Every couple of weeks I have one of those days where I just want to absorb as much knowledge as possible. If I don’t have a book at hand, I will scour the internet for the best books on a particular subject. Last week, it was cheese. Three weeks ago? Lemons.
Pleasing my inner foodie is a job of its own, but I always try my best to find those books that are nothing but packed with great knowledge. So far, I have managed to find some really great gems that you might enjoy too.
Pour yourself a glass of your favourite and let me tell you about them.
Italy through the citrus looking glass.
While I was researching for books on wine, I came across Helena Attlee’s book “The Land Where Lemons Grow” (Penguin, 2014). It’s funny because what first attracted me to the book was its cover, a beautiful watercolour drawing of a Citron by Vicenzo Leonardi that dates back to the 17th century. A couple of days passed and the book arrived, I wasted no time and in a few weeks, I fell even more in love with Italy and all its citrus history.
Helena does a remarkable job at making you fall in love, she could write about corkscrews and I would still keep reading.
The Land Where Lemons Grow takes you on a journey to Italy without having to pack your bags, although that being said, I’d jump on a plane any day if it means I can visit my favourite corner of the world. The book is packed with incredible historical facts and botanical stories as well as recipes dotted through the chapters. It’s one of those books you will read time and time again.
Perhaps what I love the most is that some of the works referenced in the book can be found in London. Case in point, the cover image by Vicenzo Leonardi is located at the Victoria & Albert Museum. This drawing is part of a collection of preparatory drawings for Giovanni Battista Ferrari’s book “Hesperides”, which was first published in Rome in 1646 and describes the different varieties of citrus together with illustrations. You can see “Hesperides” in its entirety here. Leonardi’s illustrations never made it into the book but they were part of a collection of 7000 drawings assembled by 17th-century natural scientist Cassiano del Pozzo, some of which can be found at the V&A Museum in South Kensington, London.
The Land Where Lemons Grow will surely change your perspective on citrus fruit, it might even make you want to move to Italy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
We have a copy of “The Land Where Lemons Grow” to give away. Keep reading to find out how you can win it.
Death by cheese.
Cheese is the reason why I’m 85% and not 100% vegan. I’ve always loved cheese, ever since I was a child. My favourite ones have always been Roquefort, Provolone, and Gruyere; and while my taste buds have indulged themselves in countless other varieties, I realised it was time for me to broaden the spectrum of cheeses I know and love.
Finding the perfect book to take me on this journey was easy. Having done a quick search I stumbled on Patricia Michelson and her cheese shop La Fromagerie, with branches dotted around London in Marylebone, Highbury, and Bloomsbury. They are not only cheese shops but delis and restaurants offering wine, charcuterie, and coffee, pretty much everything you’d need to stay there and never leave. Patricia is also the author of two books “The Cheese Room” (Penguin, 2005) and “CHEESE” (Jacqui Small, 2010), two incredible bibles on cheese that anyone remotely interested in the subject should own.
“The Cheese Room” is a great introduction to cheese because it doesn’t go into extreme detail but gives you a snippet of information, just enough to keep you coming back for more. Patricia shares stories and occurrences throughout her life, from travels around the world to how she sources the cheeses available at La Fromagerie. What I love about this book is the extensive collection of recipes in it.
Her second book “CHEESE” is an incredible written and graphic resource into cheeses from all over the world. Although it’s not the type of book you can take with you on your commute to work, because it’s huge and very heavy, it’s a beautiful coffee-table style book that will help you navigate, learn and understand hundreds of cheese varieties with ease.
An introduction to the curious art of sourdough bread.
Let me start by saying I’m not a great bread baker. For some reason, I find baking bread overwhelming and intimidating, especially sourdough. There’s something about the fact that anything can affect how a loaf of bread turns out that give me the creeps *literally*. I gave sourdough starters a go about five times, and it was the fifth time that I decided to let go of all my inhibitions and approach the subject as if I already was a master of the art.
It’s surprising what happens when you act like you’ve got nothing to lose. I guess having the right guide does help too, cue “Sourdough” (Modern Books, 2017) by Casper Andre Lugg & Martin Ivar Hveem Fjeld. “Sourdough” is pretty much all you need to understand this ancient practice of bread making and how to really go about it without questioning your life decisions on the way.
Casper and Martin are two home bakers from Norway with a purposeful passion for sourdough baking. Their love for bread baking using ancient grains and traditional techniques are what makes their book so unique.
The attention to detail when it comes to processes is unlike any other book, which makes this not just a cookbook but an absolute must-have guide if you are delving into the matter head first.
The reason why “Sourdough” is not just a regular cookbook, is the addition of further resources at the end of the book. From where to source the best quality flours to where you can find the equipment needed as well as how to further your knowledge of the matter.
We have a copy of Helena Attlee’s “The Land Where Lemons Grow” to give away. All you have to do to be in the chance of winning the copy is sign up to JOYMail (a.k.a monthly newsletter).
- Giveaway Terms & Conditions:
✚Entry is open worldwide. Giveaway ends midnight 17th September 2017. ✚The prizes are as stated, no cash or other alternatives will be offered. ✚Entrants must subscribe to the Juliet Oscar Yankee newsletter to qualify for an entry to the draw.