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French Country Cooking - Elizabeth David

Hardcover Published: 1st June 2011
ISBN: 9781908117052
Number Of Pages: 208

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First published sixty years ago while food rationing was still in force, Elizabeth David used this book to introduce to the nation's bland palate, ingredients and recipes previously undiscovered in post-war Britain. Many people of that era had never experienced anything other than British cooking - meat, two veg and a nice steamed pudding. She starts by setting the record straight: 'Those who care to look for it will find the justification of France's culinary reputation in the provinces, at the riverside inns, in unknown cafes...in sea port bistros...and nowadays in cafes routiers, the lorry-drivers' restaurants. In such places the most interesting food of France is to be found'.

For having lived with a French family while studying over there, she was able to bring first-hand knowledge to this short yet concise guide to provincial French cooking. She starts with a chapter on the Batterie de Cuisine. But it's the collection of regional recipes that follow that made this book such a treat for 1950s Britain; divided into sections on soups, fish, eggs, luncheon, supper and family dishes, meat, poultry, game, vegetables, salads, sauces and sweets, she gives an entertaining and informative introduction to each. French Country Cooking reveals the immense diversity of the cuisine through recipes that range from a primitive peasant soup of the Basque country to the refined Lyonnaise dish of Poulet a la Creme.

To those used to the traditional format of recipe writing the book will come as something of a surprise since Elizabeth David weaves the ingredients into the methods complete with details of the region, tradition and people. 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 following are other hardback editions of Elizabeth David published by Grub Street: French Provincial Cooking, Spices, Salt & Aromatics in the English Kitchen, English Bread & Yeast Cookery, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, A South Wind Through the Kitchen and Elizabeth David Classics.

About the Author

Elizabeth David (1913–1992) published eight books during her lifetime, from the evocative Book of Mediterranean Food in ration-bound 1950 to the masterly English Bread and Yeast Cookery in 1977. Her books are acclaimed not only for their recipes but also for their literary depth. French Provincial Cooking and Italian Food were reissued as Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics in 1999.

ISBN: 9781908117052
ISBN-10: 1908117052
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 1st June 2011
Publisher: Grub Street
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1

Earn 38 Qantas Points
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Elizabeth David

About the Author


Elizabeth David CBE (born Elizabeth Gwynne; 26 December 1913 – 22 May 1992) was a British cookery writer who, in the mid-20th century, strongly influenced the revitalisation of the art of home cookery with articles and books about European cuisines and traditional British dishes.

Born to an upper-class family, David rebelled against social norms of the day. She studied art in Paris, became an actress, and ran off with a married man with whom she sailed in a small boat to Greece. They were nearly trapped by the German invasion of Greece in 1940 but escaped to Egypt where they parted. She then worked for the British government, running a library in Cairo. While there she married, but the marriage was not long lived.

After the war, David returned to England, and, dismayed by the gloom and bad food, wrote a series of articles about Mediterranean food that caught the public imagination. Books on French and Italian cuisine followed, and within ten years David was a major influence on British cooking. She was deeply hostile to second-rate cooking and to bogus substitutes for classic dishes and ingredients. She introduced a generation of British cooks to Mediterranean food hitherto barely known in Britain, such as pasta, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salami, aubergines, red and green peppers, and courgettes.

David opened a shop selling kitchen equipment in the 1960s. It continued to trade under her name after she left it in 1973, but her reputation rests on her articles and her books, which have been constantly reprinted.

She died at her Chelsea home on 22 May 1992, aged 78, and was buried on 28 May at the family church of St Peter's, Folkington.

Visit Elizabeth David's Booktopia Author Page