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OP: Cooking With Pomiane

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by Edouard de Pomiane

In one of the few books of his to have been translated into English, Edouard de Pomiane (1875–1964) is identified as a bon viveur—a sophisticated lover of good food. Although Parisian by birth, his family (originally Pozerski) were political refugees from Poland. He was trained as a nutritionist and ultimately became a professor at the renowned Institut Pasteur. 

His inclinations, however, were not strictly scientific, and over the years he evolved into a highly visible figure on the French food scene, a critic and an arbiter of taste, achieving prominence through his culinary radio program—apparently the first ever such. 

Based in part on Radio Cuisine, Pomiane presents in this wide-ranging cookbook a host of French-oriented dishes, from a humble barley soup with goose giblets to a more elaborate gratin of lobster. However, in many respects his recipes are merely stopping places in what is an upbeat, highly informative chat—there is no other word for it—with a man who has a lot to say. 

Sometimes his attention is on nutrition, sometimes on economy. He speaks about technique, about marketing, about what he calls “the psycho-physiology of gourmandise.” He even levels critiques of some of the recipes he presents. It is good reading—often witty and highly quotable—as well as good cooking and surely well worth knowing.

The book was assembled in 1962 by a British translator named Peggie Benton, who drew on material from Radio Cuisine scripts published in 1933 and 1936 and edited them to provide a degree of continuity. Cooking with Pomiane was published first in the UK by Bruno Cassirer, then in the United States in 1963 under the imprint of Roy Publishers in New York City. 

This copy is an apparent US first printing in Very Good condition—clean and unmarked, with a good sturdy binding. The blue case shows evidence of light exposure at the head and foot of the spine. The scarce jacket, which we would classify as Good Minus, is present, though price-clipped and missing paper at the head and foot of the spine. It is also lightly rippled from liquid damage, particularly at the back, however, without impacting the book block. The spine is sun-faded enough as to be nearly illegible, and the old-style sheet lamination has peeled off entirely. We have put it in a mylar sleeve to protect from further damage.

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