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Elizabeth David Classics: "Mediterranean Food", "French Country Cooking" and "Summer Cooking" [Hardcover]

Elizabeth David
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
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Book Description

31 Oct 1999
This volume contains three of Elizabeth David's most popular cookery books: "Mediterranean Food", "French Country Cooking" and "Summer Cooking".

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Elizabeth David Classics: "Mediterranean Food", "French Country Cooking" and "Summer Cooking" + French Provincial Cooking + At Elizabeth David's Table: Her Very Best Everyday Recipes
Price For All Three: 40.88

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street; New edition edition (31 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902304276
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902304274
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Publishers Grub Street are to be congratulated on re-issuing this single volume collection of Elizabeth David's first three books (A Book of Mediterranean Food, French Country Cooking and Summer Cooking), which have too long been out of print in hardback. The paperbacks are useful but tend to fall to pieces with repeated use. Moreover, even at full price this represents something of a bargain. The charm of the originals, with the evocative drawings by John Minton and Adrian Daintrey, remains intact. Grub Street have discreetly changed page numbers in references and that appears to be about it. The lobster on the cover is as forbidding and jealous of its dignity as Mrs David, famously, was wont to be. (The changing cover illustrations of ED reprints over the years might make an interesting study. The 70s paperback of Mediterranean Food features a spectacularly boring photograph of a corner of a French market-meaningless, until you spot in the foreground a big bunch of garlic, a symbol even then of everything Mediterranean.

As for the books, what is there to say? They are what they are. Everybody knows about them. The fumes of historical myth ("grey post-war Britain ... sudden blaze of southern sunshine") rises from them like incense. It's difficult to recapture the effect they must have had in the 50s, and perhaps it's scarcely worth the effort. One returns to them periodically, wearied of the exertions of the gastro-pornographers, to refresh oneself at the spring of Elizabeth David's perfect taste. Or so the theory goes. However, it's important to remember, what seems in danger of being forgotten, that despite the telegraphic concision of some of the recipes, these are practical books, intended to be used over and over in the kitchen. Elizabeth David regarded herself first and foremost not as a writer but as a cook. These little volumes really are indispensable, imperishable classics of the kitchen. --Robin Davidson

From the Inside Flap

"Everyone who loves good food will welcome this reprint in one volume, hardback and durable, of the three classics of the kitchen which first made us familiar with the name Elizabeth David. They have been necessary to my generation, they will be necessary to our children and grand children." These are the opening lines from Jane Grigson's preface to the original edition of Elizabeth David Classics published in 1980 and her words remain as true today as they were nearly 20 years ago. Elizabeth David's cookery books have inspired generations of cooks and food lovers and this edition of three of her finest books is an essential addition to every culinary library.

"Every time we begin to feel fussed by the cookery elaborators with their flashy tricks and colour photos, we can restore confidence by returning to Elizabeth David." --Jane Grigson

"If only more keen and young cooks of today--both professional and amateur--would just set aside a few moments each week, to delve into the writings of Elizabeth David, the standard of cookery in this country could eventually become something of note. As it is, I imagine she might now be tearing her hair out with frustration and familiar ire, were she still to be part of most of it. To those who have a genuine leaning towards time well-spent around a well-worn kitchen table, a more enchanting enthusiast of that particular pleasure we shall possibly never know again." --Simon Hopkinson

About the Author
Elizabeth David developed her taste for good food and wine when she lived with a French family as a student. After returning to England she taught herself to cook in order to reproduce some of the delicious foods she had learned to appreciate. She found not only the practical side but also the literature of cookery of absorbing interest.

Elizabeth David lived and kept house in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India, learning the local dishes and cooking them in her own kitchens. Her first book, Mediterranenan 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 Mrs David severed all connections with the business trading under her name and 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 Noman and published posthumously in 1994. She was honoured with many prizes, made Chevalier de l'Ordre du Merite Agricole by the French in 1977, 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 Literature. She died on 22 May 1992.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 years with Elizabeth David 14 Feb 2009
30 years ago, while I was still a student, I bought "Mediterranean Food" in a Penguin paperback edition. It became one of my basic cookbooks, and has been used frequently until the present. The paperback has become worn, with interesting food-stains here and there. The possibility of getting it in a hard-back edition, together with two other early classics, was therefore irresistible. The other two books incorporated in this edition have been equally inspiring. Sometimes, I read it for inspiration and not because I am planning a meal. But at other times I start with one or two ingredients. Quite often, I find a dish in David's book, which I then try out. David put great emphasis on using seasonal ingredients. Making use of the season's vegetables is no longer necessary from an economic or practical point of view. But from an environmental view it still makes sense, if it means that you can buy local produce that has not been transported across half the globe. And it is also an interesting challenge for a hobby-cook!
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102 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the tv chefs secret weapon 25 Oct 2002
elizabeth david comes from another era. In the post war period food was for eating, there was no celebrity cooking, however the drought of rationing had been lifted,and she helped those who were interested discover fabulous ingredients from the meditteranean. This book along with An omlette and a glass of Wine will give anyone who wants to cook competently and honestly, a great grounding in good food, fairly easy techniques, the use of fresh ingredients and spectacular results,with amusing anecdotes to accompany the receipes, I wouldn't be without her in my kitchen, and having used everyone from Micheal Smith and The Galloping gourmet to jamie oliver, gorden ramsey and paul rankin, I still find myself cooking with elizabeth at least once a week. This is a wonderful version of her work I thoroughly recommend it and please remember you have to eat everyday to be healthy, so you might as well do it well and have some fun.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cookbook I own. 28 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first owned Elizabeth David's volume of three books thirty years ago. It went missing ages ago - it is such a good book I am not surprised it mysteriously disappeared. Happily, I now own the book again and I am reacquainting myself with the recipes of the dishes I used to cook.

