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French Provincial Cooking Paperback – 30 Apr 1998


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French Provincial Cooking + Italian Food + A Book of Mediterranean Food (Penguin Cookery Library)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (30 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140273263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140273267
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

It is difficult to think of any home that can do without Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking. --The Observer

Voted one of the top 45 cookbooks of all time by New York's Village Voice --Village Voice

If I had to go on a desert island I'd take this with me. Elizabeth is brilliant at telling stories about the food she cooks. The text is threaded with memories of the places and people she loved. Being such an emotional writer, you can almost taste the food as you're reading.<BR> --Oz Clarke, The Daily Express

French Provincial Cooking is one of the foundations of the way we cook today - over the past 50 years, it has influenced untold numbers of cooks, restaurant chefs and food writers. --Charles Campion, Country Life --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

If I had to go on a desert island I'd take this with me. Elizabeth is brilliant at telling stories about the food she cooks. The text is threaded with memories of the places and people she loved. Being such an emotional writer, you can almost taste the food as you're reading.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Bernardette Lugner TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 April 2006
Format: Paperback
REVIEW APPLIES ONLY TO PENGUIN PAPERBACK EDITION: I bought this edition to replace our Penguin book from 1964 which had gradually worn into a pile of disconnected pages over decades of loving use. All the inspiring writing is still there, of course, all the no-nonsense, no compromise common sense of Elizabeth David that makes this book an essential for anyone who loves to eat well, cook well, or both. But oh, Penguin, you have chosen the cheapest of thick paper, and the print is woefully smaller than the old edition, on pages that are larger! This looks like a scan of a hardback edition. Juliet Renny's delicate line drawings now appear coarsened. Once upon a time, French Provincial Cooking was mostly for browsing -- you simply could not find all the ingredients. Today you can get everything, so you have the pleasure of cooking authentic French dishes with Elizabeth David's unparalleled expert guidance. Nevertheless, you will still want to settle down and read your way through recipes you plan to make some day and learn what makes them so good, and you might just want to do it with a rather nicer edition than this one. So 4 stars out of 4 for the content and 0 stars out of 1 for the production.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Corbett on 10 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Recently voted by The Guardian to be one of the greatest cookery books of our time, the placing was well deserved. It has been a source of information, technique and delight (for Elizabeth David wrote like a master) for my long cooking life. My new, hardcovered edition is a handsome book and will long outlast tghe span of its predecessor which, after some forty years, had crumbled to loose-leaves. To anyone who is tempted or, more likely daunted, by the antics of TV cheffery, let them open this book and read the 1960 introduction and thereafter hold before them always the injunction she quotes from Escoffier, "Faites simple", Make it simple. That injunction is displayed on every page and in every recipe she gives.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Nicholas Le Poidevin on 21 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was glad to locate this hardback reprint of this Elizabeth David classic. My 1973 paperback edition was falling apart after nearly 40 years of constant use. I recommend it without hesitation to anyone who enjoys simple but creative home cooking in the French style. It is a far cry from lavishly illustrated books by modern ego-tripping celebrity chefs. Its only illustrations are a few line drawings. The many recipes are generally straightforward and rely on quality basic seasonal ingredients and are geared to a kitchen without modern gimmicky gadgets. It was compiled long before deep freezers or imported exotic foods affected our approach to cookery. It is very much a 'back to basics' book. It has very many useful comments about techniques and the handling of specific ingredients and a mine of information on how to prepare and use them. As a bonus it has a comprehensive index. It is also full of anecdotes and makes a pleasant book for any amateur chef to browse.
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74 of 81 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the book that more than any other introduced the English to wonderful French food. Many of the foods that are now taken utterly for granted in every supermarket were unknown and alien before this book. It may well have encouraged exploration to France and of its food that began with the hoards of English tourists to France of the 1970s. It is also the perfect book to read outside the kitchen- she conjures up all those times when in France that you feel that you are the first person to have eaten that onion tart or coq au vin...
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Timothy F. Morgan on 9 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
Provided you have a few basic skills, this book is excellent.
The recipes are authentic, imaginative and always go down well with guests. The techniques suggested bring out the flavour of the ingredients to a tee and are transferrable with application of one's own imagination.
The recipes are also not fussy or predicated on knowing your butcher on first name terms.
You could cook from this book for ever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 9 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book, it tells you so much more about french provincial cooking than mere recipes, and is, as other reviewers have said, a kind of historical travelogue too. But the thing I really enjoyed most about her writing was the warmth of her character that comes through in the book despite her sometimes controversial views about subjects like the standard of Parisian restaurant food and the relative merits of famous dishes such as Bouillabaisse when compared with similar but (in her opinion) vastly superior Italian dishes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Simon Tavener VINE VOICE on 10 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought my first copy of this book over 20 years ago. Since then I have given it many times as wedding presents, christmas presents and for birthday gifts.

There is a clarity to David's writing that sings out - many decades after she first wrote it. The ingredients are easier to come by than when the book was first published - which is a blessing.

Her recipes are tempting, her instructions very clear and her prose inviting and descriptive.

This has been a classic for decades. Every food lover should have a copy
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hayden Kirkland on 14 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you want to understand what French cooking is all about, then this is the book for you. It's got loads of great information that will help just about anyone, even a novice like me. I'd highly suggest this one, along with Simple French Cookery.
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