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In Italian

OP: Sushi and Susci

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by Moreno Cedroni

Bibliotheca Culinaria, 2001. Hardcover. Very Good in Very Good jacket. First printing.

With two Michelin stars and an avid following by those in the know, a remarkable restaurant perches on the Adriatic coast of Italy, about halfway up the boot. Seafood-oriented and called, fittingly, Madonnina del Pescatore, it was opened in 1984 and has been continuously under the leadership of its thoughtful and passionate chef Moreno Cedroni, who introduced a style of food that has marked its menu ever since. 

The style is a very pleasant surprise—an imaginative translation of Japanese sushi into the idiom of the little Italian snacks called bocconcini. Cedroni was one of the first to suggest a new take on pesce crudo—a traditional method of serving raw fish—combining it with a stimulating variety of Japanese-inspired creations. 

He called this invention “sushi and susci,” and in 2001 he published a book bearing that name to showcase his immensely appealing small dishes. They are really quite out of the ordinary. There is nothing formulaic about them, and his approach is not truly what one might refer to as fusion. 

Thinking in fresh ways, Cedroni pairs his seafood with starchy bases other than rice—tomato-laced couscous, herb-seasoned breadcrumbs, handmade tagliatelle. And the fish itself is prepared in a variety of ways—treated with infused hot oils, salted, marinated, acid-cured. His presentations are playful and, happily, also very well photographed.

It is impressive that we continue to be asked for this short-lived book. Produced handsomely in Italy by the respected Bibliotheca Culinaria, it was never actively distributed in the United States and was prematurely discontinued following what appears to have been a single hardcover printing. 

Between that and the location of the restaurant in the small Italian town of Senigallia in the Ancona province of the less-traveled Marche region, it has remained relatively little known, and copies, even of a later, now also out-of-print paperback edition, are very seldom seen. Ours is the true first printing and, therefore, in Italian. Hardcover, in Very Good condition with a Very Good dust jacket.

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