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4.6 out of 5 stars107
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 12 April 2011
My partner & I love this book (and most of Jamie's) and we cook from it regularly. We especially love the risotto bianco recipe which we add different things to every week. The tapas are really good and different to what you normally find in non-specialist books. The Greek section is pretty authetic (take it from a native) and the Italian section is yummy. The French section is rustic and there are some really show-off recipes which will be great for dinner parties. The Swedish section is a bit hit-and-miss, although that is probably down to personal preferences. Although, the Swedish fruit tart is delicious. A great book for the collection. P.S. Moroccan lamb = best lamb I've ever made.
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on 16 June 2011
I think this cookbook is fantastic. Not only does it provide a bunch of recipes from different parts of the world, but also covers different areas of the meal as well. They look so great in the picture. Now, i'll admit that my plates tend not to look like the ones in the picture, but they are so amazingly tasty. The important thing is to make the recipe when the ingredients are in season and the flavors are so amazing. My favorite is in the spanish section, the chorizo and tomato salad. By far my favorite lunch now, and so easy and inexpensive! Jamie's recipe's are so detailed that if you follow, you can't go wrong.

All in all, a great buy to try "foreign" food at home.
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on 27 April 2010
Released to coincide with the latest TV programme series, it is cover subtitled as:

'Easy twists on classic dishes inspired by my travels'

This is a well-produced publication which, I think, achieves what it sets out to the reader a taste of foreign country cuisine and the genuine encouragement to give it a go......if one can't physically visit and try the 'real thing'!
However, if you already have cookbooks which embrace these particular cuisines, Jamie Does.....Spain, Italy, Sweden, Morocco, Greece and France, may be on the limited side!

From the D/J flap:

'This new book of mine is all about fun, escapist recipes. It's an adventurous cookbook that embraces the big hitters from the incredible countries I've visited recently, as well as completely new things I've made up by taking cues from the influences around me. I've taken some of the most famous and exciting dishes from these beautiful places and tweaked tem so you can recreate the paellas of Spain, the tagines of Morocco and the risottos of Italy easily, and authentically, in your own kitchen........'

A plain hardback cover opens to 360 quality matt pages, split over 6 main chapters, each dedicated to the aforementioned countries sandwiched between Jamie's usual welcome and thanks pages, completed with a concise index, which is usefully enhanced by 'blue' entries indicating an essential ingredient described in one of the 6 chapters and 'V' for vegetarian dishes. In addition, bold entries show an illustrated dish.

Illustrations by David Loftus, as always - stunning atmospheric on-location shots mingling with those of the finished dishes.

Opening text to 'Welcome' on page 9, sums up the typical, unpretentious JO banter which has made him so famous and is characteristic in all of his cookbooks:

'If I've learnt anything over the years, it's to follow my gut...........

closing with:

.....'So please, enjoy this book, have fun with these recipes, then go on your own short escapes...........'

In this last statement, as previously mentioned, Jamie reveals that his main goal is not only to portray a flavour of these countries in terms of trying out a new recipe but try and get away to them, too!
OK, however inexpensive it can be to get to these places, it is unlikely that many of us are able to do just that, but this book is a fair taster of the cuisine one could encounter.

Each chapter opens with a double-page picture, a general paragraph in blue text, followed by general information relevant to the country being visited.
Each chapter finishes with an 'Essential Ingredients' double-page spread.

Each recipe is clearly laid out with the title (and any relevant translation) in bold capital letters (sometimes white on a coloured background), the list of ingredients, number of servings, opening text - often with a historical slant - and the clearly laid out method.

Each page has the country at the top, for easy reference, and the page number also in the relevant language at the bottom, which is a nice extra touch.

A small taste of the recipes contained within:


Nice and Simple Spanish Gazpacho
Patatas Bravas
Incredible Olive Oil Biscuits
Tinto de Verano Sorbet


Risotto Bianco
Spaghetti Vongole
Nini Bellini
Best Tiramisu


Swedish Meatballs
Gorgeous Beetroot Gravadlax
Arctic Char Parcels
Swedish Buns


Beef Tagine
M'Hanncha with Date Sauce (aka 'Snakey-Cakey', in Jamie-speak!)
Simple Lamb Tangia
Sweet Couscous


Greek Salad
Souvlaki (Wicked Kebabs)
Mighty Meat Stifado
Honeyed Feta Filo Pies


Steak Tartare
Pork Terrine
Roquefort Salad with Warm Croutons and Lardons
The World Famous Tarte Tatin

Tried, to date, and eaten:

'My Favourite Paella'

which I made in my favourite shallow casserole, opening with the 'lug of olive oil', initially for the chorizo and pork belly, then the peppers, garlic, onion and parsley stalks, seasoning and saffron.
Then ...the rice, tinned toms and stock......and more seasoning....and Jamie's unassuming advice:

'......This combination of flavours will be absolutely beautiful, but you've got to help the dish along by doing your job and making sure each grain of rice gets the same amount of love. So every now and then, stir from the outside of the pan into the middle so you get a sort of pile of rice in the centre, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. Flatten the pile out with your spoon, then start the whole process again. After 15 minutes, the rice should be cooked but will still have a bit of a bite....'
Time to add the shellfish (and a further dash of stock) in my case!
In go the chopped parsley leaves and the freshly squeezed lemon juice.....from the lemon wedges which finally adorn the this handsome dish makes its way directly to the table for serving!
Well worth every minute of that aforementioned 'tender loving care'........and simply delicious with a glass of chilled Sancerre!

