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The Food of Spain Hardcover – 15 Mar 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (15 Mar 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0718157192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718157197
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 4.5 x 25.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Claudia Roden was born and brought up in Cairo. She finished her education in Paris and later studied art in London. She writes about food with a special interest in the social and historical background of cooking.

With the publication of the bestselling A Book of Middle Eastern Food in 1968, Claudia Roden revolutionized Western attitudes to the cuisines of the Middle East. Her books include the international award-winning classic, The Book of Jewish Food, as well as The Food of Italy and Arabesque. Claudia has won six Glenfiddich awards for her writing, and in 1989 was awarded Italy's two most prestigious food prizes.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By James Hall on 28 Mar 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Received this book 2 weeks ago, having pre-ordered it and am absolutely loving it! A really good and intelligent work on Spanish cooking, that importantly is written in a way accessible to us in the UK. For me, one of the biggest pluses is that so many of these dishes are possible to knock up for supper after returning from work - yes, there are some that need longer, but it is very evident that Claudia has stuck to her aim of producing recipes that give flavour and satisfaction worthy of the time put into them. Have cooked 4 from the book so far and all have turned out brilliantly.

I note the comments from the less enthusiastic reviewer, although I have to say that I found this a perfect balance between cookery book and scholarly work. There are 122 pages of history and analysis of ingredients before the recipes even begin - to be honest I think that if you want more than that, you should be buying an academic text and not a recipe book! Although some of the information may be already known to many, it's not put across in an overly simplistic way and you can't just skip out mentioning oil and bread, just because it's a well known part of Spanish cookery.

I will confess that the book maybe does not have pages of immediately stand-out 'wow' recipes that make you want to drop everything and cook them. But I think that is partly because so much of Spanish cookery is quite simple, everyday fare. However, if you take the time to read the book and try out recipes, then you really do get the 'wow' - both on a quick weekday supper and a weekend dinner party. I feel certain this book will become one of the most well-thumbed and oil-stained in my kitchen!
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Ramuk on 17 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover
For some reason there are a plethora of Spanish cooks books being published. Many of them offer the standard fare. However, if you truly want the heart and soul of Spain on a plate, then this is the book for you. There are of course many simple and easy to cook recipes, but I am absolutely fed up with the quick and simple approach offered up by the likes of the delectable Nigella, to get us all cooking. I want complex, time consuming journeys of culinary delight, and Claudia's book offers this up...big time. To say I love this book is an under-statement it is really a journey into the Spanish kitchen. she is a cook who loves and understands food. The culinary story of Spain is here and is a great read for those who want to understand the food they are cooking, Claudia takes you to the root of the recipes. The food is sublime! Am I going to be watching Rick Stein, of course I am, but I am going to be cooking Claudia Roden.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Music fan on 29 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another exceptional book from Claudia Roden . If you are not interested in food but simply want a recipe book to follow slavishly then perhaps it is not for you . It is ,however, scholarly erudite and fascinating and faithful to the real cooking of Spain . Highly recommended .
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By andy on 25 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book after hearing an interview on radio 4's midweek. I much enjoyed Rick Stein's tv series and cook book that covered the same subject, but while Mr Stein's series brought back the memories of Spanish holidays, Mrs Roden's book provided real depth to the subject of cooking in this vast country so influenced by islam, judaism and christianity.

For me, there were clear echoes of that most famous of food writers Elizabeth David. Whilst it is true that Mrs David's writings have probably changed the face of british cookery more than any other author, the occaisional mild, (or not so mild) scolding tone of her writing is a minor irritation entirely absent from Mrs Roden's work. Whilst she writes authoritatively both regards the evolution of food and the wider history, Mrs Roden does not seem to take herself too seriously. On the subject of the blessed alioli and adding pounded garlic and olive oil to bought mayonnaise, she observes "It is cheating, but then many Spaniards cheat".

Claudia Roden's introduction to each recipe and each chapter, whilst highlighting native food writers, (famous in their own country, but not neccesarily outside of it) maintains the food writing, as oppose to cookery book structure. If you enjoy food writing and education as well as recipes, this book will reward the purchase. Buy it!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Graham Morris on 5 Oct 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No wonder Claudia Roden is my favourite food writer - received this yesterday and haven't stopped reading it since. The first hundred pages or so offer a fascinating cultural history of Spain which puts the last two millennium into perspective, and explains the culinary heritage of Romans, Moors, Jews and Christians, as well as giving a guide to the food of the 17 autonomous regions of the country. As always with this writer the recipes are so easy to follow,and she gives the reader great confidence in making their own adaptations. I love this book, and thank you Amazon for offering it at such a good price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bongo4 on 22 April 2012
Format: Hardcover
My husband bought this as a birthday gift for me as we love Spanish food and I haven't stopped using it with delicious results! I love Claudia Roden as a cookery writer anyway and have been inspired by her Middle Eastern cookery books; she makes everything so straightforward and easy and her recipes can be followed without any amendments so ideal for everyone whatever the ability. Strongly recommended!
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