Books for cooks; the history of pizza

A Neapolitan margherita

Books for Cooks is a beautiful double-fronted Gertrude St shop full of 15,000 cook books and books about food and wine more generally. Its proprietor Tim White spent a decade at what is generally regarded as Melbourne’s leading law firm, Mallesons, and is not the most ebullient shopkeeper in the world, but his and his wife Alison Schulze’s labour of love is undoubtedly our gain. They have a newsletter which you can sign up for at the website, and their bookmarks are useful for having metric-imperial conversions set out in a fashion helpful for consultation mid-recipe. They’re open 7 days, 10-6 p.m. (11-5 Sundays) and their number’s 8415 1415.

Here’s an interesting Age article about the Australian cookbook publishing market.

I bought a translation of Nikko Amandonico’s La Pizza; The True Story from Naples and learnt that the two truly authentic Neapolitan pizze are the marinara and the margherita, but marinara has no seafood at all. Elsewhere in Italy, the marinara is often called Napoletana. It owes its name to “the times when fishermen, after a night at sea, would stop off at the bakery and, extremely hungry but in a hurry to get home, would ask for a pizza that was light and quick” — tomato, garlic, oregano, and oil. Continue reading “Books for cooks; the history of pizza”