Most of us are apple lovers -- which is fortuitous, given that fruits health-giving properties. But a few basic recipes aside, how many of us can come up with really imaginative recipes to utilise this wonderful food? The Apple Source Book
by Sue Clifford and Angela King is so incredibly useful in this area that one can forgive the authors the groan-inducing pun of the title. Clifford and King are members of Common Ground, a group devoted to educating us about every aspect of local food. Needless to say, the essays here on Britain's famous apple heritage are crammed full of the enthusiasm and inspiration one might expect from the authors and their prestigious team (which includes such luminaries as Lindsey Bareham, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Delia Smith), but there is also a great stress on retaining the identity of specific local varieties. Apart from the recipes (and more on those shortly), The Apple Source Book
is brimming with fascinating information -- did you know that there are almost 3000 varieties of apples grown in the United Kingdom? A subject such as this does not lend itself to much illustration, and the few drawings here are basically functional. But the recipes! How about a whole roast goose accompanied by apples in quince jelly? Or roast fillet of pork with apples and cider? As this might convey, Clifford & Kings book is designed to make our salivatory buds activate, and that it certainly does. If, at times, the healthy properties of apples rather vanish under the succulent sauces involved, most people really won't give a damn. Supermarkets and local shops should prepare themselves for a rush on apples when this book achieves the popularity it undoubtedly will. (One caveat: the index is not particularly user-friendly.) --Barry Forshaw
'Lovely treasury of all things appley'
'Long awaited . . . both a hymn to the diversity of the fruit and an invaluable supply of anecdote, fact and recipe'
(Nigel Slater, Observer
'A quite remarkable book . . . a sort of all-in-one apple enthusiasts kit, containing everything from a raft of celebrity apple recipes and hints on cider-making, to a gazetteer of where you can find your Ribston pippin and your Blenheim orange.'
(Michael McCarthy, Independent
'Apple lovers of all shapes and sizes will adore this homage to our most famous fruit'
(Good Book Guide
'An invaluable new point of reference . . . this informative and beautifully crafted book will open your eyes. This is a book that deserves pride of place on the coffee table as much as it does the kitchen.'
'This wonderful book will inspire you to buy, cook and grow some of the 3,000 or so varieties which exist in Britain.'
(National Trust Magazine