"Omit and substitute! That's how recipes should be written. Please don't ever get so hung up on published recipes that you forget that you can omit and substitute."
Jeff Smith (the Frugal Gourmet)
“As everybody knows, there is only one infallible recipe for the perfect omelette: your own.”
Elizabeth David (1913-1992)
“This recipe is certainly silly. It says to separate the eggs, but it doesn't say how far to separate them.”
"Recipes without the author, without the cuisine to which they were once a living, seamless part, die."
"I refuse to believe that trading recipes is silly. Tunafish casserole is at least as real as corporate stock."
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
“In 1896, when she [Fannie Farmer] published her Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, she for all time took a great deal of the fun out of cookbooks by insisting that recipes were scientific and not an artistic expression.....Every recipe was to be a formula which began with a list of ingredients.”
Mark Kurlansky, 'Choice Cuts' (2002)
“The failure or incomplete success of a recipe oftentimes depends upon some little detail that has been misunderstood or overlooked in the preparation.”
‘A Book for A Cook’, The Pillsbury Co. (1905)
"When treasures are recipes they are less clearly, less distinctly remembered than when they are tangible objects. They evoke however quite as vivid a feeling-that is, to some of use who, considering cooking an art, feel that a way of cooking can produce something that approaches an aesthetic emotion. What more can one say? If one had the choice of again hearing Pachmann play the two Chopin sonatas or dining once more at the Cafe Anglais, which would one choose?"
Alice B. Toklas in 'The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book'
"Recipes are like poems; they keep what kept us. And good cooks are like poets; they know how to count."
"I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation."
"The receipts of cookery are swelled to a volume; but a good stomach excels them all."
William Penn (1644-1718)
"Half of the receipts in our cookbooks are mere murder to such constitutions and stomachs as we grow here......in America, owing to our brighter skies and more fervid climate, we have developed an acute, nervous delicacy of temperament far more akin to that of France than of England."
‘Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book’ (1846)
“Many are the ways and many the recipes for dressing hares; but this is the best of all, to place before a hungry set of guests a slice of roasted meat fresh from the spit, hot, season'd only with plain, simple salt....All other ways are quite superfluous, such as when cooks pour a lot of sticky, clammy sauce upon it.”
“Four tablespoonfuls of onions, fried with pork. One quart of boiled potatoes, well mashed. One and a half pounds sea-biscuit, broken. One teaspoonful of thyme, mixed with one of summer savory. Half-bottle of mushroom catsup. One bottle of port or claret. Half of a nutmeg, grated. A few cloves, mace, and allspice. Six pounds of fish, sea-bass or cod, cut in slices. Twenty five oysters, a little black pepper, and a few slices of lemon. The whole put in a pot, covered with an inch of water, boiled for an hour, and gently stirred.”
Daniel Webster's Chowder Recipe, From 'The Cook' (1885)
“Many so-called aphrodisiac recipes are basically wholesome ingredients prepared in a tasty way. The receptivity to romance probably comes from the general sense of relaxation and well-being good food induces.”
Harry E. Wedeck
“Americans, more than any other culture on earth, are cookbook cooks; we learn to make our meals not from any oral tradition, but from a text. The just-wed cook brings to the new household no carefully copied collection of the family's cherished recipes, but a spanking new edition of Fannie Farmer or The Joy of Cooking.”
John Thorne, American food writer
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