Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In a recent issue of Saveur, in their "100" issue, they celebrated the "best" cookbooks. The first "best" listed was Marcella Hazan's first cook book, "The Classic Italian Cook Book", pictured above in its original Harper's Magazine Press edition. Nach Waxman, owner of the Kitchen Arts & Letters bookstore in New York, said "There are dozens of Italian cookbooks on our shelves, but there are none we use as faithfully as Marcella Hazan's 'The Classic Italian Cook Book," published in 1973.

Nach went on to say that Marcella, with this book, gave American cooks their first comprehensive and authentic Italian culinary compendium, and "all these years later it is still our undisputed favorite source for everything from making risotto to understanding Italian techniques for cooking vegetables. Her recipes are lucidly written and reliable; the fresh pasta we make has always been her version."

"The Classic Italian Cook Book" was re-published by Knopf (exactly the same edition) in 1975 in a green and brown jacket. Subsequently, in 1992, Knopf published an updated volume, "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" containing all of 'The Classic Italian Cook Book' and 'More Classic Italian Cooking.' -- all of those great recipes, revised, updated and expanded.

Nach says: "Our only beef with the the updated version is that the publisher omitted the Italian names of most most dishes. Still it contains all the brilliance of Hazan's first book, the gold standard for Italian home cooking."

The updated volume: "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" is very much in print and selling beautifully. If you would like a copy of one of the original editions, go to Nach Waxman's: www.kitchenartsandletters.com, to find a copy.