Tag: cookbooks

Cookbooks? Better without the photographs – Italian Cuisine

Cookbooks? Better without the photographs

Photos condition and limit creativity. In the era of photocopies seen on Instagram, there are those who prefer books without the figures: Daniel Canzian

"The cookbooks with the photos have ruined us," says Daniel Canzian seraph, leafing through an old volume of Talisman of Happiness: 1000 pages of text, published for the first time in 1927. Cookbooks from Ada Boni, Artusi, Cucchiaio d’Argento and La Cucina Italiana had no photographs. There were no illustrations, no way to view the finished product, we dedicated ourselves only to technique and taste. Less than a century has passed and today we eat and cook with our eyes.

We are in the era of the image, we shake feeds and we see a thousand billion images taken every year before our eyes: practically every two minutes more pictures are taken of how many humanity produced in the first decades of the last century. The way of learning, remembering, communicating and even cooking has changed. It is inevitable, visual information has no language boundaries and with social networks and the Internet in a moment they are wherever there is a screen, accessible to everyone.

Fashions are spreading at an increasingly frenetic pace and real trends are affirmed online, and immediately afterwards in restaurant menus. Copying has become so easy that it is difficult to escape. Arched, side windows, colors, geometric shapes, ideas: as soon as you post on Instagram they end up being copied, distorted, become inspiration, or plagiarism, in the kitchens of others. We look at the form and try to invent a substance that "looks" like a good idea, creating apparently photocopies of dishes with content that may be completely different, maybe not even that good. But beautiful.

Photo @ Daniel Mari

"I don't want to be influenced, but if I had the photographs it would be inevitable. If I read a recipe for the first time I would be conditioned by the visual result, I would put a brake on creativity , explains Canzian leafing through recipes belonging to the past, to regional cuisines or great essays such as Escoffier. "Ideas come this way, imagining a taste and inventing a form for it."

The encyclopedias had French illustrations, from the age of enlightenment. In the delicatessen sections food and utensils, cuts of a cow and the techniques of binding cured meats, the shape of the pots and that of the forks were enumerated, described. In the recipe books of Antonin Carême detailed chine explained how to serve salads and aspics, game dishes and desserts, elaborate and complex as sculptures. In The Culinaire Guides by George Auguste Escoffier rationalization is maniacal and the cuisine treated as a science, chemistry and physics of food. Even today, to make a béchamel or a sauce, reference is made to him.
In Italy no one has ever felt the need to explain what the face of a plate of orecchiette or the perfect size of a noodle had on us: in our kitchen the kitchen has never been codified technique, it is a family thing, it is inspiration, it is product and taste. And it changes every 50 kilometers, staying wide. No one would like to cook the same as another, everyone thinks they have the best recipe. Or at least it was like that, before Instagram and the time when books looked only at the figures.

Photo @ Daniel Mari

Top cookbooks 2012

Looking for the perfect gift and have no idea what to buy? How about a cookbook? From Gino D’Acampo to The Hairy Bikers, we’ve rounded up our favourite cookbooks of 2012.

Cookbooks are a great gift and keepsake that will decorate someone’s kitchen shelves for years to come. It’s always great to receive a cookbook as a present – you never know when you’re going to need some inspiration in the kitchen. Cookbooks can be passed down from generation to generation and you’ll always have your favourites that you just can’t get enough of.

Whether you’re treating yourself or buying one for someone special, there are plenty of great cookbooks out this year that are sure to tick all the boxes. Gordon Ramsay and Lorraine Pascale are just a few of the celeb cookbooks in our collection.

And if you love baking we’ve got plenty of great baking cookbooks to choose from including two very special books from top TV show The Great British Bake Off  – which we can’t wait to get our hands on.

And if that’s not enough, there are also plenty of savoury cookbooks to choose from for rustling up quick, mid-week dishes, dinners for the kids or a posh slap-up meal for that special someone. If you love spending time in the kitchen or you know someone who does – buy one of these amazing cookbooks to make the New Year that little bit tastier.

Click through to see which books have made it in

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