When I saw that the Penguin Great Food series was only £5 for 20 books from The Book People, did you really think I’d be able to resist? I love food. I love books. It just wasn’t going to happen. All booksellers seem to acknowledge how beautiful they are because I’ve seen them on display in so many different shops. I can’t help but pick them up each time yet I’ve never been able to decide which one to buy – now I don’t have to worry! They’re all pretty wonderful, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith (who’s also the designer of the Penguin English Library series, which I also love) and typography by Stephen Raw.
Throughout the history of civilization, food has been more than simple necessity. In countless cultures, it has been livelihood, status symbol, entertainment – and passion. In the GREAT FOOD series, Penguin brings you the finest food writing from the last 400 years, and opens the door to the wonders of every kitchen.
I’ve started reading The Pleasures of the Table by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin as it was the first book: “His 1825 book The Physiology of Taste defined our notions of French gastronomy, and his insistence that food be a civilizing pleasure for all has inspired the slow food movement and guided chefs worldwide. From discourses on the erotic properties of truffles and the origins of chocolate, to a defence of gourmandism and why ‘a dessert without cheese is like a pretty woman with only one eye’, the delightful writings in this selection are a hymn to the art of eating well”.
If you love food. I mean, if you really love food – if you can’t wait to go on a trip/on holiday because it means eating out and the chance to visit food markets; if you look up the menu before visiting a restaurant because you just can’t wait; if when someone asks you for suggestions for places to visit, you can only name restaurants or bakeries or cafes; or if the perfect day out is a visit to a dessert bar (okay, I think we both know we’re talking about me here), then you probably won’t be able to resist this colourful, eclectic food writing series either. I cannot comment on the essays themselves yet, but I can’t wait to delve in.