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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected and unchartered, this is the new taste of climate change.
For those not familiar with the world of River Cottage and its bountiful kitchen garden at Park Farm near Uplyme in Dorset, then meet Mark Diacono, its Head Gardener. He is also the owner of Otter Farm, Britain's only climate change farm, where the staple diet of the day is peaches, gojiberries and Egyptian walking onions. His new book "A Taste of the Unexpected"...
Published on 13 Oct. 2010 by Silvana de Soissons

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought
I have around 30 gardening books I've picked up over the years. Maybe 5 or so regularly come off the shelf. Another 9 or 10 will make an occasional contribution and the rest are rarely consulted, except on occasion for inspiration. Gardening being a slow process it'll be a while before I can tell which category this one will fall into but probably the intermediate one is...
Published on 13 Mar. 2011 by Gizmophobic


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 20 Mar. 2011
By 
downkiddie "downkiddie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Taste of the Unexpected (Hardcover)
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This beautifully produced book features a wide range of fruit and vegetables to grow at home, along with recipes on the same page, making it a real plot-to-plate book. Some of the material can be found in many other gardening books, but some things, such as Fuchsia berries and Carolina Allspice are seen much less often in gardening manuals. The practical growing information is perhaps not as clear and detailed as dedicated gardening books, but the attractive style and conversational writing make it an inviting volume to dip in and out of.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars taste of the unexpected, 4 Nov. 2010
By 
J. S. Garner "angwella" (U. K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Taste of the Unexpected (Hardcover)
He writes so easily and makes you want not only to grow these unusual plants but also to cook with them as well.
this is a lovely read and i have found it very enjoyable.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected, 31 Jan. 2011
By 
Grr "Gumbo" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Taste of the Unexpected (Hardcover)
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I am probably being harsh in only awarding 3 stars. I struggled between 3 and 4 and the truth is I am almost certainly being unfair. That said, I am coming at it from my own experience of the book and how I felt after reading it.

Firstly, the plus sides. It is a handsome book, lots of good photographs and an elegant design. The writing is accessible, jargon free and suitable for all levels of gardening. Certainly, the authors enthusiasm for his subject shines through and he should be commended for this (as many other revieweres have stated).

On the minus side though, Not many of the growers in here are that 'unexpected' frankly. Whilst it may not be the norm to see people growing almonds, pecans and apricots (for example) these are certainly not curiousities. Indeed, many of these things are staple foods. I certainly appreciate there is a massive difference between own-grown and shop bought varieties but it didn't quite fit the bill for me. I'd say over 50% of the crops described in here are common food stuffs which is not what I was anticipating.

Also, and I accept this may be my mis-understanding of the product description, I was expecting the book to have much more in the way of recipes as well as growing advice. This was not the case. This is a gardening book with a few recipes not a combination of a gardening and cookery book. This led to it being, ultimately, a bit of a disappointment for me personally.

Overall, as I stated at the outset, I have probably been unfair in only awarding three stars as I think much of the content is of a very high standard indeed. It just didn't quite deliver what I was expecting.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever, clever book!, 23 Nov. 2010
By 
Apollo 11 (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Taste of the Unexpected (Hardcover)
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This is a very clever book. And like most clever ideas, it's generally more a case of someone hitting on the obvious, than scaling some skyscraping new height. For the aim of Taste of the Unexpected is simple: why put loads of effort into growing potatoes, onions and lettuce when these are (a) dirt cheap, (b) arguably amongst the most easily available of all foot stuffs, and most importantly (c) take up valuable time and resources which could be otherwise better employed to gain you something far more exciting; foodstuffs that will put a zing into your food and colour into your garden.

Broken down into easily navigated sections that cover nuts, fruits, herbs and vegetables (amongst others) Tastes of the Unexpected may not be as instantly cool as a Jamie Oliver or a Nigella, but it's values lie beyond those of shelf-candy for wannabe urbanites. Where Tastes of the Unexpected scores just as highly is in its ability to inspire; to inspire you to have a greater relationship with food than simply driving to the supermarket.

Striking the perfect balance between valuable know-how and recipes, not only will it prod you beyond your culinary comfort-zone when it comes to thoughts of produce and ingredients, but it also breaks down notions of growing being an exclusive dark art. So if you're thinking - recession and all - that The Good Life had more to it than a few good laughs and Felicity Kendal, this is the perfect place to start.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read but nothing realy unexpected..., 19 Jan. 2011
By 
A R Hartley "Monkey" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Taste of the Unexpected (Hardcover)
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The title of this review doesnt by any mean's slate this book before anyone start's giving me thumbs down!

I'm a big fan of River Cottage and all of its incarnations on the TV and in books etc aswell as the live show's. So finding this new book which has connections to the River Cottage series is great, especially as im a keen cook and have my own veg and fruit patch.

The book for me doesn't realy cover new ground, alot of this is shown in bit's and bob's throughout the River cottage series and before, like in a cook on the wild side, which explores hidden and often looked over foods and fruits etc. But this book shines in the fact it cover's all of it and put's it in one place and give's you as much info as possible in regards to the growing, cooking and benefits of these hidden and forgotten treasures of our own back garden pantry.

The books well presented and layed out in standard fashion, section after section of food types and recipes for each one it shows. It's well layed out and beautifully presented with some great photography. It doesn't realy bombard you with too much jargon, nothing to kick the mind in over drive but enough to keep you going and interested.

I have to admit it has spurred me on a little more to try growing some of the stuff mentioned in here and not just the obvious veg and fruit.

It's well worth the price of [...] at the moment, half price i believe!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, 14 Mar. 2011
By 
Free Spirit "shilo115" (North Wales, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Taste of the Unexpected (Hardcover)
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I like this book, the layout is easy to follow, its clear with good pictures and information. It gives you hints and tips on what you can use the plant for and some recipes as well. If you are thinking of growing your own food this book is definately what you need.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read for those who like something a little different, 30 Dec. 2010
This review is from: A Taste of the Unexpected (Hardcover)
Bought this as a present for my mum who we always joke likes to cook weird things....! All joking aside it is a lovely read and if you like to grow and cook your own, this is a good book to introduce you to growing more unusual things.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected and somewhat unusual, 22 Dec. 2010
By 
Nicolette Laurence "Lunarwillow" (Guernsey, Channel Islands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Taste of the Unexpected (Hardcover)
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This for me was a very interesting and lavishly decorated book to read. Gorgeous glossy photos on every page make it a real feast for the eyes. However not sure I would try many of the recipes or growing the plants, etc. There is a lot of information on each plant which is interesting and I definitely learnt a lot, but not a practically useful book for me personally. Perhaps better for someone who likes to grow, and experiment etc.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No dancing ladies were hurt in the making of this book, 30 Nov. 2010
By 
P. Keeling (midlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Taste of the Unexpected (Hardcover)
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Requested this for my wife who loves exploring new foods, tastes and planning her ideal garden. We were very impressed with the beautiful pictures in the book and although there were a few surprises, in the main it confirmed how many foods have fallen off the map (salsify... hmmmm...).

Overall a great introduction to new and lost tastes, ideal for those wanting to explore.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delicious ideas, 13 Jan. 2011
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Taste of the Unexpected (Hardcover)
A beautifully illustrated book that is full of delicious and unnusual planting ideas. It has filled me with inspiration and may just give me the push I need to get cracking with my vegetable plot. The recipes are tempting as well and even if I don't get around to growing my own produce I will be trying out the recipes.
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A Taste of the Unexpected
A Taste of the Unexpected by Mark Diacono (Hardcover - 30 Sept. 2010)
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