Coarse bread rubbed with tomato or garlic and then bathed in olive oil, is common to all the Mediterranean cultures. On the island of Majorca, it is kwn as pa amb oli, bread and oil. Tomas Graves takes this healthy peasant staple as a starting point to explore t only Mediterranean cooking, agriculture, and traditions but also the historical events that have rescued this simple dish from disappearing along with a way of life that had remained essentially unchanged since Roman times. In Bread & Oil Tomas Graves celebrates the Majorcan character as reflected in its eating habits. He makes the sights, sounds, scents and people of the Spanish island spring to life so brilliantly in this creative triumph. Part adventure, part history book, part travelogue, part restaurant guide and part cookbook, the reader is charmed throughout. Recipes reflect the indigeus ingredients; wrinkled olives made with olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic; fried sardines topped with sauteed onions and marinated in vinegar served cold with bread and oil, and guacamole with tomatoes and onions. Originally published as Volem pa amb oli in the native Catalan language of the Balearics, this new revised and updated English-language edition of Graves' book offers an informative guide t only to an overlooked culinary tradition, but also to the immense cultural transition that's changing the face of Europe.
Tomas Graves, son of celebrated British poet Robert Graves, was born and raised in Majorca, where he still lives. He is a master craftsman of typographic design and letterpress printing and he also plays in a rock band. He is the author of two other books A Home in Majorca: A Practical Guide to the Traditional House and Rural Life and Tuning Up at Dawn, which was serialised on BBC Radio Four as Book of the Week.