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Cooking with Italian Grandmothers: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany to Sicily

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  20 reviews
WINNER 2011 IACP Judges Choice Cookbook Award (International Association of Culinary Professionals)
WINNER 2011 IPPY Gold Award (Independent Publisher Book Awards)
Best Italian Cookbook of 2010 - Publisher's Weekly

American chef Jessica Theroux spent a year traveling throughout Italy, cooking and talking with Italian grandmothers, learning their secrets and listening to their
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Welcome Books (first published 2010)
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♏ Gina Baratono☽
This may very well be my favorite cookbook/travel journal ever. Being of Italian heritage, it spoke to my heart in so many ways. That being said, it wouldn't matter if you are Italian or not - this is a great cookbook and a great read.

The author travels throughout Italy, and as the title suggests, she cooks with Italian grandmothers. Along the way, she makes lifelong friends, eats amazing food, and feeds her soul as well as her tummy.

I plan on buying a few copies of this book for Christmas prese
Sarah Bringhurst Familia
This book is a treasure. As a young chef, Jessica spent a year in Italy, learning from Italian grandmothers about food and about life. She spent several weeks with each of the twelve women, and dedicated a chapter to each one and her recipes. The women's life stories and wisdom are interwoven with a wonderful collection of truly mouth-watering recipes.

Here is one of my favorite quotes:

"Carluccia taught me to pay attention to each little thing in my cooking. Where is this fruit or vegetable in it
Feb 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Jessica Theroux takes a year to travel through Italy and spend time with families and grandmothers. She learns recipes from the regions and some of the best meals from each person. The recipes included are full of stories and connected to the land of each city or town. She writes about each place and family for several pages before getting each section of recipes, so it's more than just a cookbook. This is definitely a book to own, and I'm sad that I have to return it to the library without a ch ...more
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have a confession. I collect cookbooks. That sounds like it's nothing but you need to understand, I have a serious cookbook addiction. As in, every time I order off Amazon, you can rest assured that a cookbook (or two) is heading my way. It's getting to the point where I might need to purchase more shelves. I love reading cookbooks like picturebooks, having a stack of post-its next to me so I can mark what recipes I'd like to try.

This particular cookbook helps my research and also satiates my
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This cookbook is a mixture of stories about the Italian grandmothers Jessica spends a year in Italy cooking with as well recipes that come from those meetings. The cookbook's goal seems to be geared more towards authenticity than accessability.There are lots of recipes that are time consuming and/or contain hard to find ingredients. But unlike some cookbooks, Theroux fully explains techniques needed for these recipes. Some people might have a problem with the fact that the some of the recipes ar ...more
Susan I
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a very unique and charming cookbook! Each chapter has a different quote and hand drawn illustration, like a rabbit or an octopus. Each chapter is about a particular region in Italy and a featured grandmother. I came upon this book by accident when the Ward Center Borders store was getting rid of its stock before it closed down, and I'm SO glad I found it! You'll need to see it yourself in order to understand why I love it so much. I gifted it to several girlfriends who were delighted to ...more
Theroux has so many fascinating glimpses of life in Italy in this book. In particular, the sourdough starter and homemade ricotta recipes from local matrons are gems.

Ricotta al caffe or Ricotta with coffee and honey - ♥♥♥♥
Simple and sweet. My husband really enjoyed this, but he's both a coffee and honey lover, so no surprise there. It's like flavored cream cheese, but with ricotta instead.

Spaghetti with burst tomatoes (Spaghetti con pomodori scoppiati) - ♥♥♥♥
Lots of flavor here from the garlic a
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this from a friend. Before the halfway mark it became clear I'll have to buy a copy. I loved these grandmothers, especially Daria, we might be kindred cussing spirits. ...more
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked this book because it reminded me of my own childhood, growing up at my grandmother's table. The author travels to many parts of Italy and then stays with a grandmother in her home. These women then teach her how to cook a few of their traditional dishes. When she becomes ill during her travels, she learns how truly healing food prepared by these women in the traditional ways can be. The recipes are included. ...more
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The best cookbook I've ever had. I'm Italian and these recipes are often new too me. Everything I've made (almost all the recipes by now) has been unbelievably delicious. I love the stories and photos too. Only downside is many of the recipes are time consuming and there is more focus on rabbit (which I haven't been able to find) than I'd like but those recipes all worked Well with chicken. ...more
Jan 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a cookbook this isn't so great...really, how often am I going to prepare rabbit? And the recipes are all fairly labor intensive, good for Sunday's but not every day. But the stories that preface each section are wonderful. Theroux captures the mood of a way of life that just doesn't exist in too many places these days, but one that we all wish did. ...more
Monique Scheyd
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Enticing and earthy. The author takes us into the kitchens and personalities of various women she cooks with on a fascinating journey through Italy. An interesting read for cooking enthusiasts and fans of the Slow Food movement.
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this cookbook, because not only does it have some amazing traditional Italian recipes, it also tells the story of Italy and how important the traditions of cooking are to their communities. I ended up with not just one, but TWO, copies of this book!
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
The recipes are simple and easy to follow. Theroux's description of her time in Italy has inspired me to learn as much Italian as I can while in Italy so I can find some grandmothers of my own to cook, chat, laugh, and cry with. ...more
Maria Kemplin
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
This book is beautifully designed, the cover and leaf and inside papers etc are wonderful. The beauty of the book jacket and the poetic title made this irresistible.
Executing these complex recipes might be better left to professional chefs, however.
Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked reading the stories and found a few recipes that I want to try. There were some recipes that seemed kind of outdated (how many people make rabbit now?)
Feb 03, 2012 added it
I saw this on a friend's table, such a pretty cookbook, can't wait to get started on some of the recipes. ...more
Janet Clark
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Can't help but fall in love with these beautiful old women--their delicious food, their personal histories, their amazing contribution to California cuisine and our interest in healthy eating. ...more
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a great cookbook for reading. Yes, I choose cookbooks for what they tell about the food, the recipe and the country.
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's nice to read things that give you a real feel for a place and people. There are several recipes I'm going to try too. ...more
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Chef, teacher and author Jessica Theroux comes from both a culinary and artistic background. Her artistic background involves a year-long photographic residency at the Maine Photographic Workshops, and a degree in Visual Arts from Brown University. In 2003, Jessica was awarded the Arnold Fellowship to spend a year in Italy documenting culinary traditions. Her book Cooking with Italian Grandmothers ...more

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