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Sheena Lambert
Hmmm... I got this book as a gift, and while yes, it does LOOK beautiful and sits like a patriarch on my dresser next to my other, eh, smaller cookbooks, I have to say it is the cookbook I use the least.
The book pretty much lists every ingredient known in Italy, and shows how each of them can be cooked, but there is a lack of.....love....of taste, flavour and depth to the recipes. They read like words on a page, but no more.
I go to this book when I am stuck with an ingredient that I bought for s
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LorCon
The Italian version of this is often given to brides and is considered the "The Joy of Cooking" of Italy. So, the English language translation was eagerly awaited. This is one big book and I suppose you must have it. I use it more as a reference. The recipes are about three to a page, evidently assuming you know a lot by osmosis. It gives me an idea of what an authentic version would be, as opposed to the American restaurant-ization of a dish. Looks great on the coffee table.
Emily
Good. Italian. Food. Most recipes have only a few ingredients but produce wonderful results. Beware of funny Italian -> English translations. For example "black cabbage" is not cabbage, it's kale!

My favorite recipe involves baking eggs in custard dishes in with leeks sauteed in butter and nutmeg. The swiss chard ravioli with walnut pesto is also amazing. We consider opening our own restaurant each time we crack open this huge volume of authentic Italian dishes.
Tiemu
I didn't know that Cantonese Fried Rice and Indonesian Fried rice are authentic Italian recipes in this 'bible of authentic Italian recipes' (to quote the cover). It doesn't even state which kind of soy sauce to use, which is a bit stating add vinegar without specifying which type. Now I'm off to check my Chinese cookbook for instructions on making a good risotto.
Suzanne
Absolutely one of the best "how to cook" almost anything. A great gift for a young person moving to their own place or a shower gift for a couple. Great photos, well-written, easy to follow. Bought it for my son for his new apartment.
Ash Ponders
Jan 03, 2014 Ash Ponders rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 50's housewifes
Recommended to Ash by: Daniel Welsch
Shelves: cooking
As a vegetarian this tome is of slightly less use to me and mine, still country folk don't eat meat all the time so vegetables are treated at length. And regardless of my dietary proclivities, I read the whole book, picking out recipes here and there to slavishly reproduce for my friends. Many were delicious, but none were overwhelmingly delightful. Perhaps it's a defect of my palate, but once I started behaving a bit more liberal with the conceits of the recipes, things got a lot better. Overal ...more
Lisa Janda
If you want the definitive Italian cookbook this is it. However, if you are someone who insists on photos of finished dishes alongside each recipe then this is not for you. There are lighthearted line drawings throughout but this book, although a treat to read, does assume the user has at least a basic knowledge of cooking. Recipes are not dumbed down; they are mostly easy to prepare and authentic. This is not an Italian American cookbook and pastas make up only a small portion. Everything I hav ...more
Brick ONeil
Long desiring the $70 cloth-hard bound version, Phaidon finally came out with this American Glossy hardback version for $15. As a collector of bargain cookbooks, this was too good to pass up. Although this numbers #70 or so in my collection, I can foresee it quickly ranking in the top 10, possibly top 5. I have perused the cookbook over the past week, leafing through the 1200 or so pages of 2000 or so recipes, gained a new respect for Italian and Mediterranean cooking, cooks and food afficianado ...more
Nate
This is such a great cook book! It's like the Joy of Cooking for Italy, but translated into English.

The recipes are so simple, and there's a lifetime of different things to try. I really get turned off by fancy-schmancy froo-frau cookbooks with 50 ingredients, with half from specialty stores that end up costing you more than dinner at a 5-star restaurant!

Anyone can use this book, and everyone will love what you make from it.
Germancho
Regalo de cumpleanos de soyloqueparezco. Es chevere porque tiene un monton de recetas elaboradas que se salen del conchudo canon "rugula con bresaola y parmesano" que tanto vi en lugares turisticos de Italia.
Irina
Extremely basic; more like a dictionary of recipes rather than something one would make over and over again. If you look into the history of this book, The Silver Spoon is more of a snapshot of what Italians were making in that decade rather than a compilation of authentic, purely Italian dishes. Thus, curry and brioche recipes. I have many other Italian cookbooks that are a million times better and more inspiring than this doorstopper. The only good thing about it is the beautiful red binding.
Alla
“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 decided into Notes ab
...more
Caroline
This is a fun book to read; I will never cook straight from it again. As LorCon the Librarian suggested in a review below, use this book as a reference. Let it guide you through the wondrous variety of Italian cooking that one doesn't often encounter outside of Italy. Become familiar with tambales, and intricate sauces, and game. Read the instructions to get a handle on the basic methods and ingredients needs. Then go online or to another cookbook for the recipe.

