Given the above parameters, you may imagine my ecstasy when I stumbled across a series of large, country-specific, hard-cover cookbooks published by Konemann (and translated from the German) under the umbrella name of Culinaria. A friend had the France one. I fell in love. I went out and bought the Italy one. I am mad about Italy and its food, and this gigantic book - 496 stupendous pages, just imagine what it weighs - is a dream come true for a dedicated foodie. These are GREAT.
Need a gift for someone special? This could be it. For me, this kind of book is a 5+.