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Italian Food Hardcover – 5 Apr 1990

4.6 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Barrie & Jenkins; New Ed edition (5 April 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712620001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712620000
  • Product Dimensions: 26.6 x 2.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Elizabeth David (1913-1992) travelled widely during the Second World War, throughout Europe, the Middle East and India. She returned to England in 1946 to write the classic Mediterranean Food, followed by five other books that all became bestsellers. Also a prolific journalist, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1982, and a CBE in 1986. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If your budget won't stretch to the hardback edition which is highly recommended for its superb photography and sumptuous presentation, this is the next best thing.

'Elizabeth David discovered her taste for good food and wine when she lived with a French family while studying history and literature at the Sorbonne.
A few years after her return to England, she made up her mind to learn how to cook so that she could reproduce for herself and her friends some of the food that she had come to appreciate in France. Subsequently Mrs David lived and kept house in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India, as well as in England ....'

Fresh lemons enhance the plain white cover which opens to 376 matt pages, packed full of information and recipes, written in the typical Elizabeth David style.
The book opens with an introduction, notes about the previous editions and finishes with a 37 page index.
Sandwiched in between are the recipes, titles in both Italian and English( if applicable), split over the following chapters:

* Italian Dishes in Foreign Kitchens
* The Italian Store Cupboard
* Kitchen Equipment
* Hors d'Oeuvre and Salads
* Soups
* Pasta Asciutta
* Ravioli, Gnocchi etc
* Rice
* Haricot Beans, Chick Peas, Polenta etc
* Eggs, Cheese Dishes ,Pizza etc
* Fish Soups
* Fish
* Meat
* Poultry & Game
* Vegetables
* Sweets, sectioned into 'Fruit' and 'Ices'
* Sauces
* Preserves
* Cheeses
* Notes and Nooks on Italian Wines
* Some Italian Cookery Books
* Guides to Food & Wine in Italy

A scattering of black and white illustrations break up the text, which is simple in places and more complex where it needs to be, e.g.
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By A Customer on 18 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
Since i bought this last year, I have used it incessantly - unlike modern cookbooks, which are merely compendiums of gastroporn with the name of a celebrity chef or plush restaurant attached, this is an enthralling guide to Italian food for the simple reason that it is about the ingredients, not the end result - it matters less how it looks, which seems to be the sole criteria for so many cookbooks these days, and more about how it iwill ultimately taste. Furthermore, David was a brilliant food-writer. She understood so much more about the historic, cultural and social importance of food - how many other cookbooks would have a simple recipe for pasta with garlic and olive oil, whith the explanation that (at least when the book was first written in the 1950s) many Italians can't afford the ingredients for more extravagant dishes? none, I expect. My only quibble is that there is little by way of Sicilian delicacies - and having been to that Island, I know there are many - also, the ediiton I bought didn't have the original illustrations by Renato Guttuso; fortunately, I manged to pick-up in a secondhand bookshop recenty the Penguin paperback edition from 1979 (I think) which does have them. Guttuso was the greatest Italian artist of the 20th century, admittedly painting in the idion of Social Realism, and the illustrations add an authentic air of Italiana to the book. A must buy - and a must read.
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Format: Paperback
Elizabeth's groundbreaking book is every bit as readable as Nigella and rather than listing fashionable recipies with "ideas" from all over Europe it concentrates on Italian food from risotto to tiramasu and everything in between. The research for this book is outstanding and for anyone who doesn't know the Italian culinary world beyond pizza/pasta this book will show you (and for those that do it will entertain, interest and educate you). It is every bit as relevant as whenit was first published and extremely affordable. A classic and a must for any serious cook.
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Format: Paperback
Elizabeth David has done more for good food than anyone. She virtually invented the cookbook. I have been using our copy of this Italian food classic for the last 35 years. Finally I must replace it because page 228 has gone missing with a favourite pork recipe!
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Format: Paperback
I was ashamed to call myself a cook without an Elizabeth David in my collection. Now I have three books and Italian food was the first. I quote; "In early 1950s David set out for Italy determined to show a ration weary British public that Italian food was more than spaghetti in tomato sauce."
If you think you already know ALL about Italian food, try this, you will learn a lot more. I read this while watching "Two Greedy Italian's" on TV. The two Italian chefs travelled all around Italy, learning and demonstrating the recipes. I fell in love with Italy, its people and food. Her Writing(David's) is inspirational. With a handful of this or a touch of that.(There are many that copy her style these days)Without the conventional list of ingredients and weights given, you are invited to cook these dishes using your own preferences and taste to guide you. Just by reading this book you will learn a lot more about food. And will remind you of a lot you have forgetten. Great bedtime reading, if you can sleep without running down stairs to ransack the fridge!
The other books by David in my collection are "French Provincial Cooking" This is considered to be the crowning acheivement of David's career, gathered from great chefs as well as well as local cooks, and one of the finest bibliographies of good cookery books ever compiled. And,"Mediterranean food and other writings." Now I just need the one named 'Summer Cooking,' which I hope will be ordered next week, and I'm all set.
Elizabeth David has led the way in this style of cooking. Eat your heart out Delia Smith! All of these books are from Amazon. Thanks for reading, enjoy your meals.
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