The Cheat’s Culinary Compendium #1

How I love it, in cookbooks and guidebooks, when the author comes up with a judiciously-chosen excerpt from an earlier work. I would be delighted to pepper the Publog with fascinating fit-to-eat titbits and boozy bons mots. However, I am far too lazy and badly-read to be able to achieve that, so I thought I’d copy a few out for your pleasure. This one’s quoted in Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food:

“Begin with a Vermouth Amaro in lieu of a cocktail. For hors d’oeuvre have some small crabs cold, mashed up with sauce tartare and a slice or two of prosciutto crudo (raw ham), cut as thin as cigarette paper. After this a steaming risotto with scampi (somewhat resembling gigantic prawns), some cutlets done in the Bologna style, a thin slice of ham on top and hot parmesan and grated white truffles and fegato alla veneziana complete the repast except for a slice of strachino cheese. A bottle of Val Policella is exactly suited to this kind of repast and a glass of fine Champagne and of ruby-coloured Alkernes for the lady, if your wife accompanies you, make a good ending.

“The Maitre d’Hotel will be interested in you directly he finds that you know how a man should breakfast.”

(From The Gourmet’s Guide to Europe by Lt-Col Newnham-Davis and Algernon Bastard, 1903)