Reviews:

Book of the Year 1992  The Sunday Telegraph & The Guardian



“It is a delightful book, absolutely geuine and often hilarious in an understated kind of way.  Van Hensbergen’s misaventures in Segovia will tell you more about Spain, especially central Spain, than many a learned volume.  It is high praise to say that even a Spaniard will find A Taste of Castile a delightfully entertaining read. “    Michael Smith, The Irish Times


“Excellent”   Craig Brown, The Sunday Times


“Skillful lightness of touch. “  The Times


“A soupçon of wit and a sprinkle of exuberance make this a piquant read.”  Northern Echo


“Gijs van Hensbergen’s A Taste of Castile is a delight.   The tales of the cooking and eating are funny, affectionate and whole-hearted, interspersed not only with recipes, but with shrewd and amusing observations of Segovia and its ancient ways.”   Adam Hopkins, The Guardian


“This unpretentious book, where scenes from provincial life are interspersed with recipes, will make your mouth water.”   Sir Raymond Carr, The Evening Standard


“No traveller to this region of Spain can have a complete understanding of the area without reading it first.”   Western Morning News


“In 1986 he upped sticks and left England in order to learn how to cook pig’s trotters (and much else) in a Segovian restaurant.  That may not sound a recipe for hilarity but his Rabelasian adventure could initiate a new sub-genre, the comic-cooking-travelogue.”  Gary Mead,  The Financial Times


“The lovely slapstick humour makes the book irresistible – as in the delicious moment when the author deludes himself into admiring the chef’s dog food.”  Felipe Fernando-Armesto,  The European



A Taste of Castile is the most original book about the traveller’s experience of Spain I have come across since V.S.Pritchett, Laurie Lee, Walter Starkie and Penelop Chetwode. The upshot of the apprenticeship among the ovens is an often hilarious, always wise and sensitive, account of the city and its kitchens.  Van Hensbergen brilliantly observes upstairs and downstairs Segovia society, hugely enjoys the customs of each, breathes in the  city’s beauty through every pore and ends up understanding more about what makes provincial Spain tick than a whole faculty of sociologists and anthropologists.”     

Tom Burns-Marañon,  The Tablet



“Gijs van Hensbergen in A Taste of Castile has hit on the brilliant notion of leading us to the heart of Segovia through its cooks and kitchens.”  Jonathan Keates,  The Observer   


“There are few other books in English that convey so well the enthusiasm with which Spaniards eat, or explain so fully their idiosyncratic eating rituals.”  Michael Jacobs,  Petit Propos Culinaires

     A Taste of Castile

        published in paperback as:

In the Kitchens of Castile