William Verral, the redoubtable eighteenth-century landlord of the White Hart Inn in Lewes, Sussex, trained under a continental chef and was determined to introduce the 'modern and best French cookery' to his customers. Gently mocking Englishmen who eat plain mutton chops or only possess one frying-pan, he gives enthusiastic advice on must-have kitchen gadgets and describes enticing dishes such as truffles in French wine and mackerel with fennel.
This selection also includes the recipes that the poet Thomas Gray scribbled in his own well-thumbed copy of Verral's Complete System of Cookery, which was one of the best-loved food books of its time.
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.