From A for (dining) alone to Z for Zakuski, ‘a Russian hors d’oeuvre’, An Alphabet for Gourmets takes us through a selection of food essays by the incomparable M. F. K. Fisher, alighting on long-time obsessions and idiosyncratic digressions to wholly charming effect.
Admired by W. H. Auden as one of the greatest American writers, M. F. K Fisher never focuses on just the food set before her. Instead, with unfailingly elegant prose, an eye for evocative detail and a knack for sharp-edged wit, she draws us in to the whole experience: from the company to the setting, from the preparation to the scraped-clean plate. She liberates her readers from caution, sweeps away adherence to culinary tradition, and celebrates cooking, eating and dining in all its guises.
Evocative, thoughtful, with a light touch and a wry humour, these essays illustrate with captivating ease why M. F. K. Fisher has become one of the most beloved and admired food writers of the twentieth century.
‘I do not know of anyone in the States who writes better prose.’ W. H. Auden
‘Witty, pungent and highly civilised, but also it has a special charm . . . It not only guides and titillates; it warms.’ New York Times Book Review
‘Completely unorthodox . . . This book is a merry, sometimes biting, often passionate defence of the lover’s approach to food.’ Kirkus
‘Entertaining and knowledgeable.’ New Yorker