As well as being the author of The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas was also an enthusiastic gourmand and expert cook. His Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine, published in 1873, is an encyclopaedic collection of ingredients, recipes and anecdotes, from Absinthe to Zest via cake, frogs' legs, oysters, Roquefort and vanilla.
Included here are recipes for bamboo pickle and strawberry omelette, advice on cooking all manner of beast from bear to kangaroo – as well as delightful digressions into how a fig started a war and whether truffles really increase ardour – brought together in a witty and gloriously eccentric culinary compendium.
Throughout the history of civilization, food has been more than simple necessity. In countless cultures, it has been livelihood, status symbol, entertainment – and passion. In the GREAT FOOD series, Penguin brings you the finest food writing from the last 400 years, and opens the door to the wonders of every kitchen.