Top positive review
33 people found this helpful
Written the typically quintessentially E.D. way.
on 27 February 2007
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
* Pasta Asciutta
* Ravioli, Gnocchi etc
* Haricot Beans, Chick Peas, Polenta etc
* Eggs, Cheese Dishes ,Pizza etc
* Fish Soups
* Poultry & Game
* Sweets, sectioned into 'Fruit' and 'Ices'
* 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.:
A Mediterranean fish of which there is no equivalent in northern waters. At its best grilled or roasted.'
The Daurade of Provence. A large Mediterranean fish with, in spite of its name - which implies gold-fish - silvery scales. The nearest approach to it to be found in England, is the sea bream, which can be used for the recipe below.
There are two good ways of cooking this fish, in `cartoccio' (fish cooked in paper cases), page 146, and with a sauce of white wine and sultanas, which can be applied very successfully to carp and also to fresh haddock.'
Then follows the recipe for 'Orata al Vino Bianco' (Orata cooked in white wine).
'When it was first published, 'Italian Food', Elizabeth David's magnificent survey of the varied food and cookery of Italy's many regions, proved an inspiration to British cooks. In it, she conveyed all the richness, the colour and variety of this remarkable cooking tradition. The popularity of Italian food today and the ready availability of ingredients means that even the busiest cook can re-create such tempting dishes as 'roasted red peppers',' Piedmontese cheese fondue', 'fettuccine with fresh tomato sauce' and' chicken breasts with ham and cheese'.
'This edition of Italian Food differs from several of its predecessors chiefly in that revisions made over many years in the form of footnotes have now been incorporated into the main body of the text...........References to numerous shops, at one time sources of supply of imported Italian foodstuffs, but now vanished, have been eliminated. When it came to my original chapter on the wines of Italy I found that almost everything I wrote in 1954 had receded into history......'.