Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter (November 11, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #259,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #145 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > International #322 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Photojournalism & Essays > Photo Essays #456 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Travel
At only 22, Gabriele Galimberti's first real gig took him on a photography expedition around the world. Because he'd never traveled much beyond his small Italian hometown of Castiglion Fiorentino, Galimberti's grandmother expressed concern about his pending adventure. What would her grandson eat, and who would cook for him, she wondered aloud as she served him her homemade ravioli. Galimberti writes that this was the moment he hatched his plan to find, cook with and photograph grandmas from each place he visited, capturing their signature dishes and stories. The result was In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World.What this book is:I first sat down with this 250-page coffee table book with my 6-year-old son, who has a thing for maps. The inside cover is printed with a world map index pinpointing all the locations Galimberti visited. My son enjoyed picking a location from the map then flipping to the corresponding page to learn about cultures and food so different from his own. Each entry includes a full page portrait of the cook posing with the ingredients for her dish in her kitchen or dining room.The facing page features a close up of the finished cuisine. The following two pages provide a brief story about the cook and her family as well as the recipe for the dish. I enjoyed reading through the entire tome, trying to guess the country of origin from the photographs before flipping the the extended caption on the next page. I love that I now know a little bit about Latvian cooking and that I have a Greek grandma's recipe for making phyllo dough from scratch. There were a number of recipes I was eager to try, such as Galimberti's own grandmother's Swiss Chard and Ricotta Ravioli with Meat Sauce.
This book is unlike any recipe book that I have ever seen. While reading In Her Kitchen, it feels like you are with Gabriele Galimberti on his trip around the world and like you are in these kitchens meeting loving grandmas and tasting their recipes. Each recipe begins with two full-page color photos: the left photo of a grandmother in her kitchen with ingredients laid out and the right photo of her finished dish. Turn the page, and you are treated to a paragraph about the grandma, her home country, and her life and family - this is incredibly sweet to read and feels so personal. I wish I could meet the wonderful women in this book! On the next page is the grandma's recipe so you can make her signature dish at home.There is enormous variety as far as the foods go, and there is something in here for everyone. Make Swiss Chard and Ricotta Ravioli with Meat Sauce from a grandma in Italy, Shark in Coconut Soup from the Philippines, Chicken Vindaloo from India, or Scattered Sushi from Japan. If you want a more Western dish, try Poached Cold Salmon and Vegetables from Sweden, Ratatouille from France, or Moose Steak (Alaska). The sheer variety of protein sources in this book is interesting: there is everything from fish and protein-filled grains to iguana and caterpillars. Although some of these recipes may not appeal to every palette (I won't be making Caterpillars in Tomato Sauce), it is so neat to get an intimate look into the lives and foods of grandmas and their families around the world. If you want to make a recipe with a difficult-to-find meat, you can always substitute with something available near you, but it looks like most of these ingredients would be available in any major city (but you may need to look for an ethnic market for some).
In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World by Gabriele Galimberti is a visually beautiful book. Galimberti's premise/project is simple: over a period of eighteen months he traveled to sixty different countries around the world and interviewed, cooked (with only a couple of exceptions), and ate with at least one grandmother in each country (unaccountably, though some regions of the world are omitted entirely, he includes four grandmothers from Brazil, two from Argentina, and three from the United States, though one of those is from Alaska, which might seem rather foreign to those in the lower 48).The entries are ordered by each woman's last name, and each one is allotted four pages: two of photographs, one of the grandmother in her kitchen and another of the dish she prepared for Galimberti; two of text, one that tells us something about the individual grandmother and sometimes a little about her culture, country, and what she cooked while the other provides the recipe. It's a good, logical organizing strategy and the photographs are wonderful, which is not surprising, since Galimberti is primarily a photographer, whose work has appeared in many publications, including Newsweek, Le Monde, and Vanity Fair. Each woman is shown in her cooking area or dining room, with the ingredients of the dish she made spread out in front of her. They are incredibly diverse and all beautiful, both the women - whose pride and pleasure shine from their faces - and the food, though some of the dishes are more interesting than others.
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