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Elizabeth David A BOOK OF MEDITERRANEAN FOOD Folio Society Sealed

Elizabeth David A BOOK OF MEDITERRANEAN FOOD Folio Society Sealed

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Sealed Folio edition hardback of A BOOK OF MEDITERRANEAN FOOD by Elizabeth David and published by the Folio Society, London. Illustrations by Sophie MacCarthy together with Minton's original black and white illustrations. Introduction by Julian Barnes. It was first published in 1950.

The book is in brand new unread gift-quality condition, still sealed in the publisher's sellophane wrapping. (Hardback in quarter-bound buckram, with textured paper sides printed with a design by Sophie MacCarthy. Set in Sabon with hand-drawn display lettering). The original green slipcase is also in brand new condition. Internally, the pages are clean and tight and there are no tears and no inscriptions.

Elizabeth David, the British cookery writer, published eight books in the 34 years between 1950 and 1984, eight years before her death. After David's death, her literary executor, Jill Norman, supervised the publication of five more books, drawing on David's unpublished manuscripts and research and on her published writings for books and magazines.

David's first five books comprised recipes interspersed, particularly in the earlier works, with literary quotations, and with her descriptions of the places and people whence she drew her inspiration. By the time of her third book, Italian Food, David had begun to add sections about the history of the cuisine and the particular dishes that she wrote about. Her interest in the history of cooking led her in her later years to research the history of spices, baking, and ice.

David won the Glenfiddich Writer of the Year award for English Bread and Yeast Cookery. In 1982, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in recognition of her skills as a writer.

David's first book, A Book of Mediterranean Food, frequently referred to by the abbreviated title of Mediterranean Food, was published by John Lehmann in 1950, only a year after David's first articles had started appearing in British periodicals. The original typescript of the book consisted almost entirely of reused versions of her recent articles. It was submitted to and turned down by a series of publishers, one of whom told her that it needed something more than just the bare recipes. David took note, and wrote some linking text, interspersing her own brief prose with relevant excerpts from a wide range of authors known for their writings about the Mediterranean. They included Norman Douglas, Lawrence Durrell, Gertrude Stein, D. H. Lawrence, Osbert Sitwell, Compton Mackenzie, Arnold Bennett, Henry James and Théophile Gautier.

The book appeared when food rationing imposed during the Second World War remained fully in force in Britain. As David later put it, "almost every essential ingredient of good cooking was either rationed or unobtainable."She therefore adapted some of the recipes she had learned during in the years when she lived in Mediterranean countries, "to make up for lack of flavour which should have been supplied by meat or stock or butter."

The chapters of Mediterranean Food dealt with: soups; eggs and luncheon dishes; fish; meat; substantial dishes; poultry and game; vegetables; cold food and salads; sweets; jams, chutneys and preserves; and sauces.

"Elizabeth David's influence on our culinary tastes and attitudes was nothing short of revolutionary. Into the bleak post-war British kitchen, she brought the warmth, aromas and tastes of the Mediterranean. A Book of Mediterranean Food, her first great classic, was based on memories of happy years spent in France, Italy, the Greek Islands and Egypt. Combined here with a selection of essays from An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, it reveals a passion for good food as well as a marvellous ability to evoke atmosphere and place, whether it is the beautiful almond country surrounding Valencia or the pleasure of buying piping hot pissaladiére in the markets of Marseilles. Here are market stalls piled high with aubergines, tomatoes, melons, figs and limes; wooden barrels of glistening olives; the sheen of rain on an old terracotta oil jar; fresh dates in tortoiseshell colours and the pungent scent of fresh saffron. In the belief that producing good food should always be a 'labour of love', Elizabeth David provides a stunning array of recipes that introduce the reader to the individual flavours that characterise Mediterranean cuisine. Woven throughout are entertaining diversions exploring the origin of recipes and anecdotes from travellers and writers - among them William Beckford, Henry James, Norman Douglas and D. H. Lawrence - and, of course, Elizabeth David's own forthright opinions on the awarding of Michelin stars, the delights of the white truffles of Alba and the lack of a good tomato."

265 pages with 19 drawings by John Minton. Frontispiece and 8 full-page watercolours by Sophie MacCarthy.

ISBN: n/a

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A Book of Mediterranean Food by Elizabeth David

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