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17 Works 212 Membros 6 Reviews

About the Author

Barbara Santich is a culinary historian and Professor Emeritus in the History Department of the University of Adelaide, where she initiated post-graduate courses in food history and culture. She is the author of eight books including the award-winning Bold Palates: Australia's Gastronomic Heritage mostrar mais (2012). mostrar menos

Obras de Barbara Santich


Conhecimento Comum




I’ve enjoyed three other books by food writer Barbara Santich (all reviewed on my blog):
*Bold Palates: Australia’s Gastronomic Heritage, (2012)
*Dining Alone, Stories from the Table for One, (2014) (editor)
*Enjoyed for Generations, The History of Haigh’s Chocolates, (2015)
But I think I like this one best of all. Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries, is a memoir of her two years in France in the 1970s. It’s a perfect book for anyone who loves travelling to France, or who yearns to travel to France, or for world-weary tourists who feel nostalgic for France ‘as it used to be,’ or for anyone who loves reading about food!
I first went to France in 2001, for a week in Paris and a week in the Loire Valley. Things have changed a lot since then, but from this book I can see that changes since the 1970s are even more dramatic. In her family’s first sojourn at Nizas in southern France, Santich documents a passing way of village life, dominated by elderly people whose children had mostly moved away. These people were custodians of traditional ways of doing things, from selecting cuts of meat to cooking rabbit to harvesting the grapes for wine and celebrating afterwards. My guess is that those elderly people who constituted the population of Nizas in this memoir are all gone by now, and the villages that are not in decline have been reinvented as upmarket tourist destinations or as holiday properties with absentee owners for much of the year. Nevertheless there are places that defy these trends and Wikipedia shows me that Nizas is one of them. When Santich was there in the late 1970s with her husband and two small children, the population was under 400, and now it is nearer to 600. Whether that makes it a viable population or not, I do not know.

To read the rest of my review please visit
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anzlitlovers | Aug 26, 2018 |
It's interesting to note that Australian cooks have always been creative and willing to experiment with their food. It seems they have always been good cooks and besides always loving to eat, there seems to be a rich history of those who were willing to write about food. That's where this collection really does come into its own, with snippets from works of fiction, journalism, books of etiquette, letters, diaries and travel accounts. A view through the ages of Australian gastro-culture and it's influences from taking what is local and available to following the fashions of Europe and the British Isles only to return to putting their own stamp on the gastronomic passport. It's an interesting read, and I only wished it had more input from other arenas to round out the prose selections.
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xntrek | Apr 3, 2018 |
Exhaustively researched and in-depth study of Australia's culinary traditions, heritage and history. Ever wanted to know why lamingtons became so popular, or pie and sauce, or Milo, or the lamb chop? It's all in here. Essential reading for any Australian with an interest in food and how our eating and cooking habits evolved.
Anne_Green | Feb 16, 2014 |
Fascinating study of the many aspects of food, the study of gastronomy over the years, our relationship with food and the significance of the "Australian national dish" debate. A thoroughly researched and well written book that showcases the author's in-depth knowledge of food history and culture as well as her personal encounters with food at home and in many parts of the world.
Anne_Green | Feb 7, 2014 |


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