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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice book, good variety, 24 Oct. 2010
This review is from: European Peasant Cookery (Paperback)
A good, solid book full of traditional recipes, which, by their very nature, should be well within the capabilities of even the least able chef.

The book is weighty, with around 500 pages and probably 600+ recipes. It's broken up into sections based on the principle ingredient (i.e. fish, beef, poultry, potatoes, etc.). Each recipe is introduced with a few lines on its origins, followed by an ingredients and utensils list, the method (in paragraph form, not step-by-step) and finally some suggestions for variations or additions to the principle recipe. There are no pictures or drawings.

The recipes themselves are simple (it is after all peasant cookery) but of the filling and tasty variety. Most of them include ingredients which are readily available in Europe. I've cooked a couple of times from the book and had no problems with the quantities or directions. I would say it's a great book for those night when you don't wish to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, don't want to end up with a pile of washing up to do, but want to eat something wholesome and tasty (particular if you also need to feed a lot of hungry mouths). It would also be a useful book for people wishing to live predominantly off the produce from their garden or allotment. It would even be a good book to gift a student as it has many recipes which would work well for someone on a strict budget looking to get maximum satisfaction with minimum effort and outlay.

The only thing that disappointed me about this book, and the reason for my not giving it full marks, was the lack of a country index. It contains dishes from most European countries and I was particular interested in trying a few meals from countries less well-known for their cuisine, and bought this as a kind of introduction book - if one cuisine takes my fancy as a result, I might end up buying a book just on that country's cuisine. However, although each recipe has the translated name, the original name and the country of origin, a list of recipes by country would have been a simple yet useful addition. I might wish to prepare a meal based on, say, Polish food, but I have to flick through the whole book checking each recipe individually to identify the dishes from Poland.

Overall, it's good and I'm happy with my purchase.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Oct 2010 21:31:00 BDT
A Reader says:
I agree. I love this book for its recipes and excellent writing but yes, an index by country would be really useful.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2015 10:45:05 BDT
Ms Bloor says:
How pedantic seeing as the book is about European food as a whole. May I suggest if you wish to cook Polish food then you buy a Polish cook book...

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2015 10:47:38 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 27 Jul 2015 10:48:26 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2015 13:54:37 BDT
Ms Bloor says:
How pedantic seeing as the book is about European food as a whole. May I suggest if you wish to cook Polish food then you buy a Polish cook book...
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M. Tate
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Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,640,449