'Years ago, before I knew anything about Greek food, or knew any Greek people, I did a school project on the Acropolis.
I may not have come top of the class, but that didn't mean I wasn't full of excitement when I finally arrived in Athens and caught a glimpse of it on the horizon.'

Typical, down-to-earth Jamie!

Tonight, I am off to try the 'Pot au Feu', (pages 316/317 - pictured), with Jamie's recommended 'sunnier month' tweak!

Advertised as serving 4, I was initially surprised at the meat volume:

1 x 1KG piece of beef shin or brisket
1 x 400g piece of pork belly
300g French sausage


1.5kg whole chicken.........

but, Jamie goes on to reveal that there will be loads of 'meat leftovers':

'.....This recipe makes a great meal for four people, but there's enough meat to do you another couple of meals as well....'

but this recipe will require a seriously LARGE pot!
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on 15 April 2010
A new Jamie Oliver book is always a cause for celebration and I had literally been licking my lips and biting my finger nails with anticipation since watching the first episode of the accompanying T.V. series last night. He really brought the food of Marrakesh to life, and made me think again about it. For some reason I thought much of it was very sweet and rich- I didn't know it was also so fresh and vibrant. The Morocco chapter of the book adds a few recipes to those on the T.V. show, such as a very intriguing 'Moroccan Fish and Chips' (spicy marinated fish), Kefta meatballs, grilled sardines and a recipe for making your own preserved lemons. The stand-out recipe of this chapter is the one featured on the show for Vermicelli and Prawn stuffed fish- wow that looks great. I think I'll try it if i can get hold of a nice big sea bass because I'm not sure if we can get dorade here... maybe we can?

My favorite chapters are the Morocco, Greece, and Sweden chapters, probably because I haven't cooked much from those cuisines. I think Jamie's book is a perfect introduction to some of the flavour pairings and techniques of the cooking in those countries from which I intend to spring-board off into my own research and exploration and maybe even travel (though this depends on my purse-strings as well as my apron strings!!). I was lucky enough to be in Sweden recently and I tasted a delicious cardamom bun. I had wanted to have a go at making them when I returned but hadn't found a recipe yet until this morning and, whichever way you look at them, Jamie's buns look great.

I really look forward to trying some Greek stews, especially the sticky pork one. Last year I bought the fantastic tome 'Vefa's Kitchen' which is a great encyclopedic greek cookbook but to be honest I haven't cooked much from it. I can tell I will cook Jamie's greek recipes and they will lead me on to and open up some of the recipes in Vefa's Kitchen. Jamie is inspirational and this book makes me want to travel, explore, go diving, charm snakes and above all cook fantastic food.

When I first heard about this book I thought it sounded interesting but it had the potential to be a little bit like your grandmother showing you holiday snaps... it is in a way like that, if your grandmother just happens to be Jamie Oliver.

p.s. O.K., I've just had another flick through and the French, Spanish and Italian chapters are just as good as the rest (!), including a stunning-sounding recipe for Prune and Armagnac ice cream that I'm about to make a start on so it's ready for a late-night treat this evening.
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on 26 May 2010
Another stylish book from Jamie full of inspirational easy to follow tasty European dishes.

If you were inspired by the Jamie Does TV series then you will want to have this recipe book in your libary. The essence of each place is caught up in these recipes and Jamie's love of the food and enthusiam for learning about other cultures and their cuisine is put across in each description.

I have so far found all the necessary ingredients but obviously you can be creative and use for example a different fish to that Jamie used in his recipes and still arrive at a delicious meal simply prepared.

I will be taking my copy to Spain to try out more of the Moroccan and Spanish and Greek dishes whilst on holiday in a similar environment to that in which he originally created them.
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on 16 April 2010
I was so excited about this new series (the giant prawn advert was classic) and this book to accompany the series certainly doesn't disappoint. Beautifully executed with gorgeous photograph. Jamie also introduces each section to set the scene for the great recipes.

Having lived in Andalucia for a year, I can confidently say that Jamie has hand picked the best that there is available. From tasty tapas dishes like mini meatballs, gambas (prawns), patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) to classic paella and gazpacho all the recipes are beautifully photographed and easy to follow. Anyone who loves drinking Tinto de Verano (a refreshing long drink of red wine combined with fanta lemon and loads of ice) will love the sorbet Jamie suggests.

The other chapters include the recently aired Morocco (I really can't wait to try the "Snakey Cakey" cake!) Italy, Sweden, Greece and France. Cute little additions include page numbers in the language of the relevant section.

Made the chicken, olive and preserved lemon tagine for dinner tonight - never made one before and it came out really well.

