Wednesday, May 25, 2016

In Defence of English Cooking

Let's talk about George Orwell.

Everybody knows 1984.  If you went through the American public school system, there's a pretty good chance that you had to read it.  Or maybe you saw one of the movie versions. But did you know he was actually considered one of the truly great British writers and had several other books to his credit, both fiction and nonfiction?

I had to read 1984 for school. I didn't care for it.  However, some years later I wound up listening to an audiobook version of his Down and Out in Paris and London and I thought it was wonderful.  In it, he talks about living poor in Paris and London (hence the title) and doing a LOT of dishwashing.  In the accounts of his time in restaurant kitchens, he is writing a predecessor to Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential.  I found it absolutely fascinating.

So when I saw a listing for In Defence of English Cooking by George Orwell (Penguin Books, 2005) I snapped it up.



Well, I'm blaming Penguin Books for this one.  This was published as one of the "Pocket Penguins" done for their 70th Anniversary.  It's a slim volume, only 58 pages, and it consists of four essays.  "In Defense of English Cooking" begins on page 54.  The last two pages are a list of all 70 Pocket Penguins.  Yes, I bought it for three pages.  It reads like a newspaper opinion piece on the ideal British foods. So...not quite what I was hoping for.

Now, maybe this is still the book for you.  But I'd recommend getting a copy of Down and Out in Paris and London instead.

Essay: In Defence of English Cooking

In Defence of English Cooking at Amazon

Down and Out in Paris and London at Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment