Blog 12 May 2015 – Best Of Jane Grigson

Best Of Jane Grigson

The Taster Magazine (Nearly) Daily Update: The Best Of Jane Grigson

Best of Jane GrigsonENOUGH of politics. 25 years ago Jane Grigson died, sadly aged just 62, after an amazingly successful life in food writing. One indicator of how successful it was is the fact that the French, no less, translated her book on Charcuterie & French Pork Cookery into their own language.

To mark this anniversary, Grub Street have published an excellent new book, The Best of Jane Grigson, and kindly sent us a copy. Billed as “The ultimate compendium of Jane Grigson’s recipes,” The Taster can confirm that it’s a beautifully produced volume. This does make a difference: we’ve often dipped into Penguin’s version of the 1974 classic, Jane Grigson’s English Food, and while it provides all the info you’d expect, the book itself is densely printed in a tiny font that, for us at least, renders the multitude of recipes a little overwhelming. This collection, however, is altogether more spacious and accessible; from the sepia print (kinder on the eyes than black) to the use of italics for Grigson’s background notes and personal reminiscences — it’s all a lot prettier and easier to read. The book is in eight sections, providing recipes and thoughts on food in England; France (with a special section on charcuterie); the Mediterranean; Europe; the Americas; India and the Far East; and Treats And Celebrations. Scattered throughout are delightful mini-essays on topics including Sausages, Picnics, Tomatoes, Seville Oranges and (oh joy) Edible Gifts; and there are a few Scandi recipes hidden in the European section.

Many recipes have names that simply cry out to be given a try, and it is rather fun to track Grigson’s progress across the continents. Try this list, picked more or less at random:

Saltmarsh Lamb in Pastry
Pressure Pigeons
Mrs Sleightholme’s Seed Cake
Poor Knight’s Pudding with Raspberries
Green Spinach Pie (Spanakopitta)
Sweet-sour Rabbit Italian Style with Chocolate
Emperor’s Pancake (Kaiserschmarrn)
Fried Chicken Maryland with Corn Fritters
Louisiana Court-Bouillon
Bachelor’s Jam (Rumtopf)
Three Kings Salad
Mongolian Fire Pot (Shua Yang Jou)
Winter Melon Soup (Tung Kua T’Ang)

The names alone make our fingers itch to get in the kitchen.

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This week is officially Sandwich Week, so here’s a sandwich vid we found for our YouTube channel. Chosen it because the very first sandwich to feature is a British chip butty! Obviously that’s the best, but the rest look pretty good too. Try this:

Have a great week

The Taster

Click on COOK for seasonal cooking ideas, or on our CALENDAR for foodie events in May.

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