Sunshine on a plate: the year’s best cookbooks

In the dark days of a terrible winter, Elizabeth David began writing her first book, about Mediterranean food. The timing should have been wrong. People enduring post-war rationing would rather not think about sunlit shores and dishes of bright food, surely? But oh, how depressed, broke Britain lapped up A Book of Mediterranean Food when it was published in 1950. David’s prose and recipes ‘flew’ readers to Greece, Italy, the south of France and Egypt, stirring up an appetite for garlicky seafood stews, saffron-suffused pilaffs and artichokes dipped in anchoiade. In an echo, 70 years on, I have found my thoughts wandering to places that currently cannot be visited except