Most helpful critical review
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
An interesting addition to the genre
on 26 January 2011
This book has clearly aroused some controversy. It is a superb collection of recipes for some very unusual edible plants. Some of the recipes are traditional, a part of our rural heritage which we lost when we said goodbye to the danger of starvation. Others are modern cheffy treats of the kind that have now found their way into the Michelin-starred restaurants of the capital. All the recipes are clearly laid out and there is often more than one recipe for each ingredient.
The illustrations are lovely, as one would expect from Roger Phillips. However, I think many people would expect to see his trademark botanical-style ID pictures on a white background, and these do not feature in this book. The photos of the plants are all "in situ" pics, which aren't the best for ID - something Phillips proved years before - and a lot of the pictures are really window-dressing. For example, to illustrate Marjoram jelly we have a full A4 photo. A jar of brownish stuff is set on a board with some apples and a pretty antique knife, and a whole leg of ham nestles, on its antique stand, in a big clump of slightly-out-of-focus marjoram. This is very attractive, but is of little help in identifying marjoram in the wild.
This is undoubtedly a good recipe book. But I fear it is opportunity missed, and a book which will disappoint some Phillips fans (of whom I am one). Yes, one can use it conjunction with a group of Phillips other ID guides, but why not combine all the information in one book?