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Southern Italian Desserts Cookbook Review

By: Arielle Matlin, editor for

Southern Italian DessertsSouthern Italian Desserts: Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily
By: Rosetta Costantino
Provided by Ten Speed Press
Reviewed by Arielle Matlin, editor of


Southern Italian Desserts is so much more than just a cookbook. The collection of dessert recipes is insightful and filled with tips on how to create masterpiece desserts in your home kitchen. Whether you are an experienced pastry maker or giving baking your first shot, you will find this cookbook helpful.  There are not many books on the same topic in English and the author truly makes it easy to find the Italian in all of us. These Italian dessert recipes are sure to impress guests!


Southern Italy is known for its inspiring food & culture. The book has a strong connection to history and geography. The author provides an introduction to the region and cuisine, as well as a list of key ingredients. The book is then broken down by region. The recipes are put into a historical, personal, and cultural context with the author's brief recipe introductions. A helpful conversion chart is also included in back to help you cook these recipes as well as future recipes. This is a book worth keeping on the shelf. 


The recipe highlights include cannoli, cookies, and pastry creams. A personal favorite is the recipe for the Sicilian Cannoli (pg. 53). The shells are made with cocoa powder, the ricotta is speckled with chocolate chips, and a strip of candied orange peel lays across the finished cannoli. Another great recipe is for the Chunky Almond Biscotti (pg. 153). This classic biscotti recipe is one you will always keep in your back pocket.  Plenty more must-make recipes grace the pages of this work. 


This cookbook is visually stunning. Colorful dessert recipes are featured throughout the book alongside vibrant pictures of Italy. This cookbook provides easy-to-follow recipes, a nice read, and it makes a perfect book for your coffee table. Southern Italian Desserts is the ultimate gift for a foodie friend or family member. 

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