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At the tip of Italy's boot lies Calabria It is a beautiful mountainous region populated by fishermen and small farmers Rosetta Costantino grew up in this rugged landscape—her father a shepherd and wine maker and her mother his tireless assistantWhen her family immigrated to California they re created a little Calabria on their property cooking with eggplant tomatoes and peppers from their garden fresh ricotta made from scratch and pasta fashioned by hand A frugal people Calabrians are master preservers transforming fresh figs into jam canning fresh tuna in oil and sun drying peppers for the winter Now Rosetta shares her family's story and introduces readers to the fiery simplicity of Calabrian food The first cookbook of a little known region of Italy My Calabria celebrates the richness of the region's landscape and the allure of its cuisine This is a cookbook for our time a reminder of how ingenious and resourceful cooks can create a gorgeous local cuisine


10 thoughts on “My Calabria

  1. says:

    As some background I am an American of Calabrian heritage who has been living in Calabria in my ancestor's town since 2003; I received this book for review on my blog Bleeding EspressoRosetta Costantino was born in Calabria and moved to America with her family at age 14 Although they left behind much of what was familiar to them the Costantino family never lost their culinary traditions and now Rosetta shares them with us in My Calabria Rustic Family Cooking from Italy's Undiscovered SouthWhen paging through My Calabria you feel like an honorary member of the family at the table as you learn about how Rosetta's father recreated their Calabrian garden in Oakland California; how various members of the family make the same dish; and also the 11 ingredients every Calabrian pantry should have on handRosetta also shares information about the historical and cultural influences on Calabrian cuisine and lifestyle so aside from being a wonderful collection of recipes 150 that includes appetizers through dessert My Calabria is simply a wonderful resource book on the region you're getting so much than a cookbook hereThe recipes themselves are authentic as they come and easy to follow one of the best things about Calabrian cooking is that it's user friendly as it uses so few ingredients and the book is just gorgeous There are plenty of full page and other sized color photos throughout not only of recipes but also of various sights from around CalabriaFrom a personal standpoint as someone who has been making Calabrian food ever since I could cook first from my grandmother's recipes and now also from my mother in law's I give this book five very full espresso cups out of five Rosetta is a wonderful tour guide through this region's food history and culture and I highly recommend My Calabria for anyone who is interested in Calabria southern Italy or southern Italian cuisine


  2. says:

    While the cuisine of Northern Italy with its creamy sauces has long been popular with Americans Rosetta Constantino is determined to turn the spotlight to Calabria her home region in Southern Italy This is the land her parents emigrated from the land of sweet and hot peppers San Marzano tomatoes seafood capers scavenged wild herbs and greens and olive oilWhat she has compiled is a thick tome on local cooking in Calabria; she explains traditions of her own family what other families she knows cook even what restaurants serve in her region She has preserved in these pages many honored traditions that to the modern eye reuire a mind boggling amount of work making ricotta from scratch canning garden grown tomatoes making your own pasta or salumi In these pages she has preserved a way of life and for that alone she deserves high praise This is the very essence of Slow Food


  3. says:

    Fantastic cookbook exactly the kind of culinary story I want to read She goes beyond listing recipes to explain the traditions of her parents and grandparents the interpretation of those traditions as they immigrated and the absolute fundamentals of Calabrian cooking


  4. says:

    I enjoyed the notes about food preservation


  5. says:

    Italian food lovers will rejoice those who yearn for the flavors of Calabria will be ecstatic with MY CALABRIA the first cookbook devoted entirely to the distinctive cuisine of that uniue rather remote region As author Costantino notes in her Introduction “At the southern tip of the peninsula lies an Italy that few people know a land of fragrant citron and bergamot orchards ancient olive groves and terraced vineyards; a place of persistent tradition and ritual where the annual swordfish catch and hot pepper harvest are celebrated with elaborate festivals and where women still roll pasta dough around knitting needles” Yes this is the area that popular cooking teacher Costantino knows and loves; it is where she was born and raised nourished with homegrown homemade food Her knowledge of and affection for Calabria is evident on every one of this book’s 416 pages and in every gorgeous full color photograph Beginning with Antipasti and Pasta we’re treated to a cornucopia of hearty dishes under the headings of Soup Rice Polenta; Bread Cheese Eggs; Seafood; Meat; Vegetables; and Desserts Each recipe mirrors the Calabrian’s need to create nourishing and delicious food from what they grew or caught The Desserts many of which are a part of religious celebrations are especially appealing While MY CALABRIA would stand alone as an outstanding cookbook it is so much it is a delightful armchair tour of the region one we’ve enjoyed over and over again a listing of places to stay and eat and a comprehensive ingredient resource guide Costantino finds her Peperoni Cruschi and Pecorino di Toscano at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor Michigan wwwzingermanscom We followed her lead and have thoroughly enjoyed the Peperoni Cruschi made from the peppers in which the Calabrians take such pride and the Pecorino di Toscano which we grated to garnish our pasta MY CALABRIA is both a celebration of rustic family cooking and a tribute to the traditional ways of preparing food enjoy Gail Cooke


  6. says:

    When it comes to Italian cuisine the popular myth is that the best food comes from the kitchens of Northern Italy not the South Don’t tell that to Rosetta Costantino Costantino grew up in the Southern region before moving to the Bay Area at age twelve She returns to her roots with a book whose recipes look every bit as flavorful as anything produced in the north in her first book “My Calabria” Norton From her selections of antipasti soups bread seafoods lots of pesce in the south of course meats and desserts along with suggested wine parings where appropriate it is clear that the flavors of this region will delight for many years to come “kill a pig eat for a year” is one of the regions mottos Costantino along with co author Janet Fletcher feature recipes that utilize the bounties of the region – swordfish branzino pork peppers – in ways that create an abundant array of zesty flavorful meals designed to last a long time The book also details the attitude and celebrations of the region from the point of view of the local fishermen and chefs that give the reader a window into the life of this undiscovered region of Italian cuisine


  7. says:

    This book drove me nuts the food is just too good and too special to mention it all but I will try I have to buy this one and put it in the kitchen Here is a sample meal Antipasti Olive Nere Secche con Peperoncino DRY CURED BLACK OLIVES WITH HOT RED PEPPER AND FENNEL Polpette di Melanzane CRISPY EGGPLANT MEATBALLSSoup Minestra di Fave e Cipolle THICK FAVA BEAN AND SPRING ONION STEWMeat Capretto Arrostito con Patate Roast Baby goat with potato’sVegetables Insalata di Cipolla Rossa COOKED RED ONION SALAD WITH OREGANO Parmigiana di Melanzane EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA WITH FRESH RICOTTTADesserts Cannariculi FRIED RIDGED PASTERY WITH WARM HONEY GLAZE Torta di Noci FLOURLESS WALNUT CAKEWine a really good bottle or two of Cabernet Sauvignon


  8. says:

    We got this book from the library and loved it so much we got a copy for ourselves We made the delicious chickpea and chicken soup and pasta Mostly it's such a delightful cookbook to read I love cookbooks that inspire you and show you a world what life is like in a specific time and place Costantino does a fabulous job of exploring the foods of Calabria


  9. says:

    I don't normally place cook books in my good reads account But this book is different I loved the narrative Rose gave me on her life in Calabria It is a beautiful book I might even try some of her recipes


  10. says:

    Vegetable recipes are uite good; interesting lore on the region too