Posted by Kmk /dd on Friday, January 15, 2010 Under: Cookbooks
Anyone who's been following my posts will know I'm a huge fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, so I have to watch myself here. In all honesty though, fan or no, there is very little not to like, no, love, about this book. It's thick, at a whopping 543 pages in all, crammed with lavish photography and written with what appears very much to be sincerity and undeniable passion.
HFW has even taken pains to include two indexes - one, a regular alphabetical recipe index and the other, an "alternative recipe index" that to quote the man is "Organised by mood and inspiration to help you plan a meal...". Here, recipes are grouped under such headings as "Celebrations", "Sheer Comfort", "Offally Good" and "Impress Your Friends" to name but four. I've been collecting cookbooks since I was 14 and have well over a hundred of them but this I have never seen before.
This is far more than a recipe book. HFW swings his scythe through the underbellies of giant supermarket chains and meat and poultry producers, revealing all sides of the picture - good, bad and ugly, makes a very convincing case for traditional farming and butchery and conscience driven animal husbandry, and in the midst of it all, manages to cook up some very decent grub then take a breather to ponder on vegetarianism as a stand against animal cruelty. I dare say his argument, particularly with regard to veal production, will give even vegans food for thought. The recipes are mostly straightforward, hearty dishes, as one might expect considering the subject matter, and will no doubt satisfy. What I found most valuable are the butchery charts for each type of meat and information on identifying, selecting and preparing meat so that you can get the very best out of it.
But....the cherry on top is the price of the book; a very reasonable and justifiable SGD 72.95, for a hardcover edition that informs, educates, tantalises, entertains and nourishes body, mind and soul. A book such as this can only be the result of real knowledge, passion and conviction. It appears that unlike a few other best-selling cookbook authors out there (you know me, so, no names, much as I'd like to) HFW is one author who is not striking while the iron's hot and knocking out book after book, filled with recycled material from previous best-sellers. Hmm, you can cook for me, anytime, Hugh.... UNRESERVEDLY RECOMMENDED. Price : USD 46.58 at Amazon.com and GBP 30.00 at Amazon.co.uk.
In : Cookbooks
Tags: "hugh fearnley-whittingstall" meat "the river cottage meat book review"
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