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European Festival Food [Hardcover]

Elisabeth Luard
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 20.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Sep 2009
Since the earliest times the people of Europe have gathered together, either as families or as whole communities, to celebrate their traditional festivals - their high days and holidays, their harvests, their births, weddings and funerals. At Christmas and New Year and Easter, and at the pagan festivals that preceded them, people ate the dishes sanctified by custom for those occasions. The best local produce was served at these feasts but often with the extra savor of the unfamiliar: exotic spices in cold northern countries, fish from icy Atlantic waters in the sunny south. Ritual and ceremony, some of it very ancient, accompanied the food. From all over Europe from Scotland to the Mediterranean, from Hungary to Cornwall, Elisabeth Luard has collected descriptions of these traditional feasts and festivals, many of which she has experienced first hand, and hundreds of recipes for the dishes appropriate to them. As well as being a unique and wonderfully readable cookery book, "European Festival Food" is written with the scrupulous attention to detail and authenticity that is the hallmark of Elisabeth Luard's cookery writing, the recipes are peppered with hundreds of fascinating anecdotes and little known facts about local history and folklore. Starting with December the book is organized according to the months of the year and so it importantly also reminds us of the cycle of seasonality that is now once again regarded as the natural and much more enjoyable way to shop and eat.

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European Festival Food + European Peasant Cookery
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street (30 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906502455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906502454
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 19.5 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 458,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


You need to buy this book twice - once to read and once to cook from - both worthwhile purchases --The Bookseller<br /><br />This is literature, with food as its vehicle. Its not a dry and worthy textbook but a thoroughly accessible good read. A book for bedtime as well as the kitchen ... Its a gem of a volume that offers seasonal recipes which have stood the test of time. They are a marvellous collection. --Mostly Food Journal<br /><br />I loved the reissued European Festival Food by Elisabeth Luard which has provided me with plenty of seasonal inspiration. --Catherine Phipps, The Guardian

Magnificent ... a treasure trove of food lore. --Bee Wilson, The Telegraph<br /><br />Luard is one of the greatest living food writers. This may be her best book yet. --The Times<br /><br />Highly Recommended ... warm and immensely readable. --The Glasgow Herald

About the Author

Elisabeth Luard is an award-winning food-writer and a winner of the much coveted Glenfiddich Trophy. In the judges' estimation, 'in addition to scooping the much coveted Glenfiddich Trophy, Elisabeth Luard was named best Cookery Writer for her recipes in The Oldie. Elisabeth's seemingly effortless style of writing, self-drawn illustrations and understanding of the way in which ordinary people's cooking reflects their history, culture and everyday life, makes her one of the most individual and distinctive food writers of all time.' In the 90s she covered regional cooking in Britain for Country Living and was the food-columnist of The Scotsman and The Telegraph. She is the food columnist for The Oldie and a contributing editor to Waitrose Food Illustrated as well as many national newspapers.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant mix of recipes and cultural history 7 Nov 2009
Elisabeth Luard should be as widely known as Jane Grigson, Elizabeth David and Claudia Roden. This book is a joy to read, setting the recipes in a cultural and historical context. It is one of those rare books that manages to provide clear, authoritative recipes that work in the kitchen along side accompanying essays that you'll want to curl up with on the sofa. Best of all, Luard has a sense of humour.

The book is arranged by festival/time of the year and covers a range of recipes for each festive season from different European countries. I am currently trying out some of the Christmas recipes which include Lebkuchen (spiced honeybread from Germany); Luciasaffransbrod (saffron buns with currants and almonds from Sweden) and Speculaas (spiced shortbreads from the Netherlands). The Christmas section alone runs to over 60 pages with other recipes including roast goose with apples, red cabbage and potato dumplings; Silesian poppy-seed stollen and a Yorkshire treat I didn't know - Christmas orange jelly.

This book is a real keeper. Several of my loved one will be getting copies in their stockings.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't have a title!! 4 Jan 2012
Elizabeth Luard is new to me but I was given this book as a Christmas present. I'm still slowly reading it and have not tried any recipes yet but what a fascinating read it is.

Someone else commented on the lack of photographs but I'm not too worried about that, besides I'd rather keep the text than lose it to images and adding images to the existing text would make it far too unwieldy.

Perhaps I'll have to break my moratorium on purchasing new cookery books and get her European Peasant Food as well?
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars room for improvement 19 Aug 2010
By jess
There are no pictures or illustrations, and as most of the recipes were unfamiliar to me I would have found it helpful to know how they should turn out.
That being said there is a nice range of recipes covered, some complicated others quite simple.
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