Penguin is releasing a set of glorious food books (recipes and food writing) on 7 April. These 20 volumes encompass “the finest food writing from the past 400 years” and are far too tempting at only £6.99 per book.
The covers alone are reason enough to buy them. Designed by Penguin designer Coralie Bickford-Smith, they’re based on ceramic patterns of the time period associated with each book. And they are breathtakingly beautiful.
The 20 titles are: The Elegant Economist by Eliza Acton, Exciting Food for Southern Types by Pellegrino Artusi, The Campaign for Domestic Happiness by Isabella Beeton, The Pleasures of the Table by Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Buffalo Cake and Indian Pudding by Dr. A.W. Chase, A Taste of the Sun by Elizabeth David, From Absinthe to Zest: An Alphabet for Food Lovers by Alexandre Dumas, Love in a Dish and Other Pieces by MFK Fisher, Everlasting Syllabub and the Art of Carving by Hannah Glasse, A Little Dinner Before the Play by Agnes Jekyll, A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig & Other Essays by Charles Lamb, The Well-Kept Kitchen by Gervase Markham, The Joys of Excess by Samuel Pepys, A Middle Eastern Feast by Claudia Roden, The Chef at War by Alexis Soyer, Murder in the Kitchen by Alice B. Toklas, Eating with the Pilgrims and Other Pieces by Calvin Trillin, Recipes from the White Hart Inn by William Verrall, Recipes and Lessons from a Delicious Cooking Revolution by Alice Waters and Notes from Madras by Colonel Wyvern.
I already have my eye on Agnes Jekyll, Alexandre Dumas, Alice B. Toklas and Calvin Trillin. I was introduced to Trillin’s writing by a wonderful journalism lecturer at university about 25 years ago and he’s long been a favourite of mine.
Penguin staffer, Pen Vogler, has been trying out some of the recipes included in the Great Food series. If you’re interested in following her cooking journey, take a look at her fantastic blog, Pen’s Great Food Club. I particularly liked the herb tart and marchpane (cooked marzipan) from Gervase Markham’s The Well-Kept Kitchen.
If you want to try your luck and enter to win all 20 volumes, just fill in your name and details here. I know the odds of my winning are slim, so I’m sure I’ll be buying at least a few of the Good Food books.