The Silver Spoon (Il Cucchiaio d
...more
Diana
I always find the recipes in this book to be a total letdown: too much time or work, and not enough bang for the buck. The exception being a few of the risotto recipes, but not enough to give this massive book any more stars. I had wanted to love it, as I had read great things about it and like Phaidon's line of cookbooks, but no dice. It also doesn't help that there aren't enough images of the dishes for my liking, which I guess is a drawback of making such a massive tome.
Nancy
At long last, Italy's version of our "Joy of Cooking" has been translated into English. So why just a three-star rating? Primarily because I've no idea where to purchare mutton or jackrabbit- the latter being in a chapter separate from just rabbit. Given that I don't eat these guys anyway, couldn't I just ignore the meat chapters and concentrate on the "Molds and Puddings" or the fish chapters? Not quite- I haven't seen Striped Mullet for sale lately (ever). The Silver Spoon makes for a colorful ...more
Annelies Botjes
Love the attention to vegetables in this book. Recipes for desserts are not detailed enough for me.
Jan Peter
Eten is een Serieuze Zaak!
D
My sister gave this to me for Christmas, and it's become a favorite. Too much of my understanding of Italian cuisine is seen through an American lens; I love having access to an authentic Italian resource. So far my favorite hint from the Silver Spoon is to cook pasta in the sauce thinned with some broth. It's a bit tricky to get the pasta-to-liquid ratio and the cooking time correct, but the result is an amazingly savory pasta, infused with the flavors of the sauce. A real winner.
Amy
Mar 12, 2007 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
While this is not a "book" book, this is the best cookbook around. It has beautiful simple dishes, and is genuinely helpful in learning techniques and has all sorts of information about cuts of meat, etc. This book is translated from the original italian, and has been the best selling cookbook in italy for the past 50 years. My boyfriend was a chef and I bought this for him as a gift, it has been his go-to cookbook ever since. It is great for anyone from a novice to a chef, I assure you.
Christy
I just don't use this book very often, and I don't know why... The large size of the book itself and the font and format of the recipes are an obstacle at times, and some of the ingredients are obscure. I also haven't found one recipe that I'm just dying to make again, so that makes me feel skeptical about trying out new ones especially since most of them require a good deal of time and patience.

Does anyone else have any recommendations from this cookbook? Any favorite recipes?

Tiloma
Nov 06, 2007 Tiloma rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: foodies
Shelves: cookbooks
this book is a TOME of italian cooking. its very basic, and its kind of like your mom explaining how to cook - not much explanations for people who don't know what "roast" means, or "baste" or are afraid of experimenting. But if you aren't afraid, and if you just want a basic recipe from which to build and add to -- then this is the recipe book for you. I made the zucchini fiori fritt - yummy.

apparently all i am reading these days are recipe books. go figure.
Rebecca
This is the book that all Italian brides get as a wedding present - it is the best and most complete guide to authentic Italian home cooking, and now it is available in English! The recipes are easy and the food comes out perfect every time. If you have this book and Marcella's "Essentials," you have nearly everything you need to know about Italian cooking, short of a few years in Italy (and the insanely wonderful home-grown ingredients).
Jenny G
Aug 26, 2007 Jenny G rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cookies
i know i know. who actually sits down and reads cook books?
Word on the street is that this is the Italian's version of the Joy of Cooking... there are indeed ingredients you won't find at your local Safeway, and sometimes the translations are off. Still, i get lot of really good ideas from here and it is a complete immersion into another culture, beyond what we as Americans know to be Italian food. It's a nice place to dream about food.
Roxy
I understand why they call this the italian food bible. It is a massive tome - could use it as a doorstop. Over 2000 recipes at least half of which i would want to try out. The only thing that would make me like this book more would be if it had more photos. Instead of having one full page photo here and there a small photo next to each recipe would have been better. Always better if you can see what the finished dish should look like.
angi
i tried the recipe for the spinach gnocchi and it failed miserably. but i'm not ready to give up yet...since there are like 50,000 more recipes in here. a great reference book for the kitchen like 'joy of cooking' except it's a lot more casual in instructions, so if you're not into 'interpretive cooking', you might not want to get this. this must be what it's like if you have an italian grandma and she gave you her recipe notes.
Bradford
Apr 29, 2008 Bradford rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cooking types
It was called the Joy of Cooking for Italy, just got translated into English, and has a rad/disgusting description of the 30-hour process for getting snails ready to eat. Lots of real simple stuff that tastes really damn good, and measurements are few and far between, because hell you know how much stuff you want in there, right? Like a handful. Or maybe a little more.

Seriously, bigass awesome italian cookbook.
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