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Delights and Prejudices by James Beard

Delights and Prejudices

by James Beard

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1st ed
  kitchengardenbooks | May 7, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 076240941X, Hardcover)

James Beard's 1964 classic, Delights and Prejudices, has been reprinted in a newly illustrated edition. This is wonderful news for all who love food and food writing. Erudite yet intimate, Delights and Prejudices is, first, the memoir-with-recipes of a great American gastronome. It's also fascinatingly panoramic on good meals taken worldwide; on ingredients as diverse as the potato and the truffle; on great food places, markets to restaurants; and on food people, from Beard's cantankerous, food-muse mother to many of the stars of the last century's food firmament, including Julia Child. This is not only Beard's greatest work but also one of the best books we have on food and what we know about it.

Beard's gastronomic life began in bounteous early-20th century Portland, Oregon, where his mother cooked for several hotels. An early culinary memory has the near-infant Beard relishing an onion, skin and all. From there the story captures a world of gastronomic likes and dislikes from "sensational" veal roasts to the gherkins known as cornichons, "one of the mistakes the French make in eating." Beard's love of French food is, however, usually unmitigated, matched only by his adoration of traditional, locally produced American cooking. Recipes for this fare, including clam soufflé and candied-ginger pumpkin pie, are among the 150 formulas offered, a Beardian crème de la crème that also encompasses hors d'oeuvres, breads, and cakes. The book also chronicles Beard's ascent to fame, beginning with his 1940s appearance on I Love to Eat, TV's first cooking show, to the arrival of his many influential cookbooks. It ends, characteristically, in his kitchen, "the place where [he] can best satisfy the eccentricities of [his] own palate." The journey makes am enthralling read. --Arthur Boehm

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:04 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A richly evocative memoir from the man whom the New York Times dubbed the "dean of American cookery," recalling the flavors of his past In this delightful culinary journey, James Beard takes us back to the earliest days of his childhood when he started developing his precocious palate and lifelong "taste memories"-the ability to savor and remember the tastes and sensations of food. His enthusiasm for flavors, no matter how bold, would define Beard for the rest of his life. From devouring a raw onion as an infant to scouring the globe in search of local flavors as an adult, Delights and Prejudices is full of witty and illuminating stories that open a door into the world of one of America's first and perhaps greatest epicures. Packed with more than one hundred fifty recipes, including corn chili souffl, fried oysters, and peach preserves, this very personal account of his life is as close to an autobiography as Beard ever penned. For those who love to cook or simply love to eat, there remains no better teacher than James Beard.… (more)

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