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The Old World Kitchen: The Rich Tradition of European Peasant Cooking [Hardcover]

Elisabeth Luard
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

12 Nov 2013
"The best cookbook no one's ever heard of."

"Through her eloquent writing and delicious recipes, Elizabeth Luard is able to bring us back in touch with the sources of real nourishment. This is a wonderful, inspiring and important book." —ALICE WATERS, founder and owner of Chez Panisse and the author of The Art of Simple Food

A classic on the essentials of European cooking

Award-winning food writer Elisabeth Luard joyously salutes the foundations of modern Western cooking with recipes collected during more than twenty-five years of travel and research, many of them spent living in rural France, Spain, Greece, Ireland, and Italy. This definitive collection of over three hundred time-tested recipes from twenty-five European countries is an indispensable guide to the simple, delicious, and surprisingly exotic dishes of peasant Europe.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 534 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing (12 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612192688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612192680
  • Product Dimensions: 26.1 x 18.4 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 270,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding comprehensive overview of cookery 19 Nov 2002
Elisabeth Luard's book contains a comprehensive history of European cookery. The recipes are easy to follow, the ingredients readily obtainable and the overall outcome a pleasure. Whether pleasant memories of holidays or comfort food from your childhood the recipes will delight.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and useful addition to your cookbook shelf 29 Dec 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Elisabeth Luard has written a captivating book. If you read cookbooks for pleasure, this book is simply a must-have. Ms. Luard takes both a scholarly and a very practical approach to the subject. She describes in detail the development of peasant cooking, and each recipe is prefaced with an interesting aside or personal story. Reading this book, you will learn how a foie gras is judged while still in the duck, how a pig filled a winter larder and how to choose a perfect earthenware dish for Romanian Tocana de pui (chicken pot roast).
As a practical cookbook, it is wonderful. Each recipe is clear, concise and easy to follow. Ms. Luard gives suggestions for compatible side dishes and wine, as well as what to do with leftovers. (Did I mention most recipes are meant to serve 6 or more strapping farmers?) Each recipe is followed with suggested substitions, which comes in handy when you do not have sorrel or you don't care for prunes. More than 300 recipes are included, and they come from all over Europe, from Iceland east to Scandinavia, and south to Italy, not skipping a country in between. The book is divided into sections by ingredients, which I find extremely useful. The sections are: vegetable dishes; potato dishes; corner cupboard dishes (beans and grains); pasta, noodles and dough-based dishes; barnyard and dairy; fish and food from the sea; poultry; small game; pork; shepard's meats; beef, reindeer and grilled meats; bread and pastry dishes; sweet dishes; and the rustic kitchen. The last section is a great resource on herbs, mushrooms, oils and cheeses, and how to preserve meats.
There isn't space enough to tell you how great this book is. This is, without a doubt, my all-time favorite cookbook.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for Old World Recipes ? Check this one out 25 Oct 2002
By Stephanie Manley - Published on Amazon.com
I love this book. It has recipes from all over Europe. This book is very large containing about 300+ recipes. Broken down into 14 different sections this book is likely to have just what you are looking for. Each section has several different areas of recipes. For example the vegetable section is broken down into hot soups, cold soups, stews, fried and roast vegetables, boiled, stuffed, salads, mushrooms, olive snd olive oil dishes, seaweed. She takes her time with each recipe stating where it comes from, the approximate year, and sometimes additional hints and tips on the recipes.
This book is wonderful because you get to learn a bit about each culture, sometimes what they ate with a particular recipes, or when it was served. It is also nice because many of the dishes are inexpensive to prepare and make great quanities. Perfect if you are cooking for a good deal of people. While this book is currently not in print, I would urge anyone looking for recipes from the Old World to take a chance on this book.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peasant food is interesting and delicious 10 April 2000
By Marian G. Gall - Published on Amazon.com
I like to read history, cookbooks, and about other cultures. Because of these interests, The Old World Kitchen is my cup of tea. The recipes are examples of peasant cooking in different countries and regions. There are lots of stews and soups. I never dreamed there were so many ways to cook potatoes. Having read most of them, it appears that they can be duplicated in western kitchens. The introductions at the beginning of each recipe are informative and interesting. The directions are clear and concise. They begin by telling what equipment you will need and what would be handy. At the end are suggestions about what can be substituted for recipe ingredients. These recipes are not diet food, but then peasants worked too hard to need to be on diets.
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes, but food history beware! 7 Dec 2003
By dinska - Published on Amazon.com
"The rich traditions of European peasant cooking."
A first-rate cookbook with a very nice selection of recipes. I love peasant food and this is a dense book. Now, I can't fact check all the countries of Europe, but I can give you my thoughts on Bulgaria as an example, being Bulgarian-American.
Bulgarian cuisine is given equal footing with all the cuisines of Europe. I even found a recipe I'd been searching for years to find but had just never been able to until I came across this book; one for simple breakfast noodles (not exactly a sexy enough recipe to make the cut in most ethnic cookbooks.)
The bad news? Someone flunked Bulgarian history. If I'd had to read the phrase "Turkish Yoke" one more time I would have chucked the book right out the window. As if Bulgaria was the only country swallowed up by the Ottoman Empire. Greece would be a big one. And, just when did Shopska Salad become a Serbian recipe? The word "Shopska" is the word for those who come from the "Shop" region of Bulgaria (the region Sofia fits in.) The concept behind Shopska salad is that all the ingredients of the salad are white, which is the the color of the Shop people. It's an amazing oversight, to say the least.
Well, just so you don't think this is a misplaced rant from injured national pride, other countries received the same treatment, such as: Just when did Smorrebrod become a Danish exclusive recipe? Sacrilege!
A nice book to own if you can stand slanted history and cultural notes in your cookbooks. It's sad that such a neat collection of recipes would revisit the same old misinformation and stereotypes as any other old book. Why bother doing any research at all?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for finding old ethnic recipes 9 Jun 2007
By Taras Datz - Published on Amazon.com
This is a great cookbook if you like a little history with your recipes. Mainly I am writing this to let people know that Akadine Press went out of business in May, 2006 so if you want a copy and I recommend it, you'll have to go the used book route.
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