3.0 out of 5 stars
Authentic?, 22 May 2013
I have to echo other people's comments about there not being that many recipes and lots of ramblings, some interesting, some less so. And yes, it is very London orientated. I don't know a great deal of detail about the cookery of the whole of Britain, but I do know about the cookery of Cornwall and I was absolutely amazed to find a chef of Mark Hix's standing giving a recipe for the Cornish pasty in which the meat and vegetables are pre-cooked. His pasty might be quite tasty, but it is NOT a proper Cornish pasty, in which the ingredients are always raw.
Also, Mark gives a recipe for scones, saying that they are "essential for an authentic Devon cream tea" and that elsewhere in the west country, "very similar cakes can be referred to as Chudleighs, Cornish splits or Devonshire tetti cakes." No. Scones are not made with yeast, Cornish splits and Devonshire splits or Chudleighs are made of sweetened bread dough; definitely not the same thing as scones. I've never heard of tetti cakes. And actually, an authentic Devonshire or Cornish cream tea uses splits, scones are a modern alternative. Quite tasty if you like that sort of thing, but not authentic.
I was surprised and disappointed to find this misinformation presented as fact and this has spoiled the book for me. I would be interested to know whether the sections on the food of the rest of Britain contain similar inaccuracies; if there is anyone out there with more knowledge of the cuisine of the other regions than I have, maybe they can let us know...