welcome afforded the recent reissue in Britain of Colman Andrews' Catalan
Cuisine is a mark of the esteem attached to this style
Davis' 'A Catalan Cookery Book: a collection of impossible recipes'
is a perfect introduction; its limpid prose is a reminder of past habits
of mind. There are sixty recipes, from soups to sweets, taking in a
summer and a winter drink along the way. There are also eleven fine
engravings by the artist Nicole Fenosa, at whose home in Vendrell Irving
Davis spent many summers.
are under a hundred recipes which are disarmingly simple yet make few
concessions to the novice cook: this is not Delia Smith for the Mediterranean
masses. There are eight main chapters covering soups; omelettes; pasta;
snails; sea food; meat; salads and vegetables; and sweets. There is
an appendix with some further documents about Irving Davis, including
a few lines of his own on his life.
book was privately published in 1969 after the author's death. It was
edited and introduced by Patience
Gray, who herself needs no introduction to Prospect readers.
Echoes of Irving Davis, antiquarian bookseller, publisher and man of letters,
abound in her own masterpiece Honey from a Weed. This book is a fragment
- he was a man who sought perfection - and yet is complete enough for
us to enjoy, and to cook from. He called his recipes 'impossible' because
he despaired at substitution, or derogation from the original.
20,8 x 26,0 cm
Publishing date :