Seductive and piquant like its author, this guide to good food is “an appetizer for enthusiastic beginners” rather than a basic cookbook. When it was written, people in Britain still lived on rations and couldn’t travel to taste exotic cooking.
Blanch’s gastronomic world tour starts with the words, “It is said that a nation is made by what it eats: undoubtedly diet affects character.” Most of the eighty or so recipes are prefaced by an account of where they were first tasted, or with some amusing anecdote.
ELIZABETH DAVID: “Russia, Afghanistan, Turkey, America, Egypt, Romania and Bulgaria are just some of the countries where this adventurous and inquisitive traveller has investigated the cooking pots and enjoyed – or otherwise – the hospitality of the locals. An incurable romantic, Miss Blanch invests the food she describes with the aura of exoticism”
THE LISTENER: “For frivolous reading, a book by a unique woman who describes her hobby as frivolous eating”
Cookery & Travel. John Murray, 1955, with line drawings by the author.
UK edition : Grub Street, 2011 HB 200 pages £9.17 ISBN 1908117184
US edition: Simon & Schuster, 2010 PB 368 pages $15 ISBN 1439197342
Chinese edition, Marco Polo Press, Cité Publishing 2020