Mark . Melbourne 8/07
"......I had purchased your book and enjoyed it very much.
It actually inspired my cousin and I to make some salamis and we made about sixty kilos about a month ago. We have just sampled them this past weekend. They were fantastic and we are determined to try a few other things.
My family is from Sicily and there was a big tradition of making things at home when I was a boy and that has dropped off significantly in recent times. I realised that with my parents and the rest of my aunts and uncles at an advanced age if I did not try to maintain some of these traditions then they would probably be lost forever to my family. I have so many fond memories of those those occasions when my entire family would band together to produce wine or the tomato sauce that I was determined to give my kids the same experiences. So thanks for the book. ...."
Today I visited Dr Pietro Demaio my GP. While I was sitting in his waiting room I noticed a book on the counter called, Preserving the Italian Way written by the good doctor himself.
It is fantastic!
Pietro comes from Calabria and is passionate about preserving traditional Italian foods. Pietro even asks if you have any special recipes that you would like to add to his next edition to please email it (including a list ingredients and their quantities and a little about the recipe i.e., where it originated, who passed it down to you, how long it has been in your family ...etc etc
There is even a recipe for Sapone Fatto a Casa and plans on how to build your own Brick-Fired Oven for the bread. You'll love it!
Just sending a brief note to let you know how much I am enjoying your book. I bought it last week at the cookbook shop in Gertrude Street and have had it on the dining room table ever since. (The dining room table is where I sit to read the papers and do the crossword every day and I reckon I've picked up your book 15 times!) I am an avid cook and am looking forward trying out some of your preserving techniques.
BUT! That's not what I love about Preserving the Italian Way. What impresses me most is the chief ingredient in each recipe: the sheer joy and love that simmers to the surface.
The stories are so warm and genuine that I feel like one of the family. I was especially moved by the story about your father coming to Australia in 1937.
From: AM, Melbourne, Australia
Congratulations, the book is fantastic. As someone with Italian heritage, I commend you on the work you have done in preserving Italian tradition. I have not been so excited about a book in a long time. Two of my friends have already bought a copy, and I will keep recommending it.
From: GS, Adelaide, Australia
What a remarkable achievement!
I was visiting Melbourne from Adelaide last week, and discovered your fantastic book "Preserving the Italian Way" in Readings Bookshop, Lygon St, Carlton. My wife and I are Aussies, but aspire to be Italian peasants.
We pick olives for oil and the table, kill a pig and make salsicce, salami, capocollo and pancetta (with the help of a Calabrian butcher patient called Rocky), make our own wine, grow melanzane and pomodori, carciofi and rocket, figs and walnuts (and other fruit and vegies), and generally have a good time preserving and consuming it all.
This book will be a fantastic reference. I am inspired to preserve a tuna now after reading Mimmo's foreword. Congratulations!
From: Chris S., Melbourne, Australia
Pietro how are you? We purchased your book yesterday and I am finding it hard to put down. It is fantastic what you have done to pass on all the traditional ways of enjoying food.
I am of Greek origin and my wife is Italian. We have three children we are always trying to educate the traditional methods of Mediterranean cooking. Apart from our family home in Glen Iris we also own a holiday house on the Mornington peninsula which we have a abundance of fruit trees and try and grow everything under the sun and where we make our home made wine but haven't got our own vine yet.
I have built two wood fired ovens, one down at Rye and a smaller one at Glen Iris. Your notes are exactly how I built them. Like you describe you cannot beat the aroma of freshly baked bread from a wood fired oven, or tender roasted goat and veggies.
My other passion is building and cooking with charcoal rotisseries. I have even have my own website in which you can purchase a set of plans on how to build your own. If you get a minute, check it out. http://members.iinet.net.au/~kookie/spit_index.html
With the Italian in laws we have just finished doing the salamis and have just vacuum-sealed all of them. In summer I go with them to Heathcote and we pick all the tomatoes to make the 300 bottles of sauce to share between us. I love watching my kids who are only 6, 8 and 10 getting instructions from Nonna on how to make the sauce.
And yes I did read your blog and keep it up.
I find it a bit hard explaining my passion in words but who knows, one day we might bump into each other and exchange stories.