This engaging book of essays is one of the more durable works in food literature. It has been through innumerable printings since its publication in 1927 by the distinguished house of Jonathan Cape in Britain and in 1928 by A.A. Knopf in the United States.
Shand (1888-1960), a journalist and respected architecture critic, was also a devotee of good food and fine wine. Of his four books on those subjects, published between 1925 and 1929, this was the most popular by far. He shows himself to be exhilaratingly opinionated on almost any item of food or drink that he encountered, and his book is a springboard for outrageous observations on everything from hors d’oeuvre and charcuterie to soup, fish, vegetables, cheeses, and sweets.
“Pickles,” Shand writes, “can be regarded as a delicacy exclusive to the servants’ hall, and as such need not detain our attention.” “Cauliflowers and brussels sprouts,” he notes, “are fellow-sufferers from the Turkish bath method of English vegetable cookery.” As for omelettes, they “can be made in France, Belgium, and French-speaking Switzerland. In all other countries the name is either the courtesy title for a heavy-handed imitation, or else it denotes a peculiarly different concept of the culinary art in its application to beaten eggs.”
Yes, Shand does also approve of many foods, but the thorns are more immediately noticeable than the roses. This venerable book always was, always will be, delightful reading.
This copy is from the UK 1930 printing. The book was apparently disbound at some time in the past and has been serviceably rebound in gray cloth. The interior is very good, clean and overall sound. No dust jacket. A quite respectable reading copy—and well-worth reading.