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OP: The Mushroom Feast

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by Jane Grigson

Alfred A. Knopf, 1983. Hardcover. Fine in Very Good jacket. Signed.

The late 20th century was a period of emergence for an unprecedented number of fine food writers, but among these only a handful could be said to be writers in the larger sense—individuals whose sensitivity to language and to style provide readers with satisfactions that went far beyond simple subject matter. English-born Jane Grigson (1928–1990) particularly exemplifies one of the “best of” in this category.

Grigson is grounded in her approach, devoted to kitchen processes and to the tactile, sweaty labor that precedes the sensual pleasures of eating. With her unfailing loyalty and concern toward her readers and her delight in historical anecdote, she has remained one of the most influential and continually read food writers of the last half century. 

In The Mushroom Feast, first published in the UK by Michael Joseph in 1975, Grigson turns her attention to edible fungi and in the process produces one of her more charming works. She emphasizes the breadth of flavors and textures available to those who are willing to be a bit adventurous, characterizing them with authority and wit. 

The book’s first chapter describes twenty-one of the “best” edible mushrooms, accompanied by a basic description of appearance, origin, and flavor, as well as Yvonne Skargon’s charming illustrations. Recipes, pulled from historical and contemporary sources, follow. Easily one of the most useful works on mushroom cookery to this day.

We offer here a signed 1983 American edition (Knopf) in Fine condition other than being price-clipped and showing the first signs of foxing along the top edge. An important work deserving of a place of honor on the shelf.

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