A Book of Mediterranean Food by Elizabeth David

By Elizabeth David

First released in 1950, Elizabeth David’s A e-book of Mediterranean foodstuff ushered in cooking’s glossy period, emphasizing clean materials and the concept stable foodstuff needn't be the specific province of the grasp chef. A booklet of Mediterranean nutrients includes recipes David accrued while she lived in France, Italy, Greece, and Egypt. Elizabeth David was once “the most sensible nutrients author of her time” (The occasions Literary Supplement).

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Still, everybody was in the same boat, and somehow we all managed, even if we did have to eat an awful lot of beans and potatoes, and I had one great advantage over my sisters and friends who had spent the war years in England. While their store cupboards were stuffed with things like packet soups, dried egg powder, evaporated milk, and crumbling biscuits, I had no such dismal hoards. So I was free to go out looking for anything fit to eat which might be on offer in the shops where ration books and coupons weren’t required.

But he had left his authors desolate. In my case desolation was a firm of publishers called Macdonald’s, also owned by Purnell, but financially successful. School books and Jane’s Fighting Ships were among their assets. As things turned out, Macdonald’s chose to retain only two of John Lehmann’s authors. I was one of those unfortunate ones. The other was the American Paul Bowles, author of the much-acclaimed novel The Sheltering Sky. Paul, as he told me later, was soon able to shake off his contractual ties with John Lehmann’s successors.

The hardback edition of the book seems and indeed was cheap enough by today’s standards but at the time was quite an outlay. The paperback was to be 2s. , a price within the reach of nearly everybody. Children could and did buy the paperback for their parents. More important, in 1954 food rationing had at last come to an end, and apart from Bee Nilson’s The ABC of Cookery published during the war, there was no other paperback cookery book on the market. My book had been given a dazzling opportunity.

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