Buy it for yourself, buy it for your friends. I guarantee that you will have hours of enjoyment from it; both reading and cooking.
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on 1 May 2010
Let's start with me saying that I like Jamie Oliver, and with the exception of Ministry of Food I highly rate his books.

My initial feeling this with this one it that it is style over substance. Highly accessible recipes as always, and fantastic photography, but if you stripped out the many, many double page photos and just kept it down to the recipes you'd end up with a much shorter book. It feels a little flabby with quite a lot of filler pages that don't really add anything.

The recipes themselves seem a little basic, although maybe that's more a reflection of my confidence in the kitchen rather than the book itself.

So overall, it feels like a much larger version of Jamie's self-titled magazine, with the occassional little gem of a recipe buried in amongst a lot of photos and "chat" that doesn't add much.

For me, his best two books remain "How to Cook" from the "Fifteen" series, and Jamie At Home.

If you're a Jamie fan, you'll enjoy this (in parts)... if you're new to his books, this isn't the place to start as you really won't get a good introduction to his work.
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on 24 May 2010
Over the past couple of months I had been planning a tapas and cocktails party and with the help of several friends doing some research on finding tapas that would feed 25+ persons. One of my friends had recently purchased this book and showed me a few suggestions from the tapas section. I needed a recipe for albondigas (meatballs) and read the mini meatballs recipe in this book. It sounded very interesting particularly in that it included lemons! So I borrowed the book and last friday night, I proceeded to prepare the recipe. I courageously trippled the recipe since I was having a much larger group than the recipe is for. When I finished at 10 o'clock at night (I'm a night owl when I prepare for my parties) I had to try out the result and what do you know, it was outstanding!! So much so that I had to have a couple of more meatballs!! The recipe was totally easy, although there was a little confusion at the end of the recipe when the lemons had to be added. They were easy to prepare. I prepared the raw meatballs earlier in the evening and while they were chilling I finished off one of my other dishes. Once I got to the cooking stage, it was quite simple and fast to complete. I let them cool and kept them in the fridge overnight.

When party time came around on Saturday night, I just warmed them through in the microwave and served them in a large platter. I served crusty bread on the side to mop up the sauce. The mini meatballs were a hit and got great reviews from the guests!

Needless to say, my husband and I have been looking through the rest of the book this morning and we are eager to try out more of the recipes in the book! I had vowed to not purchase yet another cook book, BUT I have placed this one on my wish list.

I agree with the other reviewers that it's like a vacation glimpse, but I think it's one that inspires you to try them out and perhaps visit these destinations.
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on 19 April 2010
I'm not a Jamie-holic and only own one of his previous books, but I do love to cook and have quite a collection of books from a variety of places. Maybe its this that made me enjoy Jamie's book a little less than the previous reviewers.

Firstly, I really appreciate and admire Jamie's concept of cooking with ingredients that I can find in my local supermarket, which is something a lot of chefs ignore. It makes planning these meals a lot easier, as most people would already have most of the bits and pieces in the pantry anyway. It also helps to make recipies from other contries more accessible, especially if you've never tasted something from that country before. To date, I've cooked a few meals from each chapter and getting good results doesn't seem that hard.

However, I do have a niggle about this book in that it feels a bit half-hearted. There are enough recipies to really get you into cooking in a particular style and with particular ingredients, but then it changes countries. The Hairy Bikers books did this too, but they have more recipies per country (and less spoace given to stock photos) and so I got a better feel for the cooking. I would almost have preferred it if Jamie had gone to town and produced a thorough book dedicated to each country. Also, Spanish and Italian cook books have been done to death, so why Jamie's editors have chosen to open his book with these countries is a mystery. Coming from Spain myself, I was *really disappointed* that the Spanish chapter only scraped the surface. Anyone who has cooked Spanish food regularly already knows these recipies by heart, and given the high standards we've come to expect from Jamie, I was anticipating something with a bit more depth. The Italian section is much the same; unadventurous and nothing new.

That said, I definitely feel that the book is worth four stars for introducing us to Sweedish, Moroccan and French cooking. These countries aren't as well explored in cookbooks so its really nice to get your teeth into something fresh. The foody pictures act as great guides, and the travel shots really set the scene, but the other stock photos feel quite forced and use up space that could otherwise be given over to more recipies. Jamies style of writing is plain and simple, and really easy to follow (though some of the 'tidbit' recipies put me in mind of the Sainsbury's cards).

I really recommend the Roast Lamb with Beans (France), Mighty Meaty Stifado (Greece), Chicken, Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine (Morocco) and the Walnut, Chestnut and Chocolate Cake (France).
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 February 2015
This is a really nice cookbook as usual from Jamie Oliver. It has some really interesting recipes which I really like. The book is really well-made with a nice hardcover and it's full of colour pictures of the food. I really like the selection of different countries to look through, and although the book has some time-consuming recipes, none of them are too difficult to make as long as you're willing to put the time in to making them. This book makes a great gift just because of all the pictures and colour inside -it's nice to look through even if you don't want to make anything from it. Also, Amazon offers this at about half the RRP, so it's very good fro the price.
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