Langoustines and Caravaggio…


There is a wonderful edition of Elizabeth David’s “Italian Food” that was published in 1987. I say wonderful, as it truly is full of wonders, quite apart from the delight of her writing and recipes. This book is a beautifully produced, hard backed volume that is illustrated with hundreds of exquisitely printed reproductions of paintings, with food as their subject, throughout the ages. Roman mosaics, Veronese still lives, Caravaggio’s people , Dutch masters, 15th century frescos, 20th century stylised compositions, like Guttusi’s “Two Eggs and classical packaging illustrations. I have browsed through the riches in this book so often and only today did I realise that I have never looked at one of the recipes, of which it is full. When I now look, I realise that I am familiar with most of them as they have all appeared in other editions of “Italian Cooking”.


I am looking at a painting by Joachim Beuckelaer of a kitchen interior. painted in the 16th century that fills me with enthusiasm for cooking and ingredients, but that which is inspiring is that Joachim was feeling the same in 1550. This made me look back to our summer stay in Ile d’Oleron where I found these pictures that I took whilst cooking some deliciously sweet langoustines that had only just left the sea.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2013, Art photography, Cookery Writers, Cooking, Digital photography, Eggs, Elizabeth David, fish cookery, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Italian food, langoustines, Photography, seafood, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Langoustines and Caravaggio…

  1. Amanda says:

    Beautiful pictures. Such delicious fruits of the sea.

  2. I’ll have to look for that book. Sounds like she took the cookbook to a whole new level with the artwork. I’d love that.

  3. Those langoustines are worthy of any old master painter. Beautiful!

  4. suej says:

    Oh wow! I only have the paperback version…..

  5. Very beautiful photograph. And merci for pointing me to that hardback ed. Will search Jessica’s Biscuit! I’ve had my Penguin paperback edition for so many years the cover is just a loose wrap, pages yellow & fragile. But it is still handy on the shelf next to the others~ Summer, French Country, French Provincial, Mediterranean, & An Omelette and a Glass of Wine. She, MFK Fisher, Waverly Root, & of course Julia Child made for the greatest inspirations, curiosity & daring. Will not part with my Davids till they crumble to bits. But will add the ed. you mention. And Thank you for your wonderful inspirations too!

  6. cecilia says:

    You mean you were just looking at the pictures? Wow! Love the images.. you really are very good at what you do.. c

  7. Mad Dog says:

    I can’t decide what I’d like most… the prawns or that table as a background 😉

  8. Stunning and I too love that table. You can almost smell the sea….

  9. Love the depth you got on your langoustine photo.

  10. That is such a beautiful photo of langoustines!

  11. I thought it might have been a reference to an earlier post. That was the first time I’ve ever heard of a langoustine.

    Caravaggio has one of the better renditions of Judith and Holofernes in my opinion. Amazing artist.

  12. Dang you, Roger. Langoustines are first on my list when we get to Italy. They are going to look at me funny when I try to order them for breakfast………………….

  13. Tessa says:

    Gorgeous photo of the langoustines!

  14. Michelle says:

    If only Caravaggio and Beuckelaer had access to a Gaggenau…

  15. Beautiful photos. Artworks in themselves.

  16. Flora says:

    Love the photo of the langoustines!

  17. ChgoJohn says:

    Very nice, Roger, and another cookbook on my wish list. I’ve already 2 of your recommendations. 🙂

  18. catterel says:

    Oh beautiful langoustines – and what a photo! I too have my well-read Elizabeth Davids, 4 paperbacks in a box, a gift from a fellow newly-wed many years ago, handed over with the words, “Here, I’m not going to be making any of this rubbish! It’s more up your street.” I was very grateful as I couldn’t afford to buy such luxuries as cookery books at that time 😀 and certainly not hardbacks!

  19. thomas peck says:

    Just got to bed. Looked at your blog. And now I’m hungry again….

  20. Oh, langoustines….sigh. I dream of delicious ones.

  21. I’m with you on the photos of food.. I think that’s why I purchase a cookbook.. photos first, recipes second:D I’d love a copy of that one!

  22. cquek says:

    Your version looks delicious.

  23. Those langoustines are an artwork unto themselves 🙂

  24. Rachel says:

    I visited l’Ile d’Oleron once. Never knew there were so many varieties of oysters! Different colors, sizes, shapes… Mmmmmmm!!

  25. Karen says:

    Langoustines are one of the most succulent of sea creatures…I always order them when they are on a menu when we are visiting Europe.

  26. What a beautiful picture that last one is, Roger. The combinations of colours are just wonderful.

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