All posts tagged: Books

Peyton and Byrne. British Baking

These days there’s hardly any famous restaurant, bistro or bakery that doesn’t have their own book. Im not sure if it comes from a genuine desire to share the recipes and their take on whatever food they make or if these days is just another entry on the marketing to do-list for every food business. Some books only come through as nice coffee table props, glossy pictures and expensive paper. Others apart from being pretty, actually feel genuine and tell a story. The latter is the case of this book. Posh and sophisticated, the Peyton and Byrne group doesn’t really strike as the story of a cozy cottage industry but just because a business takes off and becomes an emporium that doesn’t mean it’s less authentic. I have enjoyed reading and baking recipes from this book because they have a real feeling about them, it almost feels like baking from hand written manuscripts that had been passed down by an old aunt or grandma herself. Yes, they’re traditional British tea-time favourites with no attempt to …

Let’s Got to a Bakery

By Naomi Buchheimer 1956 The evolution of bread production has had roughly four major stages: First the invention itself of roughly coarse grains soaked in water and cooked on open fires over hot rocks. The eventual discovery of fermentation and improvement of grinding techniques allowed bakers to produce softer and palatable breads. Then came the widespread consumption of bread and consequent economic and social organization of the process. Specialized equipment and installations required the work of skilled personnel. And this remained pretty much the same from ancient times until right before the industrial revolution. The addition to all sorts of machinery allowed to increase the production of baked goods both sweet and savoury. But the biggest change yet to occur came during the 1950s when the need to feed large populations saw the perfect answer in the industrial mass production of food including bread. Convenience of price, size, quantity and flavour not always came hand in hand with quality in terms of nutritional value. One can also say that a post-industrialization contra revolution in baking …

A Work in Progress. Journal, Recipes and Snapshots.

By René Redzepi Phaidon Sublimation of life in the form of food does occur and its simplicity has a way of presenting itself in a raw naked, truthful way, so crisp, so transparent we feel frozen. Unlike the overwhelming dizzy feeling of coming face to face with a work of art that surprises us when we inadvertently turn around in a gallery and there it is, shouting silently from a wall. But imagine if that experience came with a full detailed explanation of the author in his or her own words walking you through the whole creative process of it, telling you how it has nothing to do with fate but hard, slow and many times painful work. But at the centre of it all, yes, it’s the soul of a genius who sees what we don’t. I even feel like I shouldn’t tamper these books with a half-cooked review. I have never eaten at noma and chances are I never will, it has more to do with the fact of the dietary profile in …

A little dinner before the play

By Agnes Jekyll Here’s another grerat title from the Great Food Penguin Series a great mix between snobbery literature, food and etiquette. Although many of these texts were articles where recipes are incidental each piece indeed an essay that flirts but not quite turns into a memoirs. They’re too edited and polished to feel that intimate Cooking should always fit the occasion and temperament which is an interesting idea when you think of it, a very romantic way to translate one’s feelings, the surrounding environment and even the weather and into a meal that echoes and blends those features. I guess it shouldn’t surprise us that much as we learn more about this fascinating woman. Agnes Jekyll was Scottish artist, journalist and writer. She married Sir Herbert Jekyll brother of the very famous landscape and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll . Agnes was quite actively involved in the artistic scene of the time, she was a generous patron of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and close friends of Ruskin, Burne-Jones and Browning. Amongst her most recognisable works are …

Sandwich. A global History

Bee Wilson Reaktion Books Edible Series   This little book is part of the series that includes titles that explore the history of foods such as soup, cake, wine, cheese, pie, sauces, etc. you will be able to read it in one go with a nice cup of coffee.   The size of the book speaks for its depth, it doesn’t mean to be an encyclopaedic study but just an entertaining and well documented history of the humble sandwich. Some of the aspects that the author explores are how this food came to be and why did it root so deep and fast across social classes, cultures and proved its resilience through time and still stands strong as the default and most beloved on the go meal. Its convenience, reliability, endless possibilities of filling and portability are just some of its best features. A sandwich however also testifies the shifts and changes of our dietary habits, routines and ways in which we have had to cope with the demands of our modern life. A sandwich says the author necessarily carries …

Book: Authentic Recipes from Around the World

By Emma-Jayne Abbots, Rocio Carvajal, Anna Charalambidou, Elaine Forde, Ana Martins, Hazel Thomas, and Deborah Toner. 2015 University of Leicester, University of Wales, Middlesex University London, University of Exeter, Arts & Humanities Research Council, People’s Collection Wales, National Museum Wales, The National Library of Wales, Welsh Government. This book is part of a larger research project called: Consuming Authenticities: Time, Place and the Past in the Construction of Authentic Foods and Drinks, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in relation to their major research theme, Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past. The book is divided in the following sections: Pulque in Mexico Then and Now.  Deborah Toner and Rocio Carvajal. Flaounes: Celebration Easter Pies from Cyprus. Anna Charalambidou. Cider in Wales. Emma-Jane Abbots, Hazel Thomas and Elaine Forde. Acarajé: Between Bahia and West Africa.  Ana Martins. Throughout the analysis of four case studies of two traditional alcoholic drinks (cider from Wales and Pulque from Mexico) and two food products (Flaounes from Cyprus and Acarajé from Brazil) the authors and contributors of this …

The real Mrs Beeton. The story of Eliza Acton

By Shelia Hardy The history press, 2011   Eliza Acton (1799-1859) has proved herself to be quite the elusive black swan!   She was, like several other female national treasures, a very educated and inquisitive woman who by choice, chance or both remained single until her death and her private life remains mostly a mystery.   In short: she went from being a pretty normal Ipswich girl to become a poet, governess, entrepreneur (she owned a school for girls), researcher, writer and food-security and nutrition literacy advocate…. But she must have had other passions, pursuits, desires…of which we know very little.   Hardy, the author of this book certainly made a big effort to track down as much information as possible not necessarily about Miss Acton since it appears to be so little, but about her family, acquaintances, political and social events that influenced Eliza’s life and work.   I have to say with all honesty that I found the first half of the book a bit too slow. And grew somehow impatient. Nevertheless I carried …