Author: Elizabeth David
Brand: Grub Street Cookery
Number Of Pages: 406
Release Date: 06-03-2019
Details: Product Description
Jane Grigson wrote of Italian Food 'Basil was no more than the name of bachelor uncles, courgette was printed in italics as an alien word, and few of us knew how to eat spaghetti or pick a globe artichoke to pieces. ... Then came Elizabeth David like sunshine, writing with brief elegance about good food, that is, about food well contrived, well cooked. She made us understand that we could do better with what we had.'
Published in 1954 the importance of this book, which required a full year's research in Italy, can only be appreciated when you realise that she was working in a post-rationing England which regarded Italian cuisine as nothing more than variations on pasta and veal. What she discovered was an enormous wealth of regional diversity in ingredients, methods, and even language, where the same pasta shape can be called three or four names in different parts of the country. She understood that all Italian cooking is regional; there is no 'national' cuisine and so there are eight recipes for aubergines, fourteen for artichokes, five for fennel and seven for lentils, all from different regions. But if such descriptions seem to today's reader overly thorough it is because many of her 1950's audience would have never heard of risotto, gorgonzola, prosciutto or even olive oil, let alone been able to purchase them.
This is a critical and analytical look at Italian food - her personality and point of view come out on almost every page - organised by type of dish rather than by region and is full of details of kitchens and cooking by painters from the 14th, 15th and 18th centuries. The book is filled with asides and quotes from Italian writers and thinkers and as confirmation that this is more a work of scholarship than a simple book on cookery, there are appendices of bibliographies and notes on wine.
If you want to explore the authentic regional roots of the Italian kitchen, Elizabeth David's masterpiece is the place to start. And the joy and relevance of this book today is that recipes that could only be read 60 years ago can now be cooked and savoured.
Elizabeth David's acclaimed writings are often cited as an inspiration by many of today's leading chefs, as well as home cooks, and are essential to any serious cookery book collection.
The Elizabeth David recipe that I love and remember the most is the delicious ragu from her Italian Food book. Elizabeth David is up there with the best --Jamie Oliver
More than a collection of recipes, this book is in effect a readable and discerning dissertation on Italian food and regional dishes, and their preparation in the English kitchen. --The Times Literary Supplement
Dozens of the young chefs who have brought glory to American cooking over the last two decades are indebted to Mrs David. --Marian Burros, The New York Times
About the Author
Elizabeth David lived and kept house in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India, learning the local dishes and cooking them in her own kitchens. She found not only the practical side but also the literature of cookery of absorbing interest. Her first book, Mediterranean Food, appeared in 1950. In 1951 French Country Cooking was published and in 1954, after a year of research in Italy, Italian Food. This was followed by Summer Cooking (1955), French Provincial Cooking (1960) and Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen (1970). In 1973 she concentrated on study and experiment for English Bread and Yeast Cookery, for which she won the 1977 Glenfiddich Writer of the Year Award. An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, a selection of her journalistic work, was published in 1984 and Harvest of the Cold Months, her book on the use of ice and the making of ices was edited by Jill Norman and published posthumously in 1994. She was awarded the OBE in 1976 and the CBE in 1986. Honorary doctorates were conferred on her by the universities of Essex and Bristol. In 1982 she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literatur
Package Dimensions: 8.0 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches