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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

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  18 reviews
This book is perhaps the jewel in Prospect’s crown. Within a few months of its first appearance in 1986 it was hailed as a modern classic. Fiona MacCarthy wrote in The Times that, ‘the book is a large and grandiose life history, a passionate narrative of extremes of experience.’ Jeremy Round called Patience Gray ‘the high priestess of cooking’, whose book ‘pushes the form ...more
Paperback, 375 pages
Published March 3rd 2001 by Prospect Books (first published 1987)
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Pista e Coza

In this town there were still some old quarrymen left, whose working day for 40 years began at 3 o'clock in the morning by making breakfast, before walking up the mountains to the quarries, carrying their boots to save the leather, with a fiasco of wine and a merenda tied in a bundle. A retired quarryman called Catossi had a great reputation as a gran' mangiatore, a real gourmand, and this is what he cooked.

Getting up in the dark, he took his stonemason's hammer and banged that recal
Jennifer Smith
I want to grab your shoulders and shake you while yelling, " you don't understand! This book, this history, this cookbook, this novel! THIS is my #1 book. I shall always make pesto with mortar and pestle now because of this book. I shall always think of man as "nostalgia and a search for communion." Chickpeas, broad beans, quince jams, ewe's cheeses, pigeons, weeds, bilberries and little almond cakes dance in my head!"
A charming look back for us and the writer who went as far back as 1960 from 1986 when she wrote the book. It's about eating locally with the seasons, foraging and making do with what you have.

Taken directly from the text: "The current of this book swirls to and for between five areas of the Mediterranean. In order of time, the places where the author and the sculptor have lived are:
CASTELPOGGIO, a mountain town above Carrara
VENDRELL near Tarragona in Catalonia
This was a book I came to with high expectations. It is the kind of food writing I like; a mixture of food, travel and places, biography and personal passion.

It is a book that amazes me with its observation. The vivid pictures it draws of the places are so memorable and I can bring those images my mind as I write this review. The writing about the food is so rich, so graphic in its detail and scope. It is clearly written from a huge depth of knowledge. It is a treasure of a book and I am glad to
Elderberry, samphire, wild fennel, wood sorrel.
Wonderful, a good read as much as a cookery book
Sep 22, 2011 Scott rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers of biography, vicarious travel, Mediterranean foodways
A re-read.I can read this once a year, and still enjoy it. A unique book on doing with and without: seasonal fare, a buzzword now, is a eat or go hungry option in the locales featured in this memoir. Gray writes flinty prose, and offers a glimpse into a presumably vanished way of life.A way that sometimes includes hunger. Advice on cooking a fox is included. Fascinating details of Mediterranean peasant and artist life while searching for stone for The Artist.

There are recipes,Jim,but not as we k
Faith McLellan
I have dipped in and out of this book for years, but decided this weekend to do it all in one go. A great work of imagination, history, and culture. Not much for cooking here, I think, as I can't imagine making Pigs' Tongues with Pomegranate Sauce for any occasion. But lovely prose and very evocative.
Ann Nordquist
This is one of those books that is a treasure and not so easy to find. I found my copy years ago in Goodwill and it will be one of those cookbooks and food writing books that I will pass on to the next generation in my family. If you like M.F.K. Fisher, you will love this book.
I read this in the heart of tomato season and learned all about the traditional harvesting, preparing, preserving, and feasting of tomatoes throughout the Mediterranean, as well as olives (and olive oil!), all sorts of herbs, and other delicious healthy treats.
Sophie James
This is a feast of a book; both memoir and recipes. Open air fires and baking ovens for the whole village, edible weeds, seeds, wine and olives, living entirely by the seasons, when there was real feast and famine. A picture of a time now gone.
Jul 17, 2008 Lauren rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: food
Beautiful and simple. This is a very romantic view of the journey of cooking. From the pot you cook in to the basic roux of a sauce, it will leave you aching for a wood fired stove in the Italian countryside.
Beautiful cookbook. I first heard about it in the BBC special with Rick Stein (great show). He tours the author's home with a sense of awe that was inspiring. It was a gorgeous, simple home and garden.
This is what food and travel writing should be. It is so evocative of place, of the ancient landscape of Tuscany. It is not a book for rich Americans renovating houses.
Jon Cullum
The best cookery book I have ever read. How would I ever known how to get the seeds from a pomegranate without this book.
Aug 19, 2013 Crystal is currently reading it
I'm slowly making my way through this - it's so lovely, I can only take a chunk at a time.
Aug 19, 2008 Valerie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Valerie by: Marcia
Shelves: cookbooks
Filled with the joys of Tuscan cooking. A fantastic history/memoir of this region.
Paige marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2015
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