This description may be from another edition of this product. A revised paperback edition of this cookery book, which contains 100 recipes recreated from past cultures such as ancient Egypt, medieval Europe and Imperial China.
Excellent! A charming taste of older cultures, a favorite of my family.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 11 years ago
My edition was purchased in 1988 on visit to the British Museum and is one of the treasures of my cooking library. My degrees are in History so this cookbook was a natural, and I enjoy it both for the excellent recipes & for the daily-life feeling the author brings to the food of each culture (Ancient Persia, Classical Greece, Ancient Egypt, Imperial Rome, Anglo-Saxon Britain, Pre-Conquest America, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, Georgian England, & Imperial China). It's easy to use, measurements are graciously listed in 3 systems: metric weight, avoirdupois weight, & standard US-English cups/teaspoons/etc. The ingredients are easy-to-find at the local market (I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA), & the author provides a number of alternate choices for the recipes where practical (i.e., "Hare, Rabbit, Veal or Chicken Stew with Herbs & Barley"). I've fed my family from the book for years & the kids liked both the food & the idea of eating something that might have been eaten by kids 1,000 years ago. For home-schooling parents this might be a tasty teaching tool - it was great fun for us! If you're concerned about authenticity with New World ingredients in Old World recipes that's not an issue: I've found that such are sometimes offered but usually as an alternate or to make the recipe more appealing to modern palates. The author always identifies the disparity in the intro to the recipe, or the specific food is offered as an alternate ('onion skins OR coffee for color'). The Pre-Conquest America section relies on the work of Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz, probably the premiere English language cookbook author of the cuisines of Mexico both modern & ancient, and Berriedale-Johnson is very clear about the recipes she has developed & those where she relies on the work of other authors. Incorporating the work of others, with their blessing of course, is a great strength of the book: it would be difficult indeed to research & recreate recipes for all these cultures even though there are only 10-12 recipes for each culture. This book is a true gem, but not a total beginner's cookbook: the author assumes you know or can find instruction for things like roasting hazelnuts. However there are no difficult techniques in the cooking itself - no massive medieval feasts in this book fortunately, just good food that we commoners would have eaten!
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