Harvest of the Cold Months: Social History of Ice and Ices (Penguin Cookery Library)

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9780140176414: Harvest of the Cold Months: Social History of Ice and Ices (Penguin Cookery Library)

This is a social history of ice, rather than a practical cook-book. It covers the history of the use of ice in food and drink from its Middle-Eastern origins, and its gradual spreading through Western countries. It gives information on the early means of preserving it, and mentions travellers' tales of coming upon iced drinks for the first time. There is also some personal anecdote based on the author's experiences in India and the Far East.

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Review:

A seminal food writer, Elizabeth David brought Mediterranean cuisine to English readers and became a national institution, her cookbooks beloved not only for their recipes but for their literary depth. In the 1970s David began researching ice-cream. It was an innocent enough idea, but she got side-tracked--the result was 20 years of research into the whole history of ice and ice-making, and this book, which she died before completing (it has been finished by Jill Norman). As revealed in extracts from the earliest writings on the subject, ice, before the days of refrigeration, was an item prized by the mightiest and warmest empires. Though not a cookbook, this encyclopedic treatise on ice won a 1995 Julia Child Cookbook Award for Literary Food Writing, and a Jane Grigson Award.

About the Author:

Elizabeth David (1913-1992) was one of the most successful food writers of the twentieth century. She discovered her taste for good food and wine when, as a student at the Sorbonne, she lived with a French family for two years. After returning to England she made up her mind to learn to cook, so that that she could reproduce for herself and her friends some of the food that she had come to appreciate in France. Subsequently she lived in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India, learning and writing about the local dishes and cooking them in her own kitchen. Her first book, Mediterranean Food, signalled the start of a dazzling writing career, and was followed by many others, now considered classics, such as French Country Cooking, and Italian Food. The publication of French Provincial Cooking in 1960 confirmed her position as the most inspirational and influential cookery writer in the English language, and she was the recipient of many awards.Elizabeth David was also interested in the literature of cookery, and at the time of her death she was working on a study of the use of ice, the ice-trade and the early days of refrigeration, published posthumously as Harvest of the Cold Months.

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Elizabeth David
Published by Penguin Books Ltd 1996 (1996)
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