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terça-feira, 4 de junho de 2013

Chefs and Cookbooks

When TV shows and books about culinary skills became so popular that students wanted to become chefs, like Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver, I feel I have to write about Eliza Acton.

Elizabeth (Eliza) Acton was born in England (1799 –1859).

In 1826 she published her first book of poems, followed by two more volumes: The Chronicles of Castel Framlingham (1838) and The Voice of the North (1842). It is said that around 1835 she went to her publisher (Longmans) to propose another book of poems, but he advised her to write a cookery book instead to increase her income. 

In 1845 her cookery book, Modern Cookery for Private Families was published by Longmans. In this book she introduced detailed instructions, listed the ingredients and suggested cooking times with each recipe. Many copies were sold and Eliza Acton became the first modern cookery author. However her popularity somewhat disappeared when in 1861 Isabella Beeton produced her famous Book of Household Management, which sold millions of copies. In fact she presented many of Eliza´s recipes as her own, because copyright abuse was not yet a legal issue.

I enjoy collecting cookbooks from the places I visited. Although I am not a great cook, when I follow the recipe strictly, the results can be surprisingly great like my Pabellon criollo,Turkish dolmas, or Virginia Ham and Clam Chowder.

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