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74 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about conserving food
In my experience books on preserving tend to fall into two camps:
* the very basic which tell you little more than a chapter in the average cook book
* the very complex which require you to have near professional equipment and give you a profound sense of inferiority

I have found neither very useful.

Diana Henry's Salt Sugar Smoke calls...
Published on 18 Sep 2012 by Mrs. K. A. P. Wright

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice book, slightly concerned by use of saltpetre
I am a big fan of Diana Henry and have several of her other books. This one is lovely to look at and has a nice range of preserving techniques in it. However, I primarily bought it after seeing the recipe for Salt Beef which had been printed in one of the major newspapers. On doing a lot of research into the subject, I have to say I am surprised and concerned by the...
Published 10 months ago by Chocolate Pudding


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74 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about conserving food, 18 Sep 2012
By 
Mrs. K. A. P. Wright - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
In my experience books on preserving tend to fall into two camps:
* the very basic which tell you little more than a chapter in the average cook book
* the very complex which require you to have near professional equipment and give you a profound sense of inferiority

I have found neither very useful.

Diana Henry's Salt Sugar Smoke calls itself The Definitive Guide to Conserving, from Jams and Jellies to Smoking and Curing which is a huge claim to make, but I think for the amateur cook, it is about as definitive as you require.

The recipes I have tried have been simple to follow and successful so far as taste is concerned. (It is too early to say how well the preservation processes work. Although with some of the things I have tried, length of preservation will not be a problem, they are so delicious.)

Its great strengths are:
* It tells you why things need to be done in a particular way (At last I have found out when to use hot smoking and when to use cold smoking - a mystery up until now.)
* It tells you what equipment and ingredients you will need and where to get them and how to improvise with what most of us already possess
* It traces the background of the processes and recipes given
* It tells you how to use what you have produced
* Most importantly it tells you the shelf life of what you have produced
* It is beautifully produced with excellent photographs, a good index and a list of suppliers.

Having read it cover to cover, I feel I have learnt a lot about techniques I was apprehensive of trying and I think it has given me the confidence to stumble out of my comfort zone to try something new.

An excellent book.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 7 Sep 2012
This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
A beautifully bound hard backed book.

Diana Henry has compiled the 'bible' of preserving. A book that is a must either for yourself or as a gift for someone who loves to spend time in the kitchen.

Really well presented with very clear recipe instructions and methods. My only criticism would be that not every recipe has a photograph. I find that being able to see end result photographs actually encourages me to try a new recipe.

Diana includes a list of suppliers at he back of the book as not all the ingredients and a couple of pieces of equipment might not necessarily have a home in your kitchen at the moment. One or two of her ingredients are a little exotic and either costly or hard to come by but she does also do lots of recipes for berries and other foods that grow wild along our roadside.

A favourite of mine was oven dried tomatoes from the 'In oil' section. Perfect recipe for someone that may have a bumper crop of tomatoes this season and not sure what to do with them.

Well worth a look for someone who loves spending time cooking and wants to preserve.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the collection, 11 Sep 2012
By 
EFP (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
I hesitated before buying this book. 'Do I really need another book on preserving food?' The simple answer is yes. As ever, Diana Henry manages to find new angles and original, inspirational ideas for combining ingredients. The woman is a genius. Many of the recipes are influenced by Scandinavian traditions and finally I have found a recipe for home salted cod. If you are into making home preserved food, this book is definitely worth buying; even if you have lots of other books on preserving, you will find something new in Salt Sugar Smoke.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, Tempting and a Great Read, 7 Jan 2013
By 
Mr. N. Gower - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
Review by my girlfriend, since it's her book!

I received this book as a Christmas gift, and have been delighted with it, so far. So many preserve recipe books fill half their pages with the same, old, recycled strawberry jam and pickled onions, but this book is full of fresh ideas. The recipes all sound tempting, and each recipe includes some additional information such as a description of the flavour and texture, recommendations for food pairings and ways to use the preserve (VERY handy, if you're an over-ambitious cook who tends to end up throwing away unused cooking experiments) and ways to vary the recipe.

I'm a bit of a pleb where food books are concerned - I'll usually skip straight ahead to the recipes and ignore everything else, but I've spent a couple of comfortable evenings reading the extra sections of this book, where Diana Henry talks about the history of preserving and, crucially, HOW and WHY different preserving techniques are used.

