European Peasant Cookery Paperback – July 23, 2008
The Amazon Book Review
Free book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Elisabeth Luard has written my cookbook, and she has done it more eloquently than I ever could have. She even groups recipes around different food groups to make it easy for those of us who produce our own food or participate in CSA's or farm to table programs to use what is in season.
Did you know there is a reason carb heavy root vegetables are prevalent in colder months? That is when your body needs them!
Some of these recipes will not be useful to me, as I do not live near the sea, but as I adapt my family's diet to be more locavore, this book will be a big help.
- Waterzootje (p. 29), should be Waterzooi
- Konijn met pruinen (p. 104), should be Konijn met pruimen
- Hutzpot (p. 302), should be Hutspot
Also, the book contains some incorrect remarks. On p. 424 it says that Edam cheese is a typical cheese in Holland for cooking, but that's not the case. Edam cheese is rather uncommon for Dutch people to eat; it's more an export, or tourist cheese. The most common cheese eaten in the Netherlands is Gouda cheese.
Another remark is about the recipes for Spekpannekoek (p. 141) and Bruine Bonen (p. 230). In both these recipes Elisabeth Luard notes that golden syrup or honey should accompany these meals. However, golden syrup is almost never eaten in Netherlands, it is hardly available in supermarkets. Dark syrup, or treacle is the choice of Dutchmen for Spekpannekoeken and Bruine Bonen. Honey is also unusual, though it is in the Dutch-style.
Sure you might thinks "who care about the Dutch recipes anayway". Maybe so, but other recipes may be not so authentic/flawless either.....
Top international reviews
Well, the fact that this book was first written in 1986 should have alerted me to the fact that a few recipes from emigres excluded, there are no dishes here from what was behind the Iron Curtain. This is Western European peasant cookery, including the UK and Ireland. That's fair enough, but the title is misleading. Eastern European recipes are now widely available and some could surely have been included here. What is here is very good, there are dozens of recipes for German, French and Italian staples. The recipe for a classic cassoulet takes up over two very closely typed pages on its own.
Another review has criticised recipes for not being accurate, and even on a quick read through I can see how this criticism came about.. A suggestion is to roast onions at 150 degrees Centigrade for two hours in their skins. My efficient fan oven would make them charcoal at this temperature for that length of time, even allowing for dropping to 130 to allow for the efficiency of the fan. All the oven temperatures given are for an old-style non-fan oven and need some adjusting,
On the whole, descriptions are reasonably clear but there are no illustrations and this isn't really a cookbook for novice cooks. Aside from the temperature adjustments needed you need to be aware of how recipes are meant to work, as with the spaetzle recipe which has some weird proportions or the advice to cook sliced raw potatoes in a gratin for just one hour. Two hours is more like it. Personally speaking I used sliced tinned potatoes in any form of gratin to cut down on the cooking time, These recipes are often very energy - hungry, long cooking being required for many of them.
Having made those criticisms, I do still very much like this book and look forward to trying some of the more user friendly ones, adapting where necessary. I won't be sourcing a large earthenware pot to salt-cure an 8lb leg of lamb, but to read about it was fascinating, and the book is packed with fascinating facts. It's a very enjoyable read, just watch your step when following the Western European recipes and all will be well.