Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia
 
 
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Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia [Hardcover]

Patience Gray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Simply put, Honey from a Weed is a jewel of a book. Reading it, one realizes the true artistry of the author, a person whose relationship with the world around her is both intimate and immediate--someone who can transform the fruits of the earth--beans, potatoes, garlic, herbs--into a gustatory masterpiece. The subtitle of Gray's book is Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia, but there's far more feast than famine in this culinary odyssey. Recipes for such Mediterranean favorites as rabbit with garlic sauce or polenta punctuate wonderful reflections on such varied topics as wine, pigs, and edible weeds; chapters on feasts and festivals; and sharp-eyed observations about the lives of those Gray has lived among for so many years.

Literate and lyrical, Honey from a Weed is a feast for both body and soul. Read Gray's wonderful portraits of the places she's lived and the cooks she's learned from, and let your mind wander over the sunbathed hills, through the rustic villages and deep quarries Gray knows so intimately. Though reading Honey from a Weed may not influence you to take up stone-carving or cooking, at least you'll have spent your time in charming company. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This singular volume is a pastiche of personalities, customs, landscapes, mythology, recipes and history drawn from veteran food writer Gray's 20 years in the Mediterranean. In prose that demands a leisurely reading ("Pungent the mint trodden underfoot on the way to the orchard"), she discusses societies in which food is "grown for its own sake, not for profit." The recipes are a varied lot. "Widowed" potatoes (with tomatoes, grilled almonds, pine kernels and onion), spinach with raisins and pine kernels, and fried chicken in walnut sauce invite a visit to the stove. But date-shell soup, tomato concentrate and a recipe for fox are unlikely to be reproduced in the kitchen. A section entitled "Some Products of the Pig" yields such diverse entries as a discussion of how pigs are used on the island of Naxos, an incident from the Odyssey and a recipe for pigs' tongues with pomegranate sauce. A chapter on anarchism whimsically diverges from the main food-centered themes. Simple pen-and-ink sketches offer decorative views of foods and settings.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

By living in the Mediterranean region for over 20 years, the British author Patience Gray discovered that "poverty rather than wealth gives the good things of life their true significance." She combines vignettes of her life with a sculptor in Italy, Spain, and Greece with descriptions of vegetables, fungi, edible weeds, herbs, fish, and meat and recipes that use them. The recipes are not always congruent with the American diethorse meat, fox, pigeon, and goose fat are among the ingredients. Line drawings and a comprehensive bibliography (sources in languages other than English predominate) complete a book that will be enjoyed by the vicarious cook or traveler. Christine Bulson, SUNY at Oneonta Lib.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Feasting and fasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, The Cyclades and Apulia. Perhaps no better book extant on the "feel" of Mediterranean food. The author writes with uncommon grace and intimacy of rustic peasant food from some of Southern Europe's sunniest tables. Hardly a cookbook, Ms Gray accentuates the vagaries of her life with whom she refers to only as "the sculptor," through the earth tones of olive, wine, and salt cheeses. Tuck this one away with your passport. -- Book Description --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Honey from a Weed is a Mediterranean odyssey. Patience Gray, who has lived and traveled widely in the region's countryside for over twenty-five years, brings to life its people, their culture, and most of all their rustic cooking, with sumptuous prose and reverence. (6 X 9, 384 pages, illustrations, maps)
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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