From The Back of the Shelf

back shelf

We'd love you to send any suggestions from forgotten or undiscovered gems gathering dust on the back of your shelves to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to add to what we hope will become an entertaining collection.

Things occasionally get bought, put on a shelf and forgotten about. Pre-Christmas stressed shopping, I'd grabbed this elegant cone-shaped little bottle as something different for non-alcohol drinkers. Sounded deceptively traditional, "Cox's Apple and Plum Cordial"...

Here is a period piece from The Complete Book of Curries by Harvey Day, published by Nicholas Kaye Ltd, 1966. It may have originally appeared in The First Book of Curries published earlier in 1955. It is part of the introduction to a chapter called 'Rice Dishes' and argues that rice has played a part in forming the English character…

Lurking at the back of the shelf in its ragged and foxed dust jacket, Delightful Food by Marjorie Salter and Adrianne Allen Whitney, published by Sidgwick and Jackson in 1957 and costing 25s, is another period gem.  English titles stand out amongst the French;  Dry Curry Cavalry Club, Coldstream Eggs and Sauce Tintagel, for example, and some wonderfully evocative footnotes - more of those later.

Stretching a point, whilst this isn't about food, it is an ode to wine and so falls into our wider sphere of interest, For 50p I picked up this slim volume, The Taste of Kinloch, commemorating a century of trading in wines and spirits of Messrs Charles Kinloch (1861-1961).

"We're all quite well, but getting thinner
Not much for tea, still less for dinner
Though not exactly on our uppers
We've said 'Adieu' to cold ham suppers"

Louis Diat is probably best known for inventing Vichyssoise (or more correctly Crème Vichyssoise Glacée) in 1917 when he was chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York. This extract, however, concerns sauces rather than soups and is taken from Sauces, French and Famous.