I was in Waterstones the other day and my eye was caught by a display of really attractive paperbacks. Imagine my joy to not only find they were beautiful but they are also some of the most amazing cookbooks ever written. Now, I’d like the Birthday Fairy to just bring me the whole set, if not two. I’d have one set to read, and one to put on the wall to look at each day.
The good thing is these are not going to smash the bank, with each one having a cover price of £6.99. Where to start though?
Historical reading? How about a bestseller from 1615 with Gervase Markham’s The Well-Kept Kitchen?
By particular cuisine type? Well, there’s Exciting Food for Southern Types by Pellegrino Artusi for an early view of Italian food, or a more contemporary view with Claudia Roden on the huge variety of cuisines from the Middle East, with A Middle Eastern Feast.
Skip Stateside, and you could enjoy Love in a Dish and Other Pieces by M F K Fisher or Recipes and Lessons from a Delicious Cooking Revolution by Alice Waters. The possible themes are endless.
Sadly, I can’t find the artwork available as other forms, as this would definitely make for striking posters or prints for the kitchen, not to mention mugs and tea towels. But if anyone from Penguin is listening, think it would be a cracking idea and can imagine a whole raft of food lovers making house space for them!
Meantime, I’m off to write my birthday list…!