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The Old World Kitchen

The Rich Tradition of European Peasant Cooking

A classic on the essentials of European cooking.

Award-winning food writer Elisabeth Luard joyously salutes the foundations of modern Western cooking with recipes collected during more than twenty-five years of travel and research, many of them spent living in rural France, Spain, Greece, Ireland, and Italy. This definitive collection of over three hundred time-tested recipes from twenty-five European countries is an indispensable guide to the simple, delicious, and surprisingly exotic dishes of peasant Europe.

ELISABETH LUARD is an award-winning food writer, journalist and broadcaster. She is the author of ten cook books, including The Old World Kitchen, The Latin American Kitchen and The Food of Spain and Portugal, as well as two volumes of autobiography and two novels. Her thirteen-part TV series, The Rich Tradition, was broadcast on BBC2. She spent many years living in rural Spain, France and Italy, and traveling across Europe collecting recipes, many of which are collected in The Old World Kitchen. She now lives in rural Wales.

“I’m convinced this is the best cookbook that no one’s ever heard of. This broad survey of European peasant cooking covers culinary territories both familiar (France, Italy) and foreign (Bulgaria, Romania). And don’t worry: You’re given permission to use beef for the Lapland reindeer stew.” —Mark Bittman’s six favorite books about food, The Week

“I love Elisabeth Luard’s cookbook, but I already fear I will read it more than cook out of it.” —Food52

”Puts other outpourings in the shade, such is its range, passion, erudition and downright deliciousness” —The Guardian

”One of the great cook books of all time” —The Mail on Sunday

”An awesome collection of recipes… Luard writes with authoritative enthusiasm”—New Statesman

”Through her eloquent writing and delicious recipes, Elizabeth Luard is able to bring us back in touch with the sources of real nourishment. This is a wonderful, inspiring and important book.” —Alice Waters, Chez Panisse

”This book is fascinating. I believe all cooking originates from family or peasant roots and this is a testimony to that belief.” —Jacques Pepin, The Art of Cooking