Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Graphic ingredients

I do love leafing through old cookery books. You can never be quite sure of what delights you might come across. Except perhaps the obligatory over-zealous use of aspic.

Alongside two thousand three hundred-odd Italian inspired recipes, who would have thought from the cover that Luigi Carnacina's Great Italian Cooking, the first and only edition of which was published in 1968, would have contained such an array of fabulous illustrations. Take a look at some of the main ones here...

Time saving kitchen contraptions of late Modernity, side by side with native aromatics of the Italian countryside, backed by a bit of seemingly pointless hatching in the top left corner. Just excellent.

Plenty of brilliantly indiscernible items here. I particularly like the canape tray-cum-Playstation controller in the bottom left.

Some majestic looking artichokes, classic toad stalls, and a very scary looking cauliflower. Can anyone identify the levered contraption in the middle?

Bizarrely, the egg section is one of the biggest in the whole book. From frittatas to a straight forward coddle, Luigi's list is thoroughly exhaustive. I think these drawings are cracking too.

A magic wand, conjuring up a pie, with a sort of puzzled face looking on. And it's rare to see use of the word farinaceous. They just get better and better.

The turkey is good, but for me it's all about the spit roaster. Where can I get one of those?

A minimalistic view of the world of game... Good to see it's accompanied by a glass of something to drink, however.

A personal favourite. Look at that young calf - how cute! And the clever hanging dangerously above the pig's spinal column. Plus a T-Bone. Who knew a cartoon could make you salivate?

A comparison of Italian and American pork cuts. The Italian ones are fewer and larger, which to me, makes complete sense.

And this bashful looking porker caught my eye. Cheer up, Cheeky, you might not end up getting your foot stuffed.

A syringe, a very grand birthday cake, and a completely inexplicable jumping salmon. Thoroughly wonderful stuff.

If anyone would prefer these images not to be up here, just get in touch via email. And excuse the poorly-cropped shots!

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