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To say that Mrs David’s influence is still with us is to underestimate the scale of the revolution she brought about in the British way of eating.She introduced the Brits to the cooking of Greece, Italy and Provence in 1950 after her return from Greece, via Egypt and India, with her first book, A Book of Mediterranean Food.This year has real significance for anyone who eats or cooks for pleasure.It is the centenary of the birth of Elizabeth David – who was born on Boxing Day 1913.By this time, there were between 85,000 to 100,000 Jews living in the Land of Israel, of a total population of 600,000. 430.) Most of the Arabs living in the land had migrated there only in the previous thirty years attracted by the jobs created by the Jews who were building and farming.(Note that when Jews began to immigrate to Palestine in large numbers in 1882, fewer than 500,000 Arabs lived there. 244) A big boost for a Jewish homeland came from Earl Arthur Balfour (1848-1930), then foreign secretary, who in 1917 promised British support for the cause.These items are sometimes loaned to outside museums and organizations. Taylor then showed me a 12-foot iron snake staff found in a pyramid tomb.

Until then, as Jane Grigson – one of her devotees – observed, “Basil was no more than the name of bachelor uncles, courgette was printed in italics as an alien word, and few of us knew how to eat spaghetti…Then came Elizabeth David, like sunshine.” So the very fact that Brits now eat pasta as much a potatoes and use olive oil more than dripping owes an awful lot to her.Fact Three: In a spectacular display of a love for rum, the infamous Admiral Nelson who died in the Battle of Trafalgar, had his body preserved in a cask of rum before it was finally laid to rest.Accounts differ as to whether the cask was full or mostly empty at the time, but we do know for sure rum was referred to as 'Nelson's Blood' for a period of time after the incident! Its precursors date back to ancient India and China and are thought to have spread from here. This huge conflict waged over four years (1914-1918) pitted the Allies (chiefly France, Britain, Russia, and later, the U.S.) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Turkish Ottoman Empire) against each other.

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