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French Provincial Cooking

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,656 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
French Provincial Cooking is Elizabeth David's classic work on French regional cuisine.

Providing simple recipes like omelettes, soufflés, soups and salads, it also offers more complex fare such as pâtés, cassoulets, roasts and puddings.

First published in 1960, it is readable, inspiring and entertainingly informative. French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David is the perf
Paperback, 524 pages
Published April 30th 1998 by Penguin (first published 1960)
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Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: foodies
Shelves: travel, cooking
Elizabeth David is the british equivalent of Julia Childs. They were both exploring French cuisine while living as expats in France during the 1950's (David also lived in Italy, and Greece). She gathered traditional french provincial (think simple) recipes back to England. This book, published in 1960, had the same revolutionary effect on english cooking that Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking had on american.

It is a fun read and the recipes are quite good. The recipes are not what we'r
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I grew up reading through cookbooks as if they were novels. I spent a lot of time in my Seattle grandmother's kitchen, or my family's kitchen, sitting on the floor and reading cookbooks and looking at pictures (when I wasn't doing sous chef duties). Cooking or baking occurred throughout these times, as did conversation on many topics, but the cookbook in my lap always had a lot of my attention. I still read them like novels.

I learned to cook and bake through osmosis - watching and helping and ea
Denise Romeo
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
Lengthy coverage of all things edible in Europe by the definitive British food journalist Elizabeth David. Read more at
Patrick Lassalle
This is an excellent cookery book, filled with recipes and flavours that to this day still haunt my palette.

I've eaten most of the original recipes contained in this volume, all of these cooked for my family by Elizabeth David herself when I was four years old. We were her test subjects at the time, gladly helping her to check the size of the portions. Back then, we were living in post Second World War poverty in Sandwich near Ham, Kent. Most of the time our food was dull, boring and scarce. In
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
love her aristocratic style, curt, take no prisoners. she assumes you know the basics and would not deign to describe how to chop an onion. has no use for 'chefs' it is after all just cookery. the inclusion of excerpts of other writers, some of them very old, is delightful. and yes, the recipes are great.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
hm, her writing about food and experience is amazing, her insights about packing the piehole--oh what joy! but unfortunately this person is, ahem, of her times and extraordinarily racist and classist. total fader, babes.
Jason Goodwin
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I think this was the book that taught me how to cook. It's opinionated, dirigiste, superbly written and selected, and if curse all the recipes not only work - they take you off to a France that went out when a DS was a very sexy car, not a games console.

Lyn Elliott
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking, france
A classic which I still go back to from time to time.
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who want to learn about France
I’ve needed a new copy of this book for some years now; the spine of the book I own has more than cracked; it has entirely separated down its length into two halves; facilitating a number of the bolder pages to detach and rashly make their individual bids for freedom. Two elastic bands tentatively hold all together. But for how much longer?

This is one of the books which taught me how to hunt through the London markets of Covent Garden and Leadenhall, and how to cook what I found there. Why was I
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly the best French cookbook ever written in English. David, an Englishwoman, provided an introspection into French country cooking before Julia Child captured America's heart with it—in fact, as I understand it, David was an inspiration to Child. There's not a bunch of fancy color photos here, instead, you'll find mainly pen-and-ink line drawings, but there's a wealth of text, good recipes, and pithy details on how and why things were done the way they were in provincial France. Remember, ...more
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food 1 1 Nov 30, 2012 05:27PM  
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Born Elizabeth Gwynne, she was of mixed English and Irish ancestry, and came from a rather grand background, growing up in the 17th-century Sussex manor house, Wootton Manor. Her parents were Rupert Gwynne, Conservative MP for Eastbourne, and the Hon. Stella Ridley, who came from a distinguished Northumberland family. They had three other daughters.

She studied Literature and History at the Sorbonn
More about Elizabeth David...