Elizabeth David's books belong in the libraries of everyone who loves to read and prepare food and this oneis generally regarded as her best her passion and knowledge comes through on every page. She was one ofthe foremost writers on food in the latter half of the 20th century and this book has her most celebratedwriting. "French Provincial Cooking" should be approached and read as a series of short stories, as wellwritten and evocative as the best literature.
The voice is highly personal and opinionated, sometimes sharp but always true and always entertaining.Here is a long essay on French cuisine, offering background stories and sketches of recipes more than theslavishly didactic type of recipes that most modern readers might be used to today. For many ElizabethDavid was the first to introduce us to the French notion of la cuisine terroir, sometimes interpreted as 'whatgrows together goes together'. For David, this is the heart of regional cooking, and the thing which mostdistinguishes it from cooking in haute cuisine restaurants where diners arrive at any time or any season andexpect to be able to order any well known French specialty.
One of the passages which best characterizes David's approach to a lot of cooking is her opening statementon the perfect omelet: 'As everybody knows, there is only one infallible recipe for the perfect omelet: yourown.'
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