A Taste of Portugal by Shirley Sarvis - 1967 Edition
The Portuguese cuisine is a disarming cuisine. It has verve; it is vibrant. Most of it is not complex, but it is of such stunning combinations of ingredients, it is almost exotic... Shirley Sarvis
And so begins, Shirley's cookbook of authentic Portuguese recipes collected from the country's humblest kitchens and their most admired restaurants. Adapted for American kitchens and adventuresome mid-century spirits, Shirley's cookbook, published in 1967, introduces Portugal to the home cook who aspired to visit the country in person one day. It's a practical guide of course, but it is also a little love letter full of interesting stories of a culture that pairs simple yet dynamic gastronomy with generous hospitality.
Featuring just 115 recipes, it is not a trove that would keep you busy sampling and cooking for years, but to know Portuguese food well, you wouldn't need that much time anyway. It's a cuisine punctuated with spices and herbs, citrus and olive oil with influences from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Italy, and it's comprised of all the bountiful ingredients that color the local landscape.
In addition to recipes, A Taste of Portugal is also a mini travel guide for foodies and what they can expect to eat where, depending on the regions visited. Stories behind some of these local specialties help to add history and context to the recipes and Shirley also notes the ways in which many of these dishes are presented at table.
Interesting recipes include Cod Roasted in Embers, Caldo Verde, Walnut Cucumbers, Lisbon Braised Duck with Bananas, Country Lady's Braid, Meat of Wine and Garlic, Cake of Coffee Montrose, White Ported Mushrooms, Country-Style Favas, Soup of the Pot, Monchique Cherries and Oranges, Senhor Piment's Elvas Plums, and Pasteis de Nata
Photo of Shirley Sarvis courtesy of the Sacramento Bee, October 30th, 1968
- Published in 1967 by Charles Scribner's Sons
- 192 pages including detailed index
- Illustrated throughout with woodblock prints by American artist Erwin Schachner (1926-1997)
- Includes original dust jacket
In lovely vintage condition, this cookbook is clean and bright inside and out. There is a slight musty odor to this book with an aroma like old libraries and dusty shelves. There is no mold or water damage, nor signs of storage in a damp environment. The dust jacket is a bit chippy along the top edge but is wholly intact. The yellow coverboard on front has some light discoloration along the top edge. The spine is tight and all pages are intact.
Measures 8.75" inches (length) x 6.25" inches (width) x .75" inches (thickness) and weighs 1.2 lbs.