RED CLASSICS GREAT FOOD A TASTE OF THE SUN
Legendary cook and writer Elizabeth David changed the way Britain ate, introducing a postwar nation to the sun-drenched delights of the Mediterranean, and bringing new flavours and aromas such as garlic, wine and olive oil into its kitchens.
This mouthwatering selection of her writings and recipes embraces the richness of French and Italian cuisine, from earthy cassoulets to the simplest spaghetti, as well as evoking the smell of buttered toast, the colours of foreign markets and the pleasures of picnics. Rich with anecdote, David's writing is defined by a passion for good, authentic, well-balanced food that still inspires chefs today.
Throughout the history of civilization, food has been more than simple necessity. In countless cultures, it has been livelihood, status symbol, entertainment - and passion. In the GREAT FOOD series, Penguin brings you the finest food writing from the last 400 years, and opens the door to the wonders of every kitchen.
Visit www.penguin.co.uk/greatfood and start collecting the Great Food series.
Elizabeth David discovered her taste for good food and wine when, as a student at the Sorbonne, she lived with a French family for two years. After returning to England she made up her mind to learn 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, learning the local dishes and cooking them in her own kitchen.
Her first book, Mediterranean Food, appeared in 1950, when rationing was still in force and most of the ingredients she so lovingly described were not available. At the time her book was read rather than used, and created in its readers a yearning both for good ingredients and for a way of life that saw more in food and cooking than mere sustenance. French Country Cooking followed in 1951, Italian Food in 1954 and Summer Cooking in 1955, all of which were received with equal critical acclaim. The publication of French Provincial Cooking in 1960 confirmed Mrs David's position as the most inspirational and influential cookery writer in the English language.
By 1964 all five books were in Penguin paperback and were accessible to a new generation, who no longer had much difficulty buying garlic, saffron, basil, olives, aubergines, fresh figs or apricots, and who found Elizabeth David's philosophy of simplicity, authenticity, knowledge and care greatly to their liking. She became the guru for a new generation of chefs too, both at home and, notably, in California.
Elizabeth David found that the literature of cookery, as well as the practical side, was of absorbing interest, and she studied it throughout her life. Always fascinated by background and history, she turned a more scholarly eye towards English food and Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen was published in 1970, followed by the monumental English Bread and Yeast Cookery, for which she won the Glenfiddich Writer of the Year award, in 1977. At the time of her death in 1992 she was working on an equally epic study of the use of ice, the ice-trade and the early days of refrigeration, which was published posthumously as Harvest of the Cold Months (1994).