I'm a total foodie and it's painful getting through this book. Instead of simply enjoying the pleasures of food and all the differences, Elizabeth David is defensive at every turn. She speaks of her experiences so delicately, and describes all around the food, so that you just want to plunge through the page, past the fences and loftiness she's encircled the food with. Granted, she was writing in that stifling time period for those stifled Brits who apparently knew nothing beyond pork pies. I know she must have thoroughly enjoyed her food adventures, but in her telling of them, she removes herself from the object of her passion. This book is a very frustrating read. I got so sick and tired of all the defensiveness. I wish she would have just allowed herself to write freely about her pleasures and enjoyment, rather than feel so much pressure from her invisible audience (she was a journalist) that she edited herself (even in the pieces that she re-wrote for this book) before anyone could complain. And although it's interesting to know the food prices in another time period, the constant iteration of cost and expensive versus not expensive places to dine became a nuisance. Of course, you do get glimpses into the world of food that she's been to and some good recipes, but if you think you're going to curl up in bed with her book and envelope yourself in literary foodie heaven, think again. You might just want to re-read your M.F.K. Fisher and Alice B. Toklas.