The sections on salting, smoking and curing meat are fantastic. I cannot believe how simple bacon curing is, for example, and I love the clear and thorough information provided regarding the techniques involved.

I'm going to be trying out the pear and chestnut jam recipe shortly. The are only two reasons this didn't get 5 stars. 1- the pictures, while beautiful, are often of the raw produce rather than the finished product, and I feel with unusual recipes, it helps to know what the finished item is supposed to look like. 2- the pear and chestnut recipe cooks ingredients separately and then leaves them to sit overnight before combining them. This is such an unusual method compared to other recipes I've used, and no explanation is given for the overnight wait. I simply don't have so many large pots and pans that I can sacrifice two overnight, and it'd be good to know if the wait is crucial, and what effect it has on flavour, texture etc. I have googled for people who have specifically tried the recipe, but haven't found anything helpful as yet.

But those are minor criticisms, really. The book is beautifully presented, printed and bound to a high quality and looks stunning on my bookshelf. There are enough interesting, unusual and tempting recipes to keep me busy for a VERY long time. Overall, a fantastic book. Full of fresh recipes for cooks looking to try something new, blessedly free of tired, recycled recipes found elsewhere, and as good for a beginner as for an experienced cook.

I'll let you all know how the jam turns out!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful Diana Henry book, 27 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
I am a huge Diana Henry fan and use her books constantly - not just the odd recipe as with most cookbooks but many recipes and regularly. Salt, Sugar, Smoke is a gorgeous book, beautifully produced with wonderful photographs - the illustration for the whitecurrent jelly is one of many stunning images. There are so many tempting jams - melon, lime and ginger and rhubarb, rose and cardomum are the first ones on my list to try - that it is hard to pick favourites. As a keen preserver it is great to have ideas on what to do with the results of a trip to the fruit farm or an unexpectedly abundant crop in the garden. There are also sections on cordials, chutneys and relishes, jellies and curds, sauces and pastes. This book will definitely find its way into the hands of more than a few friends at Christmas.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read along with great recipes, 28 Dec 2012
This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
Diana's introduction sums this book up beautifully for me. "Preserving is a delicious way of making everyday food a little special". It's a brilliant introduction to the basic techniques with a great range of recipes for beginners like me and the more experienced needing some inspiration.

Chapters
Jam is the first chapter and covers much of the basics of jam making - how to get a set, how certain fruits behave, how to sterlise equipment. This book entices me to my maslin pan with wonderful recipes such as Purple Fig and Pomegranate Jam, Greengage and Gurwurztraminer Jam, Scarlet Pepper and Chilli Jam and Plum Orange Cardamom Jam.

Jellies, Curds and Fruit Cheeses. Unusual flavours such as Gooseberry Curd and Nimboo Curd, simple steps. I tried the Fireside Chilli recipe with a stash of apples I'd collected. It filled my kitchen with such beautiful smells of cinnamon, apple and chilli. I learned a valuable lesson with that attempt - pectin deteriorates so you must heed the timings in the book! I'm looking forward to trying Earl Grey Tea Jelly, Quince and Star Anise Jelly and seeking out some medlars for the Medlar Jelly recipe as I'm intrigued by this ingredient I've never come across.

Sauces, Pastes, Mustards and Vinegars. I made straight for the Harissa but used ancho chillies as I didn't have any guajillo as Diana suggested. I also added some smoked paprika and was rather satisfied by my hour with the pestle and mortar. You'll also find Chipotle Sauce, Turkish Pepper Paste, Constance Spry's Chilli Sherry, Cranberry Mustard and Zhoug alongside fruit and herb vinegars such as Tarragon Vinegar, Maple Vinegar and Sweet Fig Vinegar and there are plenty of ideas on how to use these throughout the book.

Oil is a preservation technique I have grown up with. The countries I associate most with oils are featured well in the book - flavoured olives from Morocco Spain, Italy and Greece. Roast peppers, griddled aubergines and mushrooms all reminiscent of NudoItalia's antipasti. I was however most intrigued by the cheese ideas in oil. I made Labneh from a large tub of sheep's yoghurt sold in my local corner shop. It was simple and as Diana suggested, just perfect on a slice of sourdough for supper.

