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on 4 December 2006
You can't help wondering how Mark Hix found time to write British Regional Food. As chef director of Caprice Holdings that includes The Ivy, J. Sheekey as well as Le Caprice, Mark also writes a weekly column for The Independent on Saturday.

Nonetheless, he sets off on a cook's tour around Britain, to meet, eat, greet and cook some of our finest. A very personal recollection emerges that is endearing and informative.

Dividing Britain into 9 regions, each follows a similar format. While in The North, Mark flags up such well known and favourite producers as Peter Gott from Sillfield Farm, Barry Pugh of Pugh's Piglets and Andrew Sharp of Farmer Sharp. He encourages us to cook a mixture of traditional - Liverpool Lobscouse or Goosnargh Cakes, and modern - Wild Boar stew with Hawkshead Beer or Fillet of Sea Bass with Samphi (sic), Shrimps and Cockles.

Whether Mark will be successful in persuading anyone to try cooking Cow Heel and Black Peas, or Tripe and Onion I'd love to know. But his meeting with Jack Curvis, one of the few "proper" tripe dressers remaining in The North makes fascinating reading and should not be missed.

Altogether a charming culinary bumble around Britain and with photographs that capture our best treasures, British Regional Food is a reminder of what there is to enjoy about buying and cooking our own. It is as irresistible as the author himself.
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on 26 October 2006
This book has loads of really great information, if you are interested in the heritage of British Food, which I guess is the fashion right now what with farmer's markets and the like. But if you want a recipe book of good hearty British food (like me)you may be disappointed as there are only a couple of recipes for each region as the rest is text about the food. There's plenty of talk about local produce but not enough recipes to show what to do with it. Some of the recipes are classics like pork pies or bakewell tart, but others are just too 'down to earth' for my own taste like jugged hare, whole roast suckling pig or tripe. Don't get me wrong this is a great book, just not the recipe book I had hoped for.
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on 20 November 2007
The book is well laid out, has great pictures, and is a pleasure to dip into. Some of the write ups are really interesting.
Q: So why the low rating?
A: Because it takes me longer to read Observer Food monthly which a lot cheaper - it's a bit expensive as a [brief] read, some of the articles are a bit like that essay `What I did on my holidays' and it is no use as a cook book, since there is no proper recipe index, which is the main reason for low rating. Shame, I like Mark Hix generally, but apparently his publishers think we should buy British Food as well if we want recipes.
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on 22 May 2013
I have to echo other people's comments about there not being that many recipes and lots of ramblings, some interesting, some less so. And yes, it is very London orientated. I don't know a great deal of detail about the cookery of the whole of Britain, but I do know about the cookery of Cornwall and I was absolutely amazed to find a chef of Mark Hix's standing giving a recipe for the Cornish pasty in which the meat and vegetables are pre-cooked. His pasty might be quite tasty, but it is NOT a proper Cornish pasty, in which the ingredients are always raw.

Also, Mark gives a recipe for scones, saying that they are "essential for an authentic Devon cream tea" and that elsewhere in the west country, "very similar cakes can be referred to as Chudleighs, Cornish splits or Devonshire tetti cakes." No. Scones are not made with yeast, Cornish splits and Devonshire splits or Chudleighs are made of sweetened bread dough; definitely not the same thing as scones. I've never heard of tetti cakes. And actually, an authentic Devonshire or Cornish cream tea uses splits, scones are a modern alternative. Quite tasty if you like that sort of thing, but not authentic.

I was surprised and disappointed to find this misinformation presented as fact and this has spoiled the book for me. I would be interested to know whether the sections on the food of the rest of Britain contain similar inaccuracies; if there is anyone out there with more knowledge of the cuisine of the other regions than I have, maybe they can let us know...
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on 7 October 2007
The book is ok, but...whilst it does give information about food in the various regions around the country there is a constant harking back to London, London chefs and Borough Market. Oh and don't forget the cheese man who sells cheese in, yes you've guessed it Borough Market. He makes a regular appearance.

I also found it a little light on the variety of food stuffs and the range of markets, both traditional and the newer farmer's markets available in the areas. That is with the exception of the wonderfull one in London.

Most of us don't live in London and Mr Hix should remember that.
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on 21 April 2013
I purchased this book for research purposes and have just skimmed it's pages to date trying to get a grasp of the 'traditional' foods in the various regions. So far it is prooving to be a great reference.
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on 27 May 2016
excellent value
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on 31 May 2011
The book was delivered on time in the condition expected. I was very happy with my purchase. No issues at all.
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