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8 Reviews
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No need to be a peasant - even the toffs love it.
I gave this book to a girlfriend for Christmas when it first came out back in the '80s. When she opened the wrapping and read the title, she was rather sniffy, thinking I make joke [she being the daughter of an Honourable and the niece of a belted earl] but as time went on she couldn't help doing more and more dishes from the book. In fact became her #1 cook-book,...
Published on 23 Nov. 2004

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable recipes
I feel diffident about giving a lukewarm review to a book which is in many ways fantastic.

I love simple peasant cooking and the choice of recipes is fantastic and insightful. I really enjoyed flipping through the book for ideas.

But ...

There's too many recipes where the quantities are wrong or the timings are wrong and the recipes simply...
Published 17 months ago by J. Donegan


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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No need to be a peasant - even the toffs love it., 23 Nov. 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: European Peasant Cookery (Hardcover)
I gave this book to a girlfriend for Christmas when it first came out back in the '80s. When she opened the wrapping and read the title, she was rather sniffy, thinking I make joke [she being the daughter of an Honourable and the niece of a belted earl] but as time went on she couldn't help doing more and more dishes from the book. In fact became her #1 cook-book, plastered with an increasing selection of ingredients, dog-eared and scribbled all through with notes.
This is not surprising really because the greatest dishes in the world are poor-people food: think of paella, traditionally cooked in the vineyard on a fire of vine-trimming twigs the peons have gathered from the morning's work. Or cassoulet, a stew based on the motley collection of the last ingredients the townsfolk of Castelnaudary [S.W. France] could rustle up, as the English seige to starve them out reached its dénouement, during the 100 years war.
With this book, you can take yourself off to anywhere you like, from The Baltic to The Med, from the Arctic Circle to sniffing distance of the Sahara. Whether you wash the results down with vodka, weissbier, raki or vino de mesa, toast the peasants who are the inspiration for this book and all the great food in it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great gift for anyone interested in food and cooking, 15 Aug. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: European Peasant Cookery (Hardcover)
This book is not only full of excellent traditional recipes it also has some historical content which makes it an interesting read as well.You can just browse through it and learn something new about food;since I was given this as a christmas present I have refered to it on an almost weekly basis as it has some great suggestions and recipes as well as being very interesting.I would recommmend this as a gift because its not neccesarily something you would buy for yourself although I would suggest you do.Not sure about the fermented fish but may try it one day.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice book, good variety, 24 Oct. 2010
By 
M. Tate - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A good, solid book full of traditional recipes, which, by their very nature, should be well within the capabilities of even the least able chef.

The book is weighty, with around 500 pages and probably 600+ recipes. It's broken up into sections based on the principle ingredient (i.e. fish, beef, poultry, potatoes, etc.). Each recipe is introduced with a few lines on its origins, followed by an ingredients and utensils list, the method (in paragraph form, not step-by-step) and finally some suggestions for variations or additions to the principle recipe. There are no pictures or drawings.

The recipes themselves are simple (it is after all peasant cookery) but of the filling and tasty variety. Most of them include ingredients which are readily available in Europe. I've cooked a couple of times from the book and had no problems with the quantities or directions. I would say it's a great book for those night when you don't wish to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, don't want to end up with a pile of washing up to do, but want to eat something wholesome and tasty (particular if you also need to feed a lot of hungry mouths). It would also be a useful book for people wishing to live predominantly off the produce from their garden or allotment. It would even be a good book to gift a student as it has many recipes which would work well for someone on a strict budget looking to get maximum satisfaction with minimum effort and outlay.

The only thing that disappointed me about this book, and the reason for my not giving it full marks, was the lack of a country index. It contains dishes from most European countries and I was particular interested in trying a few meals from countries less well-known for their cuisine, and bought this as a kind of introduction book - if one cuisine takes my fancy as a result, I might end up buying a book just on that country's cuisine. However, although each recipe has the translated name, the original name and the country of origin, a list of recipes by country would have been a simple yet useful addition. I might wish to prepare a meal based on, say, Polish food, but I have to flick through the whole book checking each recipe individually to identify the dishes from Poland.

Overall, it's good and I'm happy with my purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable recipes, 7 Oct. 2013
By 
J. Donegan "Pindoctor" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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I feel diffident about giving a lukewarm review to a book which is in many ways fantastic.

I love simple peasant cooking and the choice of recipes is fantastic and insightful. I really enjoyed flipping through the book for ideas.

But ...

There's too many recipes where the quantities are wrong or the timings are wrong and the recipes simply don't work if you follow them. I have a sense that a lot of the contents haven't been kitchen-tested prior to publication. The paprika soup recipe for example, recommends cooking stewing beef for 90 minutes, which really isn't enough unless you're a fan of very chewy meat. The quantities of eggs, flour and water for spaetzle really won't give you a working noodle, etc.

Fortunately, I'm experienced enough to spot most of the howlers and improvise, but I'd expect this sort of thing to be picked up before publication.

Which is a shame, because this really is a lovely book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and fascinating, 9 Feb. 2009
By 
Ms. D. Oliver "captain daisy" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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A very comprehensive book of recipes from across Europe. Being 'peasant' cookery, the ingredients tend to be inexpensive and the recipes quite simple. Many popular dishes are here, such as paella.

There are no glossy pictures, but an amazing number of dishes, with short introductions describing the history or origin of the dish, which makes this one of those cookbooks you can just sit and read, as well as use in the kitchen. This is a journey through food history and geography and European culture as well as an excellent practical guide.

It's one of those desert island cookbooks (i.e. if you could just have one cookbook, you could do a lot worse than choose this one)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Reassuring and Invaluable Addition to the Recipe Bookshelf, 31 May 2014
By 
Richard Newbold (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
As well as a good read, this excellent and comprehensive guide to traditional country-by-country European cuisine is an excellent backstop to supplement other cook books in your collection. It's kind of like the old Good Housekeeping Cookery Book, but with reindeer and goose neck recipes!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reference book for every kitchen, 7 May 2011
The author is a well-traveled person who has absorbed information like a sponge, understands every aspect of food, and relays that to the reader in a charming, fascinating way. I've given away lots of these - I think its a classic which we should all have. Always a pleasure to pick it up and flip a few pages.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great basic book, 18 Jun. 2010
This is a basic, no pictures, but just full of basics from so many countries, very meditarranean, healthy good old fashioned cooking. Elizabeth Luard is a favourite of mine!
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European Peasant Cookery
European Peasant Cookery by Elisabeth Luard (Hardcover - 31 Aug. 2004)
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