According to Artemis Cooper, Elizabeth David’s official biographer;
“David was the best writer on food and drink this country has ever produced. When she began writing in the 1950’s, the British scarely noticed what was on their plates at all, which was perhaps just as well. Her books and articles persuded her readers that food was one of life’s great pleasures, and that cooking should not be a drudgery but an exciting and creative act. In doing so she inspired a whole generation not only to cook, but to think about food in an entirely different way.”
When Elizabeth David wrote “A Book of Mediterranean Food” in 1950, Britian was still experiencing rationing. Most of the ingredients were not even available. But the book served as an inspiration, an escape from the dark days of post war Britian. Within 2 years of writing the book, the essential ingredients, to her, lemons, olive oil, wine, onions, garlic, tomatoes and the herbs and spices of the mediterranean were all available.
A recipe from “A Book of Mediteranean Food”
Red Mullet, Grilled.
Grill the cleaned mullets with a little olive oil and serve them with butter into which you have mixed some chopped fennel and a drop of lemon juice.
Australian food in the fifties was closely tied to that of Britian. However we were lucky, we had the sun. This is me and my sister and mother on a Sydney Harbourside beach in 1957!!!!
Intelligent Life ,the bi-monthly magazine by the Economist has an article on Elizabeth David in its January /February issue.Elizabeth David’s Christmas is reprinted in a new edition by the Folio Society.