Top positive review
51 people found this helpful
The Intolerant Gourmet by Pippa Kendrick
on 21 March 2012
This is a very attractive cookery book. It is hard back and has been printed on good quality paper. The photographs are also good quality although there is not a photograph of every recipe. This is a shame as I always feel that a good photo will tempt you to try a recipe. It is always helpful to see the finished product. There were some photographs which I felt were a bit pointless, for example, photos of rain on a window or grass blowing in the breeze. I would have preferred photos of the recipes instead of these.
The book is aimed at people who suffer from an intolerance or an allergy to certain foods. All of the recipes are free from wheat, dairy products, soya, eggs and yeast and almost entirely free from gluten. It is, therefore, a recipe book which will be considerably useful to many people. Apart from the recipes there is also a lot of valuable information about food intolerance generally and about products which can be substituted for those which cause the problem.
There are a wide range of recipes in the book including starters, main courses, desserts plus a section on bread. The recipes can all be enjoyed by anyone - you don't have to have an intolerance or allergy to enjoy them. I also liked the fact that the recipes were accessible, in that you feel that they are all within your reach - you don't have to be a super cook to attempt them. There are so many cookery books where the recipes are so elaborate or complex that they seem beyond the capabilities of an ordinary home cook. This book does not fall into that trap.
The recipes are set out in what I felt was a slightly odd manner - they are listed under the seasons so there are recipes for spring, summer, autumn and winter. This worked better with main courses than with desserts, for example, why should chocolate brownies and chocolate shortbread be spring recipes while mocha fudge cake and victoria sponge are considered summer recipes? This also meant that if you were looking for something to bake you had to look under all 4 sections. However, this is just a minor grumble.
A slightly more serious grumble is that readers with coeliac disease need to be careful ( I am coeliac). Although the recipes are all wheat free they are not all gluten free and there does seem to be some misinformation about this. For example, on page 12 the author describes coeliac disease "in which the sufferer is allergic to the gluten in wheat". There is no mention of rye and barley which also contain gluten and which coeliacs have to avoid. However, she does mention oats which coeliacs usually need to restrict or even avoid. Also, on page 19 she makes the following very odd comment - "There is a common misconception that all grains contain wheat, but this is not so". I presume she means gluten, not wheat?
I don't wish to be too critical as this is a very helpful cookery book which will be of great value to many people. If you have a food intolerance it is certainly worth buying. If you are coeliac just be careful.