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Omelette And A Glass Of Wine Paperback – Oct 26 2000


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Paperback, Oct 26 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin UK; New edition edition (Oct. 26 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140468463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140468465
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #772,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This is my first Elizabeth David book, and I intend to read many more. I've been a fan of M.F.K. Fisher for many years and read and enjoyed her books thoroughly. David's writing is somewhat similar--though not as personal--at least AN OMELETTE AND A GLASS OF WINE is not terribly personal. Still, David shares many aspects of her work and travel that allowed me to feel connected to her in a personal way.
David was hired to write food/cooking/dining articles for various print media and paid very little initially. Her job involved traveling in France and Italy, visiting various inns and restaurants and markets--which she apparently enjoyed. I started to title my review "born to late" as I would have liked her job. Europe in the 1960s--especially France and Italy must have been wonderful (well my husband says it was and he lived there then). Imagine eating French cooking for a living!! Ah yes, another vicarious reading experience.
David tells of her travels to "job" locations--why I think this book is part travelog. Sometimes she has been preceded by Henry James or Marcel Proust, but most often by some obscure person who passed through in the mid-1800s or earlier and recorded their experiences for posterity. David describes the meals she and others have eaten, as well as food preparation (growing, transporting, cooking). Her book includes photographs of a few famous chefs. In most she cases provides information about recipes and lists ingredients--details that might help the reader replicate a dish. She warns the reader it is impossible to replicate a dish exactly owing to many conditions, not the least of which is the quality of the basic ingredients. She finds it amusing when a recipe is touted as being "old" and includes a modern ingredient like margarine.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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By A Customer on July 30 1998
Format: Paperback
While I haven't had a chance yet to read "An Omelette and a Glass of Wine", the review from "cookyoberg" of Dickinson, Texas, made it very clear that this is a book I would enjoy reading. Being both familiar and fond of the works of MFK Fisher, hearing about Elizabeth David's collected essays has made me determined to add her works to my collection (ever-growing!) of cookbooks, books about cooking, and books about life through cooking. But then again, aren't all cookbooks about life? Many thanks to "cookyoberg"!!
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Format: Paperback
British author Elizabeth David belongs with Julia Child and M.F.K. Fisher as a culinary giant of her generation. Her cookbooks were not haphazard collections of recipes, but profoundly researched tomes dedicated to the purity of authentic cuisines, the ageless pleasure of good eating. An OMELETTE AND A GLASS OF WINE is, perhaps, the most personal of all her works. It is a compilation of three decades of her columns for various magazines -- but, more important, a book of her personal quest for wonderful food. The pilgrimage took her from her native England, to sunny France and Italy, to Greece, to Egypt, to the evocative flavors of bygone cities and ages. The essays take us to the quais of southern France in search of sardines, the kitchens of Italy and France, to little restaurants that exist no more, and to gardens that, like Paradise, are a remote memory in a modern world. But the book is perfect in evoking, recapturing, recreating a cuisine in the context of the life it is a part of. Take for instance her old friend, Norman Douglas. He was a character passionate about food. In eating a fig, he knew the exact garden in which it was grown, the tree, the branch it had been plucked from, the tempests and perfect sunny days that had visited it throughout its life. And for Elizabeth David, the search for the authentic sometimes led to the simplest places. The title essay has to do with the search for the perfect omelette -- and finally tracking down the famous Mere Poulard's authentic recipe...consisting only of eggs and a little butter. The glass of wine with the omelette is a kind of completion, the expression of the perfection of life lying in a kind of simplicity...an omelette and a glass of white wine.Read more ›
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