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The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book Paperback – August 10, 2010
"100 Million Years of Food" by Stephen Le
A fascinating tour through the evolution of the human diet, and how we can improve our health by understanding our complicated history with food. Learn more
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Woven within chapters such as "Dishes for Artists," "Food in French Homes," and "The Vegetable Gardens at Biligin," the 300 recipes run the gamut from hors d'oeuvres and salads to breads, entrées, drinks, and sweets. Original (and sometimes whimsical) dishes like Stuffed Artichokes Stravinsky, Gigot de la Clinque, and Bavarian Cream Perfect Love appear among more traditional offerings, such as Boeuf Bourguignon, Chicken à l'Estargon, and Green Peas à la Goodwife. Many of the recipes (which are written in abbreviated-narrative style) will be attempted only by adventurous cooks with time (and, in some cases, money) to spare. The rest of us will enjoy reading the recipes, the droll reminiscences, and the fantasizing about a time when the dishes' creation could be relatively commonplace. The tour of this era and its food, by one of literature's great cook-writers, is obligatory reading. --Arthur Boehm --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A book of character, fine food, and tasty human observation.” (The New Yorker)
“It will be the fiercest Francophobe who can read Alice’s recipes and not hanker for a taste, the dullest cook who will not want to get to the kitchen and try them out.” (Time)
“A cookbook that is delightful by way of its fine food has been made doubly pleasurable by the addition of shrewd worldly comment, by reminiscences, personalities, anecdotes, by the strong characters of the Misses Stein and Toklas.” (New York Herald Tribune)
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Top Customer Reviews
I had no idea that having this new cookbook would be so rewarding!
Alice Toklas has some INCREDIBLE recipes in here (Scheherezade Melon being a favorite!), all of which should be tried and enjoyed.
Furthermore, this book contains recipes you simply wont find in other, newer, cookbooks. My girlfriend really summed this book up by suggesting that the recipes in this book are the recipes you know exist -- but are being passed from grandmother to granddaughter; you simply dont get these unless youre in that circle of people.
This cookbook is your way in to exquisite dishes that were prepared for the likes of Gertrude Stein, Hemmingway, Picasso, and Matisse.
That, and where else are you going to find a recipe for Hashish Fudge?
This book has my whole-hearted, overwhelming approval.
This classic of 20th century food lit appears every few years in new editions and rightfully so. First published in 1954 by Alice B. Toklas, the life partner of Gertrude Stein, established Alice as a writer in her own right and made her world-famous(once again) with her "Haschich Fudge" aka Alice B. Toklas brownies! This recipe, which was not included in the first American edition, but was included in the British edition, does appear in this book. It's more than a cookbook, it's an affectionate remembrance by someone who knew and was known by some of the artistic giants of the 20th century.
There are other reasons for obtaining the original London First Edition -- there is so much history associated with this cookbook. Of course Toklas was the lifelong companion of the often controversial feminist author, Gertrude Stein. Toklas continued to champion her companion's philosophies and writings for 20 years subsequent to Stein's death in 1946. The two resided chiefly in Paris and they weathered two world wars, often living in occupied territory, an actuality which was particularly dangerous for Stein who was Jewish, (Toklas was a Catholic.)
Regarding the history of the cookbook, these two ladies hosted many famous celebrities in their home where they were almost always fed by Toklas who prepared the high end meals in the household when guests were present. These people included Hemingway, Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein, Virgil Thompson, Carl Van Vechten, and a laundry list of similarly high-profile notables (I once made a count of over 300 of such associations.) Some of the very dishes that these people were fed are found in this cookbook.
If you acquire the London First Edition try to obtain one with its original dust jacket. It was drawn by Sir Francis Rose and Toklas was not particularly pleased with the result as she commented to a friend which can be read in her post-1946 personal correspondence: Staying On Alone.Read more ›
There are many references to certain menus she and Gertrude Stein dined on- from the country cottage farmer's table to haute cuisine. And wherever they dined, Alice was certain to beg for a recipe to take with her. These recipes add a wonderful scrapbook feel which gives you some absolutely perfect hand me down hits.
My book is the British version I believe, and has the hashish brownie recipe. I tried making it back in the '70's however it was pretty grainy since we didn't use the high quality product Alice most likely had access to. The intro to the brownies is hysterical - she advises the reader to make these on a rainy afternoon and serve to the bridge group ladies or the local DAR chapter meeting. Very tongue in cheek.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The recipes are quite suspect--I do not, for one second, believe that you could combine the ingredients Ms. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Judi nelson
Fabulous. I can't stand cooking, cooking programs or cook books. However, I have much admiration for those who can and do. Regardless, this was a fascinating read. Thank you.Published 11 months ago by lisbeth
As soon as I get out my mega magnifying glass, I can give more of a review.... print must be 6 pt. The recipes are many and vast, and I really DO want to cook from it... Read morePublished 11 months ago by RevMo
I love this book! I first heard about Alice B. Toklas from one of the most unlikely of sources. That is from a scene from the old sitcom from the 60's and early 70's called... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Benjamin Scott
I bought these to read the legendary hashish fudge recipe, but there are lots of fun recipes and head notes in this one. Recommended!Published 13 months ago by Alejandra Ramos