on 24 July 2001
Confession time - I don't read cookery books just for the recipes. I read them because food and cookery is important to me, and all sorts of related issues like culture, history and science are involved. I don't really want to know how to feed 4 for £2.50 or 58 interesting things to do with chicken, I want to enjoy the seductive qualities of good writing and delicious food. I read this book again and again til it fell apart. It was for a long time the book I kept by the side of my bed so when I couldn't sleep I could open it and read about oranges or guavas or persimmons. And there are some great recipes too, like orange syrup cake, my family's all time favourite cake. She's a great, intelligent writer, and I really recommend this book.
on 1 September 2006
Jane Grigson was one of the leading cookery writers of her generation with some similarity to the writing talents of the great Elizabeth David, in that her books combine superb writing with impeccable research.
In fact in this book she acknowledges Elizabeth David (ED), 'whose taste in the matter of fruit is unequalled' and other cute references such as in the article about 'pickled cherries', followed by a recipe for 'Cherry Brandy', 'ED's Black Fruit Fool' -'a recipe for devotees of prunes and dried fruit and 'ED`s Sweet Flan Pastry` - 'easy to remember and efficient in practice'.
'It is from a love of fruit that Jane wrote her book, the much awaited companion volume to the enormously popular and successful `Jane Grigson Vegetable Book' . The author deals with both the homely and the less familiar fruits of our orchards with known and recently imported tropical fruits.'
'Jane Grigson's Fruit Book' is a 508 high quality, matt page alphabetical guide to selecting and using fruit, with practically *everything from apple to water melon, including the less popular 'medlar' and 'sapodilla'.
*'Fruit that is eaten principally as a vegetable - e.g. 'the tomato', came into an earlier book.
'Olives' seemed out of the scheme of this book and there was no room to deal properly with 'nuts'.'
This invaluable reference includes delicious dishes and useful appendices, entitled:-
Biscuits, Bread etc
Creams, Sugars etc:- including useful recipes for 'Custard Sauce', 'Coeur á la Créme' (soft and hard versions) and Vanilla Ice Cream
'Edward Bunyard's Marriages of Fruit & Wine', which leads on to a section on, mixed fruit recipes
Notes on Quantities
and finishes with a concise index.
Interspersed with useful hints such as one for an 'Emergency Cream', 'without the need of a special machine for turning butter and milk into a form of cream that is acceptable in an emergency' and poetic references, e.g. POMEGRANATE - with the poem 'Ronde de la Grenade' by André Gide.
Orange Halva Cake
Lazy Wild Duck with Orange Pineapple Upside-Down Pudding Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Tart
Kiwi Meringue Pudding
Ossi Buchi with Gooseberries
Grouse with Wild Raspberries
A useful note:- when preparing fruit, always use stainless steel knives.
on 3 June 2010
I bought this excellent book when it first came out in 1982. I've used it so often my original copy was falling apart, and not wanting to be without it, I ordered a brand new copy. I recently did the same with Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book. She was a lyrical and knowledgeable writer whose books are real treasures.
on 29 October 2010
Anyone reading my reviews knows by now that I am a practical home cook; I don't like "star" chefs, or glossy photographs every other page - what I want is information, ideas, and technique. Jane Grigson provided all these wrapped up in erudite, entertaining prose. The only pictures here are illustrative line drawings of the fruit, and each double page spread typically offers 2 - 3 recipes - giving a total of over 500 for the book. For each fruit, the recipes are preceded by a fascinating and fun history section, a discussion of varieties, and how to prepare and use them. The recipes cover all aspects of use. For example, the section on oranges includes sauces, salads, fish and fowl dishes, crepes, ices, cakes, marmalades, drinks, and more! As well as the obvious, the book covers all the exotics you are likely to come across in supermarkets such as lychee, mangosteen, carambola, persimmon, etc.. An Appendix discusses, amongst other things, mixed fruit recipes, preserves, pastry, biscuits and bread, creams, sugars, and ices.
The only competitor for this book that I know of is Nigel Slater's Tender Vol 2. But, Jane's classic is more comprehensive, covering a greater range of fruit and with more recipes. Also, having the lightness of a paperback and being so well written, Jane's Fruit Book is a great read on a long train journey! On the other hand, Nigel scores with information on growing fruit, his often unique recipe ideas, and much superior production quality - you simply can't beat hard cover and a place marker for books that will be used as much as these. My solution? Buy them both!
on 22 September 2010
Purchased to replace a very old copy which fell apart. Not only full of great recipes but an enjoyable and in places a hilarious read. Her addition of alcohol to the most innocent of dishes is perhaps not very PC these days, but her enjoyment of food and its preparation makes this one of my favourite books.
on 3 January 2012
The book is fantastic, with stories of the types of fruit used in cooking being told along the same lines as in her wonderful Vegetable book. I bought two copies: one for a friend and one for me... and I got one in the paperback and one old hardback. The paperback (Penguin edition - I normally love Penguin books - but I think they got the format slightly wrong on this one...) the binding seems really tight and the book does not stay open easily, which would be fine if I were reading it just as a novel, but... for a cookbook... one might want to be able to leave it open at a page! The hardback was a good edition and quality book that stayed open on the page you were on... and let you appreciate the comments and not have it snap shut again... I suppose this is the big difference between quality hardbacks and paperbacks!
I recommend the book completely, as it makes cooking more fun as she tells her stories about the main ingredients... and I would recommend you get the hardback - even at twice/three times the price...