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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars27
4.5 out of 5 stars
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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on 29 August 2003
This is a truly interesting book. Now, if "interesting" makes you think of dull, trainspotter-like accumulation of facts, then this is not the nature book for you. It is less of an identification book (something of a problem in the fungus section, maybe) than a guide to what possibilities there are -some bizarre, some sensible - for using plants as food. As such it sits somewhere between the field guides Roger Phillips is known for and the hearty survival guides or Ray Mears and co. It is a gentle book, and firmly rooted in the plant world; Wild Food does not include rabbit stew, crow pie, fricassee of dormouse... An ideal book for a winter's evening, it is also the book to browse before a summer walk. The recipes (Blackberry water ice, blanched sea kale) are straightforward and easy to follow even when the subject is a trifle odd (pickled ash keys), the photography excellent, and there are notes for use rather than full recipes for loads of plants.
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2000
Roger Philips' book taught me and my wife to love the countryside more than ever before. A walk is no longer just a walk; every turn might lead to something for the pot! Well written; great photos; clear identification notes; excellent recipes. It contains all the worthwhile foods and some of the less worthwhile - but at least he warns you in advance if it tastes unreasonably bitter.
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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2001
I bought this book when I bought my first house back in the mists of the early eighties. The stunning and inventive photography had me pulling my walking boots on and heading out into the wilds of the Pennines to sample my first wild food. The recipes don't disappoint, in all the years I've owned this book I've never had a duff one. The wines are extraordinarily good, and a real treat is a liqueur, Beech Leaf Noyu. So my recommendation is to pull on your boots and get out there and get cooking!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 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?
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2004
Brilliantly photographed and well thought out book with some excellent simple recipes for each listing. It will certainly have you out of your arm chair and grubbing around in fields and ditches for your next meal! I thoroughly recommend the Crab apple jelly/cheese, Rowan Jelly, Elderflower Champagne(superb) and Elderberry Syrup.
I do throw caution to the wind and agree with a previous reviewer that this is more of a guide than an identification book. If you want to stick to the obvious (ie Crab apples , Elderberries etc) then perfect but if you wish to stray (ie Cow Parsley, Mushrooms) then I would certainly cross reference to another book. However, Phillips comes to the rescue here with his other publications "Mushrooms and other Fungi" and "Wild Flowers" both worth their weight in gold.
All said, the book never sets out to be an identification manual but more to wet the appetite and sow the seed in this very interesting topic of Wild Food. It has certainly inspired me, many generations before and hopefully many generations to come. A very worthy 5 Stars.
Shaun (East Yorkshire)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2011
I have had this book since 1988 and I still dip into it especially for the fungii recipies, we haven't poisoned ourselves yet! Today I was looking up acorn coffee - on account of there being rather a lot of acorns around. I am planning to give my daughter a copy for Christmas so she can carry on the family foraging tradition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2012
Nice,very readable book,full of all the information you could possibly want about foraging in the countryside,or simply the local woods/parks.I do however, feel i made a mistake in paying £40 for this book.
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on 5 March 2010
Well its certainly a good read with many ideas on foraging and receipes that you can then merrily indulge yourself in once you've found it all. Its a bit big to be carrying around with you but more than makes up for it with the multitude of receipes for alcoholic beverages...I think that Mr Phillips may have tried making a brew or two out of just about everything!
A worthwhile buy and recommended to me by a friend as THE book to buy on 'wild food' and I would tend to say thats a fair assumption.....a good book to have and will be fun to play with in the coming months; (and drink the winter ones into
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on 17 May 2011
Wild Food by Roger Phillips
This is by far the best book I have read on wild food foraging. Full of large high quality photos, when and where the plants occur with a good description, lots of recipies of how to actually use what you find. Recipies include jams, pickles, wines, beers, cordials, soups, pies, salads, etc. This is aimed mainly at people in the UK and possibly Northern Europe. It also covers some costal plants and funghi. I'm so glad I bought this book, I have only had it for a week but have already experienced new flavours and have a new found enthusiasm for more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2011
This is an excellent book with colour photographs and concise descriptions. A useful reference for anyone intending to collect fungi from the woods or countryside.
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