Good and Simple by Bertazzoni is not only a mouth-watering cookbook but also a treasure trove of Italian culture and history, and an invitation to slow down, savor life, and celebrate family
Nowadays, most of us are living a non-stop, hectic, grind life. Some people are reclaiming the simple, slow-living style from yesteryear. But what if you could have both? Bertazzoni has combined high-end technology with traditional Italian cuisine. Their book, Good and Simple, shows us how to combine time-honored skills with modern efficiency in our meals.
Good and Simple Traditions of Family Cooking is, technically, a cookbook. Full of tidbits of Italian historical trivia, snippets of interviews with members of the Bertazzoni family, and gorgeous pictures, it is also an ode to the products of the plentiful land of Emilia-Romagna, the “bread basket of the Roman Empire,” an ode to family and traditions, and an invitation to take the time to make of our meals the highlight of our day and not just another to-do to check on a list.
As “the world’s oldest family-owned business designing and manufacturing premium kitchen appliances,” if someone knows about both tradition and innovation, it’s the Bertazzoni. They need tradition to keep the essence of the company and to keep it in the family, and innovation simply to keep it in business. For example, nowadays, their products are focused on saving energy and gas, providing a greener (and way more efficient) alternative to traditional cooking methods. The cookbook also considers more modern ailments and offers a few gluten-free alternatives. Of course, all this while keeping the sleek design and classic flair of Italian cooking. This business has survived two World Wars! Anyone interested in keeping their own business alive for a long time should look into Good and Simple because their values are, in my opinion, their fountain of youth. And it’s not only about business. This family has canned cherries that their grandma made twenty years prior. They take tradition seriously. Shouldn’t we all? We can only know who we are and where we are going if we know and honor where we come from.
This is not a Bertazzoni sales pitch. Though they mention their products every now and then, they also recognize that: “The quality of kitchen equipment doesn’t necessarily make a good cook or a bad cook. But its accuracy and ease of operation will allow you to realise your intentions – and the intentions of recipes – reliably.”
The only downside, if any, is the explicit descriptions of the handling, gutting, and other activities required to bring meat to our tables. It’s a necessary part of this book, but it wasn’t the most pleasant part to read. Things get gory pretty quickly. Suffice it to say that this is not a book vegans, ethical or otherwise, would appreciate.
Good and Simple is also a treasure trove of Italian culture. And since Italy was the heart of the Roman Empire, which comprised pretty much all of Europe, it’s full of elements I think most of us will find relatable. I’m from Mexico, and I found a ton of commonalities with the dishes mentioned. We have a mille-foglie cake, too (milhojas, in Spanish), and we eat salt cod for Christmas dinner. If not relatable, the cultural trivia is certainly fascinating. For example, do you know what a rezdora is? It’s much more than a housewife. It’s the Italian concept of a kitchen queen.
Even if one doesn’t intend to cook a single thing, Good and Simple is worth it just for the sensory delight that every word provides. The bucolic experience of visiting Emilia-Romagna through their dishes will appeal to wanderlust-filled souls. Even the instructions in this cookbook are different from the mechanical ones we’re used to. Since these are recipes that have been passed through generations, some of them are almost lyrical. For example, you know when a strudel is done if “your kitchen smells like Christmas.”
Good and Simple deserves a chef’s kiss; never better said!
- Title: Good and Simple Traditions of Family Cooking
- Author: Bertazzoni
- Genre: Cookbook
- Theme: Cooking, Recipes
- Minimum Audience Age: 15
(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual themes: 0
- Religious themes: 1
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: 0
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 0
- Other adult themes: 0
- Content: 5 stars
- Writing Style: 5 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
- Uniqueness: 4 stars
- Editing: 3 stars
- Other factors: 4 stars
- Overall: 4.3 out of 5
Featured Book: “Good and Simple” by Bertazzoni
Synopsis Despite the abundance of recipe videos, links, and blogs for everything from the perfect potluck to delectable brownies on the internet, reading recipe books is a time-honored method of discovering new recipes and learning how to cook. Recipe collections, from themed to story-filled, allow us to share memories and meals with the authors and…
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