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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 November 2004
It is so good that Jane Grigson remains in print. Supremely unfussy, fabulously unpretentious, her books are invaluable. last night I decided to bone and stuff a chicken for roasting and sifted through piles of more contemporary cookbooks looking for an interesting stuffing recipe. They were few and far between - then I remembered the Sainted Jane and hooray a whole chapter of stuffing recipes. I plumped for a hazelnut stuffing and it was fabulous. Now she's been dusted off, I'm going to be using her a lot more again - perfect for the winter months!
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on 14 August 2001
An excellent book, full of the author's own opinion regarding food preparation and ingredient suggestions. Having tried several of the recipees, they all have had excellent results; however, there is plenty of value added through the author's own "editorial" sections, which are available at the introduction of new chapters and often as a prelude to the recipees themselves.
A must for any kitchen/cooking lover.
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on 30 March 2007
From the author of Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery, 1967.

'In this classic work, Jane Grigson reveals the richness and surprising diversity of England's culinary heritage.
From modest dishes such as 'Gloucestershire Cheese and Ale', and 'Toad-in-the-Hole', to grander ones using roast game, local fish and fresh vegetables, as well as traditional puddings, teatime cakes and preserves, this joyful celebration of our national cuisine is a pleasure to cook from and a delight to read.'

Penguin Cookery Library format - paperback covers with 384 average quality pages, split over main chapters:-

* Soups
* Cheese and egg dishes
* Vegetables
* Fish
* Meat, poultry and game
* Puddings
* Teatime: - bread, cake, griddle cakes and pancakes, biscuits
* Stuffings, sauces and preserves

sandwiched between a foreword, from daughter Sophie plus an introduction and an 11 page index.

Interspersed with just a few black and white line drawings, this chunky paperback is serious reading material, which includes acknowledgements and references, along with recipes from other great cooks and cookery writers including Hannah Glasse and Elizabeth David.

Each chapter opens with general information and observations, as does each recipe, e.g.:-

'Soused Herrings:-
Herring cooked this way makes a good cold dish, so long as you don't overdo the vinegar. I recommend you follow the Scandinavian practice of serving them with a bowl of cream, beaten with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and flavoured with chives.'

The informative 'Meat, Poultry and Game' chapter, which runs from page 127 to 244, includes instructions for:-

* How to Cure Meat in Brine
* How to Cook Salt Pork and Hams
* Smoking Meat

Each recipe is clearly laid out with a bold capitalised title at the top, the number of servings, the list/s of ingredients and the method. Ideas for accompaniments, serving suggestions and helpful hints are also included, where applicable.

A small taste of the other recipes contained within:-

* Curry Powder
* Roast Rack of Lamb with Laverbread
* Isle of Man Herring Pie
* Venison Sausages
* Cornish Pasty
* Chilled Mange Tout Creams
* Chicken with Leek Pie from Wales
* Braised Wild Duck with Apricot Stuffing
* Cumbrian Tatie Pot
* Bloater and Potato Salad
* Jellied Stock
* Pork Pie Filling
* Hindle Wakes
* English Game Pie
* Raspberry Pie
* John Farley's Fine Cheesecake
* Chocolate Pie
* Queen of Puddings
* Bakewell Pudding
* Baked Semolina Pudding
* Richard Boston's Guinness Christmas Pudding
* Quick Foolproof Puff or Flaky Pastry
* Mussel and Leek Roly Poly
* Salmon in Pastry with a Herb Sauce
* Sedgemoor Eel Stew
* Mushrooms in Snuffboxes
* Anchovy Matchsticks
* Liver and Bacon Salad
* Little Cheese Soufflé
* Rice Bread
* Hot Cross Buns
* Wiltshire Lardy Cake
* Christmas Cake
* Elizabeth David's Crumpets
* Crempog Las
* Cinnamon Toast
* Oyster Sauce
* Hazelnut Stuffing for Poultry or Lamb
* Melted Butter
* Mayonnaise
* Cumberland Sauce
* Banana Chutney
* Vanilla Sugar
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 February 2011
"English Food" is one of the classics, and anyone interested in regional and historic recipes will want a copy. Packed with ideas, rich in detail both ancient and modern, a treasure-house of good things, reading this book is like having a fascinating, amusing friend come and stay with you for a weekend. Not all the recipes are traditional; some are modern, coming from restauranteurs well known at the time Grigson was writing. The background notes are chatty and anecdotal rather than coherent and thorough; the recipes vary in quality, some making ones eyebrows shoot rapidly upwards in surprise. The reason why, dear lady, parsnips and courgettes have not previously been used together in English cooking is that the first are in season from October to March, and the second from May to September. Yes, we can buy them flown in from abroad, but is this what we want to do?

HOWEVER, delightful as Grigson's text is, the Penguin edition is infuriating. Not only is the print tiny and hard to read on very poor-quality paper, but there are other irritations; a pointless mixture of fonts, capital letters printed in white on black squares, useful footnotes condemned to EVEN SMALLER PRINT, production values that mean any attempt to get the book to lie flat results in pages detaching themselves - this I can do without. After owning the book for several years, I found I hadn't actually used it once, and realised it was because of these problems. I'll be trading it in for a vintage hardback.

To pay a relatively large sum for a book so poorly produced is galling. It didn't use to be the case. I still use another Penguin cookbook, Elizabeth Ayrton's The Cookery of England, which I bought in 1977; the pages are now shaded tan with age and there are plenty of gravy stains, but it remains easily readable and lies flat. I can strongly recommend it as a companion volume.
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on 10 May 2014
More wonderful Jane Grigson - a compendium of her books would be my Desert Island choice.

I have had a copy of this for many years and it's so well used that it is falling apart hence this purchase. This new copy will go into my kitchen and the heavily sellotaped old copy will join my pile of books for bed time reading!

Like all her books it is well researched and the recipes are reliable. There is interesting historical background on many of the recipes and the notes regarding ingredients and where Mrs Grigson found the recipe.
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on 14 October 2015
Some of the recipes will push you over the edge in the making as there is so much preparation, but like anything which is really outstanding, it is well worth the effort. Nowadays we want everything yesterday, but for all outstandingly good foodl, you need to take time with several of these recipes. A really good read too, if you like food!
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on 6 August 2009
This is a wonderful little book. I am a huge fan of Nigella Lawson and she referred to it on one of her TV programs. It has a nice introduction at the beginning of each chapter and lots of wonderful, classic recipes to try. This book really appeals to be as I'm Australian and I'm always interested in English foods and their history.
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on 4 January 2011
I am still enjoying reading this book and have been surprised at what I have learnt from Jane Grigson. I don't see this just a cookery book , but a way of learning more about the cooking of my own country and cookery in general. A first class read!
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on 19 November 2011
I picked up this book from The Works and went back a few weeks later to buy another for my sister. They had all gone. So have just ordered another from the Amazon site. The book is fascinating, unfussy, unpretentious, brilliant. It is so interesting that I am even reading it in bed. Haven't yet tried any of the recipes but having heard nothing but good about Jane Grigson I am sure they will be excellent.
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on 4 April 2014
If you love reading about food and the preparation of, by people who spent a lifetime in love with what they ate, then you've just struck the mother load. This is far and away the most satisfying food reading I've done for as long as I can remember.
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