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The Nation's Favourite Food (Cookery) Hardcover – 13 Mar 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (13 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563488662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563488668
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Following a major online poll asking the public to choose their 100 favourite dishes, The Nation's Favourite Food presents a fascinating insight into Britain's eating habits. Providing the recipes and background to all of the winning dishes, including suggestions on how to give a modern twist to old favourites, this is a must for food lovers everywhere.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By SJM on 1 Sept. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is my favourite cookbook of all time!! We've made at least two thirds of the recipes in here, and they're all fantastic. Jo Pratt is amazing. It's such a great reference (good-housekeeping-like!) for all the classics, many of which are offered with a sophisticated twist. The sweet and sour chicken in here comes out like what you always imagined sweet and sour chicken could be but never quite achieved. Perfect beer batter for your cod. Stir fries gallore. Great Lamb Rogan Josh--the list goes on and on!! Quite a few veggie options (if that's your bag) and veggie variations on some of the staples, too. (Including an absolutely superb take on bolognese.) I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Eccles on 12 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Bought this after finding it in local library and realised it was full of solid recipes that I always wanted - Christmas recipes in particular.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Don Gray on 12 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is extremely well written. Unlike many popular cheffy books in which you find a bare bones recipe along with a glossy picture, Jo' Pratt's recipes are often innovative. Also due to the diligent efforts of Christine Hall and James Haynes it is packed with variations on the main themes and abounds with a multitude of relevant tips. I am an accomplished cook but found lots to stimulate my interest. Well recommended!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By chris on 13 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of Jo Pratt, her other 2 books are excellent. This one must have followed a TV programme, and I am sorry but I didn't really enjoy it as I have done with her other books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
An American disabuses himself of some culinary prejudice 28 Aug. 2003
By Brian Connors - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was sitting in a bar one night reading a copy of Jane Garmey's Great British Cooking (another very good book) when a woman of obvious British extraction came up to me and asked, "Is there really any Great British Cooking?" An interesting question, I thought... Ms. Garmey actually did a pretty good job of making it clear that there was. This book goes much further, though, and should I think be required reading for anyone who wants to know what British food is really all about. (Note: I've not been to the UK, though I'd like to. But I figure the BBC's poll results are about as close as I can get for the time being.)
First off, it's an excellent deal -- the US price of $$$$ is only a dollar or so more than the UKP12.99 cover price. It's a fairly typical British television cookbook, impeccably laid out with near-pornographic food shots and a mouthwatering cover picture of the iconic British quickie dinner, fish and chips, newspaper and all. It's a slim book, with just over a hundred recipes divided into ten categories, including Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Convenience, Outdoor, Party, Comfort, Tea, Festive, and even Food of Love (chocolate gets heavy play here). The book revels in its demographic data, showing differences between male and female tastes as well as regional flavors.

Surprises abound. The convenience food chapter is utterly dominated by Indian and Chinese dishes, as might be expected, but Fish and Chips is the #1. American favorites like doughnuts (said to be a teatime favorite in Wales), brownies, and chili (percieved as a Mexican dish) appear all over the book as well. Scones and clotted cream are tops in the tea category, but some old standbys like steak and kidney pie don't even rate in the top ten of the dinner category. The surprise favorite dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese, an oddity that perhaps reflects the more cosmopolitan tastes of a wired voter base.

The recipes are by and large hip updates to tradition; the scones have a twist of lemon zest, while the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding includes a red wine gravy (a favorite in my house for a few years) and mustard-and-thyme Yorkies. A hamburger recipe transforms the humble burger into lavash-wrapped kofta patties. Bangers and mash gets a hard cider and leek gravy. (A special word must be set aside for the rather uncategorizable (and probably indigestible) "Sausage, Bean, and Egg Bake with Oven-Baked Chips", a peculiar perversion of the classic English breakfast presented primarily as a hangover cure. Your guess is as good as mine as to exactly what that word is.)

This is a book that reveals a culture that may have perhaps gone a bit over the edge with food, but has definitely come to terms with and thoroughly overcome its reputation as a culinary wasteland. To read this book is to see a Great Britain that has learned how to eat, and how to appreciate the blessings of a multicultural heritage at the table (if, perhaps, not in other ways just yet). It's not perfect -- food writer Nigel Slater, author of the foreword, expresses skepticism at some of the outcomes of the poll, which I believe can be explained by the Internet-centered nature of the poll. However, though it's a tough book to find in the US, but it's not an expensive one, and very much worth the trouble to order.
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