When we first heard of Penguin’s plan to publish what could be described as ‘Popular Penguins’ for foodies, we were pretty excited. The idea of having morsels, tidbits, appetisers and amuse bouches as books that we could read, collect (and sell) was mouthwatering. To be able to dip into MFK Fisher and then taste Elizabeth David, Eliza Acton and Hannah Glasse in digestible bites seemed perfect.
And so they are - all 20 titles are interesting, exciting & evocative - truly covetable. The authors & texts are drawn from over 4 centuries, several continents, the formal and domestic, food writing and instructional manuals. They each mark a point in the history of food. But what has made them truly stand out - is their jackets.
The jackets were designed by one of Penguin’s senior designers, Coralie Bickford-Smith, who has used an appropriate period ceramic tile/style as the background for each title. As with all good food, its the garnishes that make the difference;in this case embossed/textured lettering & calligraphy by Stephen Raw & clever graphic details such as the penguin logo armed with a knife & fork.
These are our favourites at the moment, if we have a quibble, its that we would have loved a slipcase to put them into…but then we wouldn’t see the jackets!
The series was the inspiration of Pen Vogler at Penguin and the publishing story can be found at her blog Pen’s Great Food Club.
The twenty titles are: Dr A W Chase Buffalo Cake and Indian Pudding; Isabella Beeton Campaign for Domestic Happiness, Alexis Soyer Chef at War, Charles Lamb Dissertation Upon Roast Pig and Other Essays, Calvin Trillin Eating with the Pilgrims and Other Pieces, Eliza Acton Elegant Economist, Hannah Glasse Everlasting Syllabub and the Art of Carving, Pellegrino
Artusi Exciting Food for Southern Types, Alexandre Dumas From Absinthe to Zest: An Alphabet for Food Lovers, Samuel Pepys Joys of Excess, Agnes Jekyll Little Dinner Before the Play, MFK Fisher Love in a Dish and Other Pieces, Claudia Roden Middle Eastern Feast, Alice B Toklas Murder in the Kitchen, Colonel Wyvern Notes from Madras:, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin Pleasures of the Table, Alice Waters Recipes and Lessons from a Delicious Cooking Revolution, William Verrall Recipes from the White Hart Inn, Elizabeth David Taste of the Sun, & Gervase Markham Well-Kept Kitchen.
Oh, and they are a steal at 9.95 each - check them out instore