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Harvest of the Cold Months

David, Elizabeth

14 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0718137035 / ISBN 13: 9780718137038
Published by Michael Joseph, London, 1994
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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0718137035 VERY GOOD very good dj. Bookseller Inventory # MAIN034116I

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Harvest of the Cold Months

Publisher: Michael Joseph, London

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: very good

Edition: 1st.

About this title


Elizabeth David's social history of ice starts in 17th-century Italy, and Florence in particular. She quotes from contemporary accounts to describe the intriguing snow and ice pits, and describes the huge Florentine banquets which usually ended with spectacular pyramids of ice and fruit. David tells the story of Francesco Procopio who, in 1686, established what is considered to be the world's first cafe, Le Cafe Procope, in Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris; she recounts the reactions of travellers in the 18th and 19th centuries first seeing the ice-trenches covered with pyramid-shaped straw roofs, and tells how India depended on its ice being shipped out from Boston. The British fishing industry was revolutionized after a Scot visiting China in 1785 saw the fishermen drawing their supplies of snow and ice from store houses situated along the coast, and transporting their catch packed in ice over long distances inland. Within a few years, salmon and other fine fish was travelling in similar fashion from Scotland to London all the year round. On the domestic front, Elizabeth David tells of the story of James Gunter, who founded the ice cream and confectionary business in the early years of the 19th century and which for so long and so famously bore his name. David ends this history of ice at the outbreak of World War II.


A seminal food writer, Elizabeth David brought Mediterranean cuisine to English readers and became a national institution, her cookbooks beloved not only for their recipes but for their literary depth. In the 1970s David began researching ice-cream. It was an innocent enough idea, but she got side-tracked--the result was 20 years of research into the whole history of ice and ice-making, and this book, which she died before completing (it has been finished by Jill Norman). As revealed in extracts from the earliest writings on the subject, ice, before the days of refrigeration, was an item prized by the mightiest and warmest empires. Though not a cookbook, this encyclopedic treatise on ice won a 1995 Julia Child Cookbook Award for Literary Food Writing, and a Jane Grigson Award.

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