In the same way that blockbuster movies are released in time for the holiday crowds, the heavy hitters among cookbooks are also published for the gift-giving season.
This year, some volumes were expected -- yes, another book by Rachael Ray, and, of course, one by Martha Stewart -- but the real surprise came from a mammoth Italian cookbook. Virtually unknown in this country until it was translated into English this year, "The Silver Spoon" has quickly become the book to have in your kitchen this holiday season.
But there are other just-as-appealing entries in the current cookbook lineup. We've divided the best of the bunch into areas of interest and have highlighted the ones that particularly intrigued us.
-- Candy Sagon and Judith Weinraub