A History of Food in 100 Recipes
Along the way, meals and the presentation of recipes grow ever more sophisticated. There s a palatable change in specificity between a s recipe for pea soup calling for about two quarts of peas In an intriguing chapter focusing on a butter crawfish recipe written circa by a Lady Elinore Fettiplace, Sitwell points out how, in her recipe collection, she separates the sweet from the savory, moving away from the medieval habit of laying everything on the table at once.
Every serious cook should read this book at least once. Almost every sentence of his scrupulously researched and breezily confident book oozes with a passion for eating William Sitwell has pulled off something clever: a thoroughly researched and witty history that is both compelling and teeming with scholarly facts An enjoyably meandering and thought-provoking journey through the role of cooking in everyday life Sitwell elevates this collection from curious cookbook to a serious study -- Publisher's Weekly.
Sitwell deftly inserts interesting tidbits ranging from the changes wrought by such appliances as refrigerators and gas stoves to the impact of online technology Good fun -- Kirkus Reviews. First is a recipe for pear pie flavored with Saffron by Taillevent, who wrote one of the earliest French cookbooks.
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The restaurant of the same name in Paris remains my favorite of all time. Around the same time in , an Englishman named Denis Papin invented the pressure cooker, an idea that took centuries to catch on. He died in poverty, but of course people made a fortune when pressure cookers became popular in the s.
Stillwell has a note on ice cream, which was probably independently invented in several different parts of the world. He mentions Dundee marmalade and Eggs Benedict.
This brought to mind a visit to Berkeley by his granddaughter. We created a dessert in which I poached a pear and covered it with a chocolate sauce to present her with a dish named Poire Belle Elaine, something like her grandfather had done for the actress. Stillwell informs us that chocolate cake was invented by the owner of the Piggly Wiggly stores in America.
And Alice Waters and Thomas Keller pop up near the end of the book. This book published by Little, Brown and Company offers some great dishes and insight into the people who invented techniques that influence all of us in the kitchen.
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