The most complete record of England's finest period of creative and innovative cooking (Elizabethan and Jacobean) - it is also usable by the modern cook
Although much was stolen from other writers the characterful voice of Hannah Glasse shines through - Try to see the beautiful first edition which was a folio volume (facsimile produced by Prospect books too)
Obsessed as I am with English Food I cannot leave this off my top ten list. Grigson's book was published at a time when English food was not highly regarded, but this work certainly kicked off a revival of interest. She inherited the mantle of Florence White and Dorothy Hartley, but writes better than both of them. All of her writing has beauty and authority with none of that patrician, slightly grumpy 'I know best' tone that in the end puts me off much of E. David's books
Phillips pioneered wild food and when it first came out it was such an exciting book to read and to take on walks - though it did lead to me nearly poisoning my younger sister when I got her to try what I thought was sorrel and turned out to be the young leaves of Lords and Ladies!
Weirdly I came to this book not knowing who Nigella Lawson was - I suppose it was before she appeared on TV - and found her book inspiring and, as seems to be a theme in books I enjoy, the writers voice shone through. A book I cook from often and better than anything else she has subsequently published.
Contributions from many of our best food writers make this a brilliant book for traditional British Food - particularly good on cakes and pastries. Don't be put off by the fact it comes from The Readers Digest stable it is a wonderful distillation of the best of British food.
An important record of home cooking in England across the centuries. White was decades ahead of her contemporaries in wanting to collect 'folk cookery recipes' before they were lost. She is emerging from obscurity as a really important food historian - read her tragically sad autobiography 'A Fire in the Kitchen' too
The finest book written on the subject and all the better for not having an actual recipe until page 268!
One of Grigson's least known books, but one that I have reread more than any other. Informative, beautifully written (dare I say she is a better writer than E.David) This book also introduced me to the writings of Emile Zola and the wonderful Parson James Woodforde. Possibly my favourite food book of all time!
This is the book I cook from most often. Somehow what looks deceptively simple on the page produces the most delightful, elegant food that you want everyone to taste. There is a calmness, an Englishness about his food and writing that I find beguiling.
The Curious Cookbook