Top positive review
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A book to treasure - until it falls apart from overuse!
on 20 January 2014
In the days before the world was infested with "foodies" - what a thoroughly obnoxious word that is - entirely appropriate - food didn't go in and out of fashion. What was good was made over and over again, and served in varying quality from back street cafes to expensive hotels. And that was the problem. People remembered the hundreds of thoroughly bad Prawn Cocktails or Black Forest Gateaux at the expense of the few really excellent ones. In this book, the winning team of Hopkinson and Bareham revive the glories of '50s, '60s, and '70s British cuisine. With loving care they resurrect well over 120 of Britain's favourite post-war dishes. Each dish is deconstructed, researched, and reassembled to give the authors' "perfect" version of Chicken Chasseur, Cauliflower Cheese, Welsh Rabbit, Taramasalata, Cheesecake, Chilli con Carne, Profiteroles ..... This can give surprising results - Chilli con Carne with chopped lemon cooked into it - surprisingly good, although I did vary most of the other ingredients depending on what I had. But that's half the fun of cooking 'standards' - there is no right way. Along the way, you will find a deal of informative chat about the dishes and slightly too many very good pictures - but that's just my bias. In fact, like most of Hopkinson's books, this is ok just to read - forget the cooking for a while.
Be warned, as well as some great dishes, you will find things you hate in here. But try them just the same. My wife has a serious dislike of Quiche Lorraine, but agreed to try the version in this book. She ate it all and enjoyed it, but we won't be having it again for a while - it's very calorie-heavy! Give this book a try, it's great fun and if you're too young to remember the dishes in it, you're in for a real treat - good food is not an invention of the current crop of TV chefs - it's always been there.