French Provincial Cooking
by Elizabeth David
Editor: GRUB STREET
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Elizabeth David books belong in the libraries of all those who love to read and prepare food and this one is generally considered to be his best; his passion and knowledge comes through every page.She was one of the leading authors on food in the second half of the 20th century and this book has its most famous writing.Province of Cooking france must be approached and read as a series of short stories, well written and very evocative as the best of the literature.The voice is very personal and opinionated, sometimes loud, but always true and always entertaining.Here is a long essay on French cuisine, featuring background stories and sketches of recipes more than just didactic-servicing kind of recipes that most modern readers can use for today.For many Elizabeth David was the first to introduce us to the French notion of local cuisine, sometimes interpreted as “what grows together goes together”.For David, this is the heart of the local cuisine, and the thing that distinguishes most from cooking in haute cuisine restaurants where diners arrive at any time of the season and expect to be able to order any well known French specialty.One of the passages that best characterizes David’s approaching a lot of cooking is his opening statement on the perfect omelette:”As everyone knows, there is only one infallible recipe for the perfect omelette: your own perfect omelette.The book begins with a short essay on each of the main culinary regions of France, starting perhaps not surprisingly with Provence which is blessed with an abundance of fruits and vegetables.Most of the book is composed of chapters on cooking by dish type: Sauces, appetizers and salads, soups, eggs and cheeses, pies and terrines, vegetables, fish, fish, crustaceans, meat, composite of meat, poultry and game dishes, and sweet foods.The book is all the more valuable in that it paints a portrait of a stylish kitchen that existed before modern equipment such as the food processor.Most imports
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