Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In Her Kitchen by Gabriele Galimberti

Synopsis From Dust Jacket:

On the eve of a photography trip around the world, Gabriele Galimberti sat down to dinner with his grandmother Marisa.  As she had done so many times before, she prepared his favorite ravioli - a gesture of love and an expression of the traditions by which he had come to know her as a child.  The care with which she prepared this meal, and the evident pride she took in her dish, led Gabriele to seek out grandmothers and their signature dishes in the sixty countries he visited.  The kitchens he photographed illustrate both the diversity of world cuisine and the universal nature of a dish served up with generosity and love.  At each woman's table, Gabriele became a curious and hungry grandson, exploring new ingredients and gathering stories.  These vibrant and intimate profiles and photographs pay homage to grandmothers and their cooking everywhere.  From a Swedish housewife and her homemade lox and vegetables to a Zambian villager and her Roasted Spiced Chicken, this collection features a global palate: included are hand-stuffed empanadas from Argentina, twice-fried pork and vegetables from China, slow-roasted ratatouille from France, and a decadent toffee trifle from the United States.  Taken together or bite by bite, In Her Kitchen taps into our collective affection for these cherished family members and the ways they return that affection.

I have an obsessive need to collect cook books, the more varied they are, the better. And when the break the normal mode, go beyond the role of a normal cookbook, I love them even more.  In Her Kitchen mixes food, family history, and gorgeous photography.

When I first cracked open the cover, like I do with every other cookbook I get, I read it cover to cover.  I took in the small little snippets of these grandmother's lives, and I enjoyed reading the love behind the food.   The pictures are stunning, simple in their construction, they are impactful and profound.

Of the food itself, I would love about half of it, be willing to try quite a bit more, and I would run away from one or two of them as fast as my feet would carry me.  I'm intrigued by the Tuscan wild boar stew from Italy.  I know I would love the Khinkali, a pork and beef dumpling from Georgia.  The Spanako-Tiropita, a spinach and cheese pie from Greece looks down right yummy.   Golabki z Ryzem i Miesem, a cabbage with rice and meat roll from Poland is a dish that I'm used to, but this one is a bit different.

I'm not sure I would love the Honduran iguana, but if I didn't know what it was, I may be willing to try it.  The one dish, even I would not be willing to try, is Finkubala.  It's a dish from Malawi, it's a pretty simple one actually, only 5 ingredients.  The problem for me is that the main ingredient is 4 1/2 pounds of dried caterpillars.  Actually they are more like maggots.  They are sauteed with onion and tomatoes, and the picture is enough to have me running for the hills.

I'm really looking forward to try a few of these out, when I do, I promise that pictures will be forthcoming.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books, for this review.


Katherine P said...

I'm like you when it comes to cookbooks and this definitely sounds like one I would enjoy! Great review! I will let you have my share of the caterpillars!

bermudaonion said...

I love the concept of that book but I'm not sure I'd be adventurous to try the recipes.

Becca said...

I LOVE this, Ryan! Need, need, need!