Update to this post on 10/7/2016:
I originally wrote this post back in 2012 where I bragged about how much I loved this magazine. Hands down it’s the best Italian food magazine on the planet in my opinion.
But, unfortunately it seems that it is no longer available for order from the company for the US. I have yet to find an American source. But when I do, I’ll update this post.
Previous post on 3/19/2012:
La Cucina Italiana is an Italian food magazine calling themselves, “the magazine of the Italian kitchen since 1929”.
One can tell it’s truly a quality magazine not only by the glossy cover and heavier stock, but by the absolutely stunning photographs displayed on nearly every page.
Sure looking at photos of recipes is fun, but this magazine takes it to another level and I’m not kidding. Just look at some of the pictures I took to prove it.
Here are some key takeaways about this magazine:
When flipping through this magazine, it’s not something you want to keep on a coffee table, but instead you want to tear out the images and have them framed and placed on your walls.
The images are beautiful full color on glossy, yet it’s not the print medium alone, but rather the professional artistry with the camera making the food breathe life into the magazine.
Italian and English
All the articles and recipes are written in English thankfully. But to give it that true Italian feeling, the titles of the recipes are in Italian – such as Penne con Peperoni Arrostiti (Sept/Oct 2011 issue), but for those who still have yet to master the language (yours truly) La Cucina is kind enough to put the English translation beneath – in this case, Penne with Roasted Peppers.
Quantity & Recipes
La Cucina Italiana is not full of ads and then squeezes in a few recipes and short articles like many modern day magazines try to do. Yes, they have ads and that’s fine – (we all have to make money), but let’s take the February 2012 issue that came in not too long ago.
By looking at the official Recipe Index on page 12, they have 34 recipes total – divided up by appetizers/salads, pastas, fish/meat/poultry and finally drinks/desserts. This is a great feature of the magazine because it makes looking up a recipe you remember seeing the week before a breeze.
The recipes themselves vary in degree of difficulty. For example, the Sept/Oct. 2011 issue was devoted to the theme of pasta so I was able to easily make or modify some of the recipes.
I even saw a similar recipe to one that I make at home frequently on pg. 68 of the Sept/Oct. 2011 issue called Linguine con Polpa Fresca in Dadolata, however I just call mine Pasta with fresh tomatoes and garlic sauce.
The recipes are very simple and organic in its barest form.
The only problem I have come across is that some of the ingredients I don’t keep on hand (white polenta – but I have regular yellow polenta) or I simply don’t buy the ingredients due to price or local availability unless making a special meal or planning recipes ahead – an area that could use improvement. Yet, somehow, that’s never a turn off because the ideas of the magazine always take me back to the fundamentals of Italian cooking – simplicity and quality.
This magazine is not just about recipes, but covers various topics that would be of interest to the reader.
For example, this past issue has a nice long story (accompanied by beautiful photographs) about Venice in the winter months written by Frank Van Riper.
I promise you the truth, I’m afraid to read this magazine sometimes because it stirs my heart in such a way that I want to travel back to Italy and next time not come back.
The points above are exactly what sets this magazine a notch (or two or three) above the rest. It’s unique, but not alienating. It’s high end, but not intimidating.
You feel as if someone has really taken to task the objective to inform you of Authentic Italian recipes and culture that isn’t found on the backside of a pasta box, but from the hearts of the editors and contributors who have a love for all things Italian.
In addition to a well designed magazine, they also host a nice website where you can look up and view their recipes, browse old recipes and also have a Forum you can join and participate in.
If you’re interested in trying out La Cucina Italiana, visit their website at: http://lacucinaitalianamagazine.com/. Click on the Subscribe link at the top right of site.
Currently one year is on sale for $24.
Enjoy e Buon Appetito!