Customer Review

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb recipes as always, but verging on food porn at times, 3 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat and fish (Hardcover)
The age of the sleb chef has still not waned it seems, and while it lasts, outstanding food writers with unmatched understanding of flavours such as Diana Henry are not getting the attention they really deserve. If you don't have her previous books, rush forth immediately and demand copies now. This new book covering preserved foods is of the same high standard as her previous oeuvre, collecting dishes to truly delight the tastebuds.

"Salt, Sugar, Smoke" showcases recipes gathered from a wide geographical range, and which cross a spectrum from the entirely familiar to the truly exotic. They are arranged by sections as follows:

Jam
Jellies, curds and fruit cheeses
Sauces, pastes, mustards and vinegars
Under oil
Smoked
Cordials, alcohols, fruits and spoon sweets
Salted, cured and potted
Chutneys, relishes and pickles

It's well presented with excellently styled photography accompanying a majority of the recipes. Instructions are clear and uncomplicated, and ingredient lists are often quite short. Ms Henry's unaffected enthusiasm for the food in her notes which accompany recipes and introduce each section is infectious.

My only issue really with this book, causing me regretfully to drop a star, is that quite a few of the recipes in all probability you are never, ever going to make because of prohibitive cost or availability of ingredients, thus making the book edge into the territory of food porn. For example in the splendid recipe for purple fig and pomegranate jam, Ms Henry notes, apparently with no irony whatsoever, that "if you are making it in Spain, Italy or Portugal" - don't we all, dahling, don't we all? - "you'll be able to get [the requisite quantity of figs] more cheaply".
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Sep 2012 21:17:12 BDT
In fairness; not everyone reading and using this book is going to be living in the UK!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Sep 2012 16:05:20 BDT
D. HENRY says:
Thank you Mr Bailey - that's exactly why I put that. Plus - I know I am probably in a minority, but even so - I've often made a couple of pots of jam in a small pan while I was on holidays (not in a second home abroad, I hasten to add!), especially if there is really good produce around.
And there are lots of recipes that use cheap ingredients, and even free ones in the book. But I do appreciate comment, including less favourable ones and EL Wisty has always been very enthusiastic about my books
Diana Henry

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Sep 2012 13:19:38 BDT
I grow my own figs in Herefordshire and Sainsbury's usually has pomegranates.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2012 09:47:04 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Nov 2012 09:47:49 GMT
I agree with the posts above. I'm a keen preserver and live in Sydney. Most fruit here is only available seasonally, and therefore is cheap at the height of the season.
I've asked for this book for Christmas - looking forward to it!
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Location: Devon, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 149