The Enchanted Kitchen is a recipe book, and at the same time an essay, written by Silvia Casini, Raffaella Fenoglio and Francesco Pasqua, on the combination of food with Miyazaki's films.
For those unfamiliar with him, Hayao Miyazaki is perhaps the most famous exponent of Japanese animation cinematography and the co-founder of the famous Studio Ghibli. With over half a century of work in the industry behind him, Hayao Miyazaki has delighted us with his recipes in his animated short stories.

In this book, written with several hands, one can recognize the profound link between food and its filmography.

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The Enchanted cuisine dish

Synopsis of the book La Cucina Incantata and two words about the publishing house

Gastronomy and cinema are two worlds capable of offering unique and indescribable sensory experiences. Who has fully understood this philosophy is the master Hayao Miyazaki, who has managed to enchant young and old with his stories. 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 de sizzling Bacon Howl's Moving Castle and Siberia's cake The wind rises: Miyazaki awaits you.

This book was published by the publishing house Thirty Publisher and came out in August last year.
Trenta Editore is dedicated to the culture of food in all its forms, to spread the great emotion of good food with quality, curiosity and innovation. It could therefore be considered a large convivial table capable of uniting thoughts, words and people.

But let's take a closer look at the concept of food in Miyazaki's worlds.

Food in Miyazaki's filmography

From The frame di Ponyo on the Cliff to the Herring and Pumpkin Flan di Kiki - Home Delivery, the dishes in Miyazaki's films have always made our mouths water. And how to forget the most important meal of the day Howl's Moving Castle? Giant fried eggs in a pan with huge slices of smoked bacon along with bread and cheese. A delight for the stomach and the eyes.

How many of us, on a cold autumn evening, would have liked to cook it Vegetable stew seen in Laputa ne the Sky Castle or the Miso and Rice Soup area of Principessa Mononoke?

Each dish is made up of "poor" ingredients, you will never see caviar or ankimo (鮟 肝), a dish based on monkfish liver considered one of the most expensive and sought after dishes in the world. The reason is very simple. The lifestyle of the characters in Miyazaki's films is never over the top. Each course smacks of daily life, of family and unfortunately also of pain and absence.

Cooking as a way to talk during Miyazaki's films

All or most of the dishes in this book come from the Japanese culinary tradition.
Seeing them prepare immerses the viewer in a familiar and at the same time almost unreal atmosphere. The act of cooking and eating, except in some of Miyazaki's cinematography films, is a moment of total break from the narrative. A suspended time, far from suffering. Howl takes a break from the war to have breakfast and seems very detached from what he experiences during his flights.

But that's not always the case.

When we think of Miyazaki's works we can always glimpse the strong pacifist and environmentalist commitment as in Nausicaä of the Valle del Vento, the war drama told in A Tomb for the Fireflies, and death by starvation.
Food, or the absence of it, represents a common thread in the narrative of Studio Ghibli's works: ne The Enchanted City the various dishes are not only a colorful and greedy scenographic element, of which at times we almost feel the scent, but a means through which the characters create a sentimental connection, they reassure themselves.
For example the anpan, sweet rolls filled with a tasty red bean jam, called anko. Or the onigiri, pyramid-shaped rice balls wrapped at the base with a small layer of nori seaweed and stuffed with various ingredients, such as salmon, tuna and Shiitake mushrooms.

In other moments, however, food is a moment of openness to the new world or to accept something different from us. An example of this is the pineapple of Rain of Memories. This fruit, never seen fresh until about the 60s in post-war Japan, is the moment in which we can understand the opening of the country to the whole world and the scene in which the family is grappling with this fruit is very funny " unknown"!

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Conclusions on The Enchanted Kitchen

Miyazaki's food is beautiful to look at, makes you hungry, but most of all you can almost smell it. It is a love that was born in the kitchen of a person who then decided to transfer it to his films. It's real life in an animated film. We can almost hear the horse mackerel being fried in it The Hill of Poppies.

And it is precisely from this love that the book is born The Enchanted Kitchen. The three people behind this work loved every single moment of writing this book, you feel it from their work. They wanted to convey the feelings of the master Miyazaki in the book.

Many recipes, a lot of intimacy and, through the dishes, an essay on the union between food and life that is strongly perceived in the works of Studio Ghibli.

This and much more is what you will find in the book The kitchen enchants that you can buy to this address. An excellent job yes, but not without flaws: the absence of images, which would have made everything even more immersive and evocative, is perceived a lot. A small problem that I hope they will be able to solve by adding them in a future reprint. Despite this a great job that we highly recommend!

And what do you think of the food in the worlds of Studio Ghibli? What is your favorite dish? Tell us in the comments!