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Elisabeth Luard is a British food-writer, journalist and broadcaster specialising in the traditional cooking of Europe and Latin America (though she’ll take a swing round Africa and India if asked), placed in its social, geographical and historical context. The step-daughter of a British diplomat, her early schooling was in Uruguay, Spain, France and Mexico.

Mirroring her own childhood, she brought up her family of four children (with husband, writer and conservationist Nicholas Luard, founding-proprietor of satirical magazine Private Eye) in Andalusia, Languedoc and London. Later, with children grown, workplaces switched to the island of Mull in the Hebrides, Nicholas’s home territory, before, some 20 years ago, they moved to a remote farmhouse in the wilds of Wales. Widowed five years ago, Elisabeth continues to live and work in Wales.

As a journalist, she writes every month in the UK’s Country Living, and has a cookery-column in The Oldie - a tongue-in-cheek magazine edited by Richard Ingrams, founding editor of Private Eye - and for anyone else who offers employment. Among books-in-print (or available on the re-tread market) are European Peasant Cookery (US: The Old World Kitchen. 1985 and still in print), Festival Food (1988, reprinted 2009), The Food of Spain and Portugal (2004), Classic French (2006, includes her own illustrations) and Classic Spanish (2007, includes her own illustrations). The Latin American Kitchen (2003), Sacred Food (2001), Truffles (2006), Food Adventures (2006, a cookbook for children written with daughter-in-law, Frances Boswell, sometime food-editor at Martha Stewart Living).

Elisabeth LuardOther publications include autobiographies-with-recipes Family Life (1996), Still Life (1998) and My Life as a Wife (2008). As for the rest, well, she admits to a couple of doorstopper novels: Emerald (1993 - Thumping Good Read Award) and Marguerite (1995). To come: A Year in a Welsh Farmhouse Kitchen (Bloomsbury, scheduled spring 2011), The Oldie Cookbook (Oldie Publications, due Oct 2010, includes her own illustrations).

Elisabeth’s early career as a natural-history artist led to work as an illustrator, and while she no longer exhibits in London’s Tryon Gallery, she still takes travel-notes with watercolours and sketchbook. Her watercolour illustrations can currently be seen in Country Living. Sketches from her travel-notebooks are being used to illustrate her recipes in The Oldie Cookbook. As a proud granny of seven - two in New York and five in London -she visits regularly and cooks with her grandchildren whenever she can. website: elisabethluard.com

Snails, those creatures of ill repute among gardeners, are good food for foragers. All the shell-housed gastropods, whether from land or sea, are edible,

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March is the month for the cumin harvest on the salt flats of the Little Rann, the smaller of the Indian state of Gujarat's

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Pugliese tiella is an oven-baked dish that combines mussels with rice and potatoes and takes its name, as do so many of the Mediterranean's

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The plum pudding is to the English Christmas as turkey is to the American Thanksgiving or red-dyed eggs are to the Greek Easter or

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This autumn, in the central food-market in Florence, the capital of Tuscany in northern Italy, an unusually dry summer and lack of early-autumn rain

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Ethiopia, it's generally assumed, is the birthplace of coffee. This, however, is not the view taken by Ethiopians themselves -- at least those who

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When in Lyon at lunchtime, do as the natives do and head for Les Halles, the French city's luxurious central covered market that replaced

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elisabeth luard

Wales' gastronomic strengths lie in her raw materials: meat, milk, grains, berries, root vegetables (particularly carrots, leeks and brassicas). Her culinary tradition is to

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