Do you want something new and special without having to go to a specific Japanese restaurant, which may not even be in your city? Do you have a dinner with friends and you don’t know what to propose? Or, again, do you dream of being able to go to the world of anime and taste those tasty, steaming and inviting dishes? Well, we have a solution for you. Thirty Publisher, born in 2004, is one of the most important houses in the field of food and wine publishing and since then has dedicated itself to the publication of books suitable for the sector, while exploring decidedly original themes. In August 2021 he publishes The enchanted kitchen: The recipes taken from the films of Hayao Miyazakia cooking manual dedicated to bringing back the most famous and iconic recipes of the masterpieces of Studio Ghibli and, more generally, of the Maestro’s works, which have always been highly appreciated by the international public. Here is our analysis!
- Original title: The enchanted kitchen: recipes taken from the films of Hayao Miyazaki
- English title: The enchanted kitchen: recipes taken from the films of Hayao Miyazaki
- Original Release: 1 August 2021
- Italian release: 1 August 2021
- Number of volumes: 1
- Publishing house: Thirty Publisher
- Genre: Themed gastronomic manual
- Author: Silvia Casini, Raffaella Fenoglio and Francesco Pasqua (editorial coordination by Barbara Carbone)
- Format: 13 x 18 cm, b / w and green
- Number of pages: 144
We reviewed The enchanted kitchen: the recipes taken from the films of Hayao Miyazaki through the press volume provided to us by Trenta Edizioni.
The manual we reviewed in flexible cover format is small, almost like a paperback, but as they say, in the small barrel there is good wine: thin but consistent in its 144 pages full of information. The cover embossed it is a beautiful bright green water on which the design of the laden table stands out witch Yubaba de The enchanted city, the name of the publisher, the authors and the title in a beautiful modern and attractive font. It is structured differently from a classic cookbook, as it is properly themed having a certain consistency in the colors and fonts used, to focus the reader’s attention and offer a three hundred and sixty-degree overview of the world of anime by Miyazaki-san and its nuances. In fact, this little treasure is not only dedicated to explaining quantities, ingredients and processes, but is also aimed at telling the correlation between food and storytelling in the films of the Master.
In fact, to give us the “welcome” in the preface is Alessandra Korompayvoice actress of Fujiko Mine in the famous film Lupine III – The castle of Cagliostro (and not only) who gives us his personal opinion without spoilers of the culinary journey that we are going to undertake in leafing through the pages.
Below, we will find the summary, which anticipates the themes of the ten chapters into which the book is divided, dedicated to a selection of the excellent films of the sensei that have accompanied us throughout our growth. Starting from the already mentioned Lupine III – The castle of Cagliostrothe recipes proposed are taken from Wind Valley Nausicaa, Laputa – Sky Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki – Home Delivery, Red Pig, Princess Mononoke, Enchanted City, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo on the Cliff and to conclude The wind rises.
At the end of the summary, we find the introduction, which offers us a smattering of how each chapter will be structured and a legend is provided to help identify the type of recipe. In fact, not only is the original recipe taken from the filmbut the authors propose one greedy variant it’s a vegetarian variantin which there are alternatives to ingredients, perhaps more available in the West than those of Japanese tradition and above all suitable for all types of palates, a choice in our opinion inclusive for any interested in purchasing.
Within each chapter, then, before leaving us to discover the recipe itself and its variants, the authors have seen fit to introduce us the designated dish by summarizing the plot of the reference film and leaving a comment in which they explain in simple and immediate words the choice of the meal inserted by the director in his narration, which has a moral, historical or emotional value for the Maestro. In fact, they explain on several occasions that for Miyazaki the cuisine is closely linked to the stories he tells, they are not foods and dishes inserted randomly into the narrative but are carefully placed, with awareness and precision, in line with the settings and the development times of the plot, not to forget that they represent an important expedient to create or strengthen relationships between characters or give voice to their emotions.
Gastronomy and cinema are two worlds capable of offering unique and indescribable sensory experiences. The one who has fully understood this philosophy is the Master Hayao Miyazaki, which with its stories has managed to enchant young and old. And if there is one thing that is never lacking in Miyazaki’s feature films, it is the relationship between the characters and the food. The enchanted kitchen proposes a series of recipes taken from the films of the great director in three tantalizing variations. So get ready to have your mouth watering with the de sizzling bacon Howl’s Moving Castle and Siberia’s cake The wind rises: Miyazaki awaits you.
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Furthermore, between one chapter and another, interesting insights have been included on the origins of some of the courses discussed, such as bentoand of box where some curiosities about the making of the aforementioned films are told, in our opinion an excellent trick to make reading smooth and pleasant, almost interactive and to ensure that this manual is not just a collection of gastronomic information in its own right, to be used only in kitchen for the realization of the dishes. Not to be forgotten among all this information, the writing of the actual recipes, very intuitive and simple, short but explanatory, which allows both those who know the culinary world and those who instead feel a bit “clumsy” but have a strong desire to try their hand at the art of cooking to try and succeed in the realization of the dishes on offer. The only detectable flaw within the book is the lack of representative photos of the dishes, that extra touch that usually makes your mouth water at the very thought, but we do not think it is too risky a choice on the part of the authors, as it could have ruining the graphic impact that acts in some way as a leitmotif of the work.
Finally, the authors have included a complete glossary, with all the names of ingredients and dishes of Japanese origin followed by short but detailed descriptions, a bibliography and sitography, where they have reported all the sources from which they took inspiration for the creation of the book and the alphabetical index of recipes with the reference page, a choice that at the beginning may seem senseless, obsolete (since there is a summary at the beginning of the volume) but which turns out to be appropriate for the most immediate use in the kitchen, when we are in the practical implementation of the same and we need to immediately resort to the description of the procedure or the list of ingredients.
Not just a cookbook
The enchanted kitchen: recipes taken from the films of Hayao Miyazaki it is a small pearl for all lovers of the world built over time by the esteemed Master, made of art and history, but also of so much magic and enchantment. The language used is brilliant, intuitive, informative and cheerful, which makes the reading lively and urgent, it ends in the blink of an eye (it took us just over an hour) with curiosity and interest, it looks like a ‘excellent company for “dead” times and a nice way to get inspired, whether we find ourselves in the kitchen between one cooking time and another, or whether we find ourselves at the mercy of the typical doubt that usually takes us every day: “What what good are we preparing today? ”, especially if we are in good company.
We recommend the purchase of this volume both to avid fans of the feature films created by the genius of Hayao Miyazaki and to those who have been fascinated by some of these films and want to know more but above all to fans of Japanese cuisine. This book is a splendid gem to be included in your library: it seems small but hides many curiosities to discover and jealously guard, even more so if you want to delve into the special universe of anime, especially those made by Studio Ghibli.. As mentioned earlier, for Miyazaki, food is more than its basic purpose (i.e. nourishing the body to provide the energy needed for life), it is affection, it is bonding, it is union and sharing, so we take this spur as an incentive to create opportunities, experiment in the kitchen and why not, also experience unforgettable moments of joy at the table, in the company of those we love most!
An exquisite treat for Miyazaki fans
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