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The Oxford Companion to Food


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Table of Contents

Alan Davidson: A Tribute ; Preface to the Second Edition ; Introduction ; Contributors ; Subject Index ; Notes on Using this Book ; The Oxford Companion to Food A-Z ; Maps of Food Migrations ; Bibliography ; Index ; Acknowledgements

About the Author

Alan Davidson was a distinguished author and publisher, and one of the world's best-known writers on fish and fish cookery. In 1975 he retired early from the diplomatic serivice - after serving in, among other places, Washington, Egypt, Tunisia, and Laos, where he was British Ambassador - to pursue a fruitful second career as a food historian and food writer extraordinaire. Among his popular books are North Atlantic Seafood and Mediterrranean Seafood. In 2003, shortly before his death, he was awarded the Erasmus Prize for his contribution to European culture. Tom Jaine is an independent writer and publisher, specializing in food and food history. He is the author of numerous books, including Cooking in the Country, Making Bread at Home, and Traditional Country House Cooking. He frequently writes for The Times, The Guardian, the Sunday Telegraph, the Evening Standard, and many magazines and journals. He was editor of The Good Food Guide from 1989 to 1994, has presented 'The Food Programme' on Radio 4, and has frequently participated in discussions of food on radio and television. Jane Davidson is Alan Davidson's widow, and assisted him in his work, in particular as co-author of Dumas on Food. She has written many reviews of food books for Petits Propos Culinaires. She has also worked for the British Council. Helen Saberi was Alan Davidson's personal assistant, and worked very closely with him on the first edition of the Companion, as contributor, researcher, fact-checker, and proofreader. She is co-author with Alan Davidson of Trifle and The Wilder Shores of Gastronomy.


This outstanding culinary reference is destined to become a classic, and Davidson, the book's editor and the author of many of its entries, deserves the eternal gratitude of researchers everywhere. With its 2650 alphabetically arranged entries as well as 39 longer articles on staples such as rice, the range of the work is impressive. Everything from individual ingredients, cooking terms, and prepared dishes to national cuisines and cookbooks and their authors is covered. Each entry is written in a clear, engaging style often seasoned with a dash of wit. The result is a perfect complement to another standard culinary reference work, Larousse Gastronomique (Crown, 1988. reprint), edited by Jennifer H. Lang. While there is some overlap, libraries will need both titles in their reference collections since each has its own strengths. Larousse includes recipes with many of its entries and often provides cooking hints, while Oxford provides more extensive treatment of plants, herbs, and even insects used in cooking and usually has more information on national cuisines. Even when the same topic is featured, such as ancient Greek cooking, there is enough difference in information between these two sources that readers will want to consult both. Highly recommended.ÄJohn Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

There is no better way to stave off the winter blues than the second edition of Alan Davidson's The Oxford Companion to Food. Tom Jaine has taken over from the late Davidson and he is a worthy heir. This gem of food reference retains the wit, elegance, erudition and style that made the first edition so memorable. Tom Parker Bowles, Mail on Sunday (Live - Night and Day) Seriously fascinating Cathy Pryor, Independent No kitchen should be without The Oxford Companion to Food 2nd Edition. An absorbing culinary reference book, worth its weight in foie gras. Image magazine Ireland, Extraordinarily comprehensive and detailed. As a reference book it is unlikely to be surpassed but it is also a fun book to dip into and every page includes masses of startling and original information. Tom Jaine, Country Landowner Magazine The Oxford Companion to Wine - like the Food Companion it is detailed, scholarly and endlessly fascinating. Tom Jaine, Country Landowner Magazine essential reference guide Daily Express Brilliantly original An astonishing encyclopaedia of food, food history and culinary knowledge...Enjoyable to read, enlivened by Alan Davidson's easy wit and humour... This book will appeal to anyone with a serious interest in food - Especially if they like their facts spiced with a little humour Food magazine

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