Reviews: Maynard Davies and Jane Grigson

Reviews: Maynard Davies and Jane Grigson

Postby Frank » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:42 pm

Had a bit of a spend on Amazon last week, and bought Jane Grigson: Carcuterie and French Pork Cookery and Manual of a Traditional Bacon Curer by Maynard Davies.

I then saw Adventures of a Bacon Curer by Maynard for sale on ebay for 55p, so I snagged that as well :D

They all arrived on the same day :roll: I picked the Adventures book first and read it cover-to-cover in a day. It's only 160'ish pages and is avery easy read. Maynard Davies is dyslexic, and this comes through in the way that the book is written. A nice glimpse of a by-gone age and a largely lost industry, but not recommended as a 'how-to' book.

Jane Grigson's book was first printed in 1967, and although it is a modern reprint, the style of the book has been kept the same. The first few pages describe the sorts of items regularly available in a French Charcuterie, the main part of the book is the recipe section, which effectively gives recipies for every part of the pig. I have book marked several recipies that I would like to try. A good resource. Recommended.

Lastly, I'm reading the Manual of a Traditional Bacon Curer. I'm about a third of the way through it and it looks like a good primer in producing bacon and hams. However, one thing I've noticed is regarding quantities: Air Dried ham cure calls for 20lb of salt, Spicy bacon cure calls for 35lb of salt, Sweet cure 48lb. His classic sausage recipe starts with 20lb of pork. I know that the quantities can be scalled down, but it would have been nice if this had been thought of and included in the book. As he says many times that the Bacon Curing Industry is over in this country, so why have Industrial-sized recipies? Other than that, it looks like a great book, one I'm enjoying reading and I'm sure it will become my favourite. :) Recommended.
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Postby onewheeler » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:02 am

Jane Grigson's books are always a delight to read, her enthusiasm and knowledge jump out of the page. It's possibly not a great instruction book for the cured items, her attitude to use of cures is a bit haphazard, but very inspirational.
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