Smoking is not something I was a huge fan of. I associated the technique with meats until I tried smoked salmon at a Norwegian friend's house at university. I still wasn't convinced until much later in life and so was fascinated by the science of the process Diana outlines in her book. But as she says, we smoke food for the flavour it imparts and not for the preservative qualities of the two hundred components within the smoke that grow microbes or oxidise fats. It's a technique I am looking forward to trying and Diana makes it easy to get started with suggested retailers of equipment and her own tips for cold and hot smoking.

Cordials, Alcohols, Fruits and Spoon Sweets was a favourite chapter to read as I've been fascinated with fruit alcohols. Flavours in Diana's book are different with their own story to tell - Plum and Almond Hooch, Peaches in Brandy, Apricots in Muscat, Russian Plum Liqueur and Rhubarb Schnapps. And there are non alcoholic recipes that are equally tempting - Sekanjabin (a Persian sweet-sour syrup with mint), Quince Sharbat and Hilda Leyel's Syrup of Rhubarb.

I skipped much of the Salt chapter as there was a lot of meat which I don't eat but I loved the Beetroot Cured Gravadlax and Whisky and Brown Sugar Cured Gravadlax.

Chutneys, Relishes and Pickles - I'm not a huge fan of those. What I liked in this book however was the variety of countries the recipes came from. Asian Carrot and Mooli Pickle from Vietnam, Russian Dill Pickles, American Pecan Conserve and Indian Mango Chutney to name a few for you to salivate over.

Great book for novices like me and the more experienced alike. beautiful photography throughout and lovely storytelling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book worth your investment, 9 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
Diana Henry's book is an excellent guide- both in terms of recipes and tips - for the novice in smoking and pickling, but is also an enjoyable read- almost poetic at times, evoking smells, tastes and scenes of a bucolic english countryside, or a table laid with zakuski in Russia, or with eastern and middle-eastern delicacies. The recipes are easy to follow and the end-result amzingly good.
Things such as these bring back fond memories and are an integral part of what good life should be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good addition to a home preserving library, 21 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
I already have quite a few preserving and jaming books, but after seeing this book in the library i quickly needed to buy my own copy. It includes a lot more different things to try than simply making chutney or jam. There are brilliant ideas for preserving both fruit and vegetables in oil, and the section on smoking is a real treat as its hard to fine good information about doing this yourself. I also found there is a good range of items to make throughout the year, rather than being a collection of items that are very summery or autumantal. The other advantage is actually have recipes to help you go one step further than just preserving items in to jars and then wondering what to do with them! I would say as a person who eats more vegetarian dishes than meat, the smoking and curing sections are limited, but still a good book overall, and includes great dishes to make for guests.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
I wasn't entirely sure about purchasing this book, and then the decision was taken away as I received it for Christmas... and I'm glad I was given it!
The recipes in the book are really interesting and original, and I've already marked out quite a few to try, some of the most 'Mmmmmmm' noise-inspiring I've looked through are: rhubarb and rose jam, fig and pomegranate jam, pickled spiced pumpkin, middle eastern pink pickled turnips, beetroot gravlax, and melon and ginger preserves. There are also instructions for preparing your own antipasti, such as wild mushrooms, grilled peppers in oil, oven dried tomatos and marinated cheeses. The author has managed to make it all appear really accessible, and the introduction is very encouraging - as she states, she just bought a few very basic items, including a cheap lidded plastic box from Ikea for all home curing - I may follow that example myself! I used to make jams and pickles with my father when I was a lot younger, and it's something I've been wanting to get back into for some time, so I'm really glad to have found a book that has exciting ideas and recipes without being overwhelming or suggesting I buy outrageous amounts of kit. It's not instant gratification cooking, but the author is absolutely correct in saying there's no feeling quite like eating jams or pickles you've made yourself - it's amazingly satisfying, and it really does capture seasonal foods brilliantly - I for one will be trying out the Seville marmalade recipe this weekend now they're in season! Now I just have to find enough jars.....
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring cokbook, 5 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
A splendid book, Diana Henry has a great way of putting windfalls, free food, and fabulous fruit, veg and in-season produce to tasty use. Especially impressed with her creative recipes using juicy brambles, sloes and aromatic rosehips - just the excuse we need to go out and appreciate the great outdoor larder on our doorstep.
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