3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A great way of engaging children with food and science.,
This review is from: Incredible Edibles (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Author Stefan Gates is a well- known presenter on programmes involving food, having presented 'Food Factory' on the BBC for adults as well as 'Gastronuts' and 'Incredible Edibles' for children on CBBC.
'Incredible Edibles' is a perfect title - both book and programme feature things that you may not consider edible, (bugs, lambs' testicles) along with surprising food facts (you can make a plastic bag out of potatoes).
This is a great 'book of the programme' - my 11 year old grand-daughter thinks it is even better than the TV version. I found it fascinating.
The book is broadly divided into two sections.
Firstly, there are dozens of recipes involving some aspect of science or extra-artistic creativity. There's vinegar reacting with bicarb in honeycomb toffee, stinging nettle soup and spaghetti - filled ('maggoty brained') pumpkin heads. The recipes are clear, well-laid out and easy to follow.
The second section contains more bizarre facts ('Weird Food Stories') and features experiments involving food. As well as the well-known mints and cola experiment, there are instructions on making the aforementioned plastic bag from potatoes and powering a clock with them too, amongst other things.
The illustrations are great, colourful and informative. Stefan also uses his extensive knowledge to provide 'Gastrotrumps'; Top Trumps styled information sections on foods such as field rat (8/10 on taste, 1/10 on looks) and Scandinavian fermented herring (1/10 on just about everything). Most children will particularly appreciate the information sections on 'rude foods' (baked beans, sprouts, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes...)
There is a strong and sensible emphasis on using adult help where needed - each recipe involving extra assistance from grown ups, such as 'Car Engine Kebabs', is headed with a red warning triangle.
With cookery lessons in school now retitled 'Food Technology', this book perfectly outlines for children the mix of art and science that takes place within the kitchen.
My grand-daughter's suggested age range is 7-12, though I'd extend this to include curious and adventurous adults too. I particularly want to try cooking lightly smoked salmon in a chocolate tin (page 36).