Over the last several months, I have done a truly terrible job sharing the wonderful preserving books that have been published recently. I’m going to try to do a better job, because there are some exceptional new books out there that you should be checking out of the library and putting on your holiday wish lists.
First among these excellent books is Domenica Marchetti’s Preserving Italy. Focused on preserving food in the traditional Italian style, this gorgeous paperback neatly fills a void in the canon of food preservation writing. I often get questions from people wanting to preserve tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and garlic in the same manner as their grandparents once did, and this book deals with all of those topics (as well as many more).
The recipes are divided up into eight sections. They deal with foods preserved in oil, food preserved in vinegar, sweet preserves, tomatoes and sauces, infused oils and vinegars, fresh cheeses and basic cured meats, syrups and boozy things, and confections. In addition to the recipes focused on preserving, Domenica also tucks recipes into each chapter that are designed to help you use what you’ve preserved.
One of the things that I most appreciate about this book is that fact that it balances tradition with safety. Domenica includes a section on pressure canning and addresses the issues that exist when you preserve foods in oil (the start of that section includes some safety tips that should be required reading for anyone thinking about using this method of preservation).
As we head into the holiday season, this becomes an even more vital addition to our collective food preservation libraries. I am considering making a batch of the Coffee Cream Liqueur for gift giving and the Pear Mostarda would be so fabulous for a New Year’s Eve cheese board.
If you haven’t checked this book out yet, please do! It’s very much worth your time!