Fantastic book for intermediary cooks!
I wish i could have given it this four-and-a-half-stars because it really shouldn't lose a whole star for my only complaint, but I wanted to warn potential buyers. The only thing I would change in this book is the amount of photographs. They are sparse at best, have no description, and sometimes do not even fall within a page of the recipe. This can be really frustrating for people who are not sufficiently familiar with cooking terms or Italian dishes (e.g. my husband or sister who are often confused when trying to pick something out for dinner from the Silver Spoon). You have to have some knowledge of cooking to put the terms and ingredients together in your head and know what it should look like. However, I have found that whatever the case is for appearance, the taste is still quite good.
I want to emphasize that the Silver Spoon is otherwise worthy of as close to five stars as possible. The recipes are authentic; this book has been around for generations and was typically the wedding gift for new Italian wives. It has been a corner stone in cook books for so long that it had to be updated to work with contemporary technology. Inside are thousands of delicious recipes that include both the highly traditional to the modern twists. This is not the cheap, oily "cuisine" of Olive Garden or Carrabas. This is quality food. It is food that reminds me of traveling through Italy.
A few particular things that I enjoy in addition to the recipes themselves include the index and glossary of terms and techniques. Even experienced home cooks may be unfamiliar with some of the Italian terms and I know as an American that cuts of meat and their names differ greatly. This is all very well explained. The chapters are divided by types of dishes as well as main ingredient; you can look through antipasti and first courses, or for specific vegetables or meats. There are also several egg preparation chapters. Another thing that puts this book over the top is the menu selection in the back. Several menus from famous Italian chefs provide exciting ideas for dinner parties and offer advanced gourmet techniques.