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Old 07-15-2006, 06:42 AM   #1
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What cookware and books to take to Italy?

I am relocating for a year and we will obviously be having a couple of traunks shipped out. My problem is I can' decide which kitchen stuff I am going to take.

We will probbly be living in a furnished apartment which will most likely have all the basics, and in Italy I guess we will be eating out a lot (following the theory of make hay while the sun shines!)

But.......can I really do with out my favourite cake tins? How many cook books are excessive? I am resigned to leaving my old frinds like chopping board and pestle and mortar, and the wooden spoon that always seems to somehow stir better than all the others, but what about my wonderful spatula? If I take my cake tins (lets put a limit on say, 4 tins.) if I bake I'll need to scrape!

I am going to get a copy of the great Italian cook book "il cucchiaio d'argento" and if I take, say my brilliant Prue Leith cookery bible and a couple of other favourites with emphasis on good ingrediants available, and probably better, in Italy.....a limit of 5?

I wonder what advice you guys will have? Has anyone else done this expat thing?

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Old 07-15-2006, 07:12 AM   #2
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The Silver Spoon weighs a ton... but I guess you know that already.

You might find it cheaper to buy things there rather than ship things over. Another factor is how big your kitchen is going to be.

Are you having to put all your stuff in the UK in storage or might you be able to leave some stuff with a friend so that you can get at it later if you think it necessary?
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Old 07-15-2006, 09:51 AM   #3
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I'm going to buy my sliver spoon in Italy, in Italian! So that is one thing I won't have to take.

My UK stuf is going to go into storage, and I don't intend to come back to UK during the year. And I think you are right, most things it will probably be cheaper to replace rather than take, but as we have to have trunks go out anyway I know I'll be wanting to shove favourite things into corners. Silly, huh?
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Old 07-15-2006, 10:17 AM   #4
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Not silly at all. And I think you've just answered your own question - take the things that you feel especially attached to. You'll probably be even more attached to them afterwards when you look at your pestle and mortar and think "remember that really good pesto I made with that gorgeous basil I bought off that old woman in the market at xxxx on the day when xxxx".

Have you seen a copy of the Silver Spoon yet? It contains a surprising number of "international" recipes, even scones! Have a browse in a bookshop here - you might decide you don't need to take any other books. I gather you speak good Italian so you'll be able to get really good Mediterranean fish recipe books there too.
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:08 PM   #5
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It can depend on how much time you have/can spare. Books weigh a lot, so if time allows, I would scan and copy all your favourite recipes and whatever the possibly useful infos into a hard disk/CD/DVD.
If you don't have that time, you will just have to think well and choose a few of your favourites. Do you read Italian? If you are interested in learning Italian cooking, don't bother bringing anything, there are tons of great original ones which I can suggest to you in time (or I am sure Roberto -RDG- will have good suggestions as well). But Italian people are tend to be a bit behind in ethnic cuisines (maybe Roberto disagrees, at least that is the case down in Rome!!), so maybe you want to bring some books on Indian cooking etc. if you are fond of them, as well as your own English cooking.
For your cooking gadgets, if I were you I would take anything that I find very handy and use regularly, especially if you are talking about spatula or wooden spoon, nothing particularly heavy or bulky. But even if you end up having to leave many things behind, don't despair. You are not relocating to Sahara desert, I suggest you take a trip to Ikea (there are at least a couple of them in Milano if I remember correctly), you can get just about any kitchen gadget, cookware and utensils, decently made at very reasonable prices. Good luck and buon viaggio!!
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:28 PM   #6
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I'm doing the expat thing, and I agree wholeheartedly with everything urmaniac has said. You don't really need to take anything, and with baggage allowance and such being what it is, I wouldn't bother. I did bring quite a bit of kitchen stuff with me when I relocated (it came in a crate and arrived a couple of months after I did) and wish I hadn't.

If you have friends who say "is there anything I can do to help?" give them a recipe book and a cd and tell em to start typing! So many recipes are available on the net, and of course you have all of us, so if there is a recipe you are missing that you need I am sure one of us will be more than happy to come to the rescue!
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Old 07-15-2006, 04:21 PM   #7
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Kyles, I did not know you were a expat over here! And urmaniac, thank you for reminding me about IKEA, I guess I can pick up anything I need there fairly cheaply. I am going to take my threee favourite cake tins, leave Prue Leith and your are right, of course why would I need my cook books when I have this forum! D'oh! I was forgeting I can get a recipe for pretty much anything I want here!

RDG has already been fantastically helpful, what a great guy he is!

I think I am only panicking because I was an expat kid and as soon as I went to university I decided I was only going to leave England for two weeks at a time, and while I love travel I also love home, so the idea of uprooting is a bit daunting. Thanks for being the voices of reason!
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Old 07-16-2006, 09:15 AM   #8
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Lulu, another thing I thought about... I did because many of you English people are like me, very fond of Indian cuisine. You may again want to verify this point with RDG, I am speaking out of my own experience in Rome and in general southern half of Italy. but... average Italian people know very little of Indian cuisine, if at all. Thus ingredients, especially spices to make some Indian treats are difficult to find, and if you do, can be quite expensive, unless you live near an ethnic quarter with lots of Indians and Pakistani, or there is a decent speciality food shop for imported food items.
So, if you are like one of these Indian food fans, to stick a few packets of coriander, turmeric, cumin and cardamom... or even something like Sherwood's Tandoori spice mix if you use them, into the side pocket of your rucksack maybe a good idea, they occupy very little space and weigh practically nothing anyway!!
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Old 07-16-2006, 11:16 AM   #9
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Wow Lulu, what a great opportunity for you.

I think I would take nothing and just immerse myself in their culture and cuisine, buying what I needed as I went along.

I would be there trying to saok up as much as I could.

The "When in Rome, ..........." sorta thing.

Congrats on the move and have a great time.
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:26 PM   #10
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The Silver Spoon

It's considered the italian cook's bible. It's also almost impossible to get here. I waited almost 3 months for Amazon to restock it. I bet it's easire for you to get your own in Italy.
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