The book is more or less just as I remember it. Happily the publishers left it in the original, very readable format.

The recipes use fresh ingredients, no long lists of them either, and are mostly simple to prepare. At the front of each chapter are amusing and interesting observations combined with a practical introduction to the dishes.

This is a book that when I dip into it I am still enjoying an hour later, until hunger reminds me what I actually picked it up for. It is a book that I return to time and time again for inspiration, to cook from and just to read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing 3 Jan 2009
this is the best cookery book i have ever read, having been brought up on ready meals and fish and chips cooking was not something i excelled at. this book has turned me into a good home cook. one person even said that i had "a real skill in the kitchen". it is in fact not my ability but that of Elizabeth David. oh and my french friend who gave this book to me as a gift.Elizabeth David Classics: "Mediterranean Food", "French Country Cooking" and "Summer Cooking"
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth David Classics 9 Jan 2012
By Jenny R
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband, as he is a keen cook. A friend who had just used it to cook a partridge recipe recommended it. It is full of classic/French recipes and is suitable for people who love to cook such food but who can cope without colour or picture illustrations. This book is for people who like to browse and read cookery books; who are not afraid of unusual terms and ingredients and enjoy the sections of advice such as "..Devote all the time and resources at your disposal to the building up of a fine kitchen. It will be, as it should be, the most comforting and comfortable room in the house". Using this recipe book should add to the enhancement of any kitchen, or rather, what comes out of it!
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81 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic every serious cook should have. 12 Dec 2001
I am very fortunate to own one or two original books by this most famous of cooks.
Elizbeth David was the Delia of her day, and her recipes reflect an in-depth knowledge of food.
As a historian, she writes from her own research.
Elizabeth David's Classics first appeared in 1950 when almost every essential ingredient of good cooking was either rationed or unobtainable; to cook the simplest of meals required devotion and ingenuity.
Revised only a few years later, after rationing, and on the brink of a new renaissance of cookery in Britain, Elizabeth David's book of Mediterranean Food, French Country Cooking, and Summer Cooking was a best seller.
Ingredients such as Calamata olives, Tahina paste, Olive oil, stuffed vine leaves, and other Mediterranean delicacies made their way into the Delicatessens of Soho and Tottenham Court Road, much as Chorizo Sausage was in every branch of Sainsbury's after Delia Smith introduced it in her now famous "Basque Chicken" recipe.
Written a half centaury ago, this book was ahead of its time, we have only now begun to discover the exotic flavours of oil, saffron, olives, garlic, wild marjoram and basil, pungent pimentos, aubergines, figs and limes.
Top Chefs use Elizabeth David's work as their bible, their inspiration, and their teacher, she was unique among woman, and her work will live on in history.
In 1976 Elizabeth David was awarded the O.B.E. in 1977 she was made a chevalier of the French Ordre du Merite Agricole and in 1979 an honorary doctor of the University of Essex. In 1986 she was awarded a C.B.E.
Elizabeth died in 1992.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Mediterannean Food
I really love Mediterannean food and I think Elizabeth David's books are great. The recipes are easy to follow. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Mike313
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Elizabeth David Book
This book has a great variety of Mediterranean Food. A great book for anyone who loves cooking and experimenting with food.
Published 1 month ago by SM
5.0 out of 5 stars haven't looked at it but my partner loves it
It was a gift for her & v happy she loves it !
paper back size & seems to be made well enough
Published 1 month ago by FG
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic reference book
Three of her good cooking books under one cover, now this is not a huge book its paperback novel size but filled with no frills recipes that make it a winner, no fancy pics just... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Baz Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars I use it all the time
I love this cookbook. It isn't flashy, but the recipes all really work. Buy it for yourself and friends who love good food. It's a bargain.
Published 2 months ago by A. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
Elizabeth David nevet let's me down, her recipes are both easy and handy, as more difficult and requiring times and commitement. Read more
Published 5 months ago by beehive
2.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth Davids 3 part collection
This lady was definitely NOT writing for the war-torn impoverished people of Britain. A most disappointing book whereby "take a large piece of rump steak" was simply not... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kiwi abroad
5.0 out of 5 stars good cookery writing
well written Elisabeth David, even if tastes and availability of ingredients somewhat dated
much better than modern TV cooks - lady can cook and write
Published 8 months ago by jg
5.0 out of 5 stars Cookery book
Wonderful book. Emotive and fantastic recipes. It reads like a travel book as well as cookery book. I love it
Published 8 months ago by Julia
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book, very good price!
Brilliant to read as a book without even cooking the recipes, makes me want to try her other books. Thanks
Published 11 months ago by Susan Archibald
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