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Penguin degrades the experience
on 11 April 2006
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.