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on 24 March 2010
My word, how lucky was I to buy this book to add to my collection in which it now has pride of place?
If you live in Spain and cook it is essential; if you shop anywhere for fresh food it is essential and if you enjoy cooking it will give you enormous pleasure. If you shop in markets in Spain for fresh food that you are then going to cook it is biblical!
Well laid out with a preface to each section wonderfully describing the type of food in the recipes therein and where in Spain specialises in the ingredients. Each recipe is well written, easy to understand and has a picture so you know what it should look like. That in itself is recommendation enough for any collection of recipes: in this wonderful book Jenny Chandler goes further. For each recipe where a new main ingredient is introduced there is advice as to how to purchase that ingredient: how to ensure fish is fresh, which cut of meat to use and how to obtain it, how to select vegetables in prime condition; the list is endless. Each recipe also has tips on alternative ingredients and little shortcuts.
For those living in Spain there are descriptions of the specialities provided by each region and the verbal illustrations of the various markets where they can be purchased leave the reader salivating.
A really special book that promises much and delivers on those promises. If nothing else it is a wonderful, well researched guide to the local markets in Spain. It is a book that everyone deserves to own.
I really "get what the author is about" as I live in a place in Spain where the fresh catch from the fishing boats is sold to the public daily at 4.00pm, a small covered market operates daily (mainly for meat) and the weekly market, full of fresh fruit and vegetables, flavoured olives and other pickled items is a place where cheeses, pulses, charcuterie and local specialities abound.
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on 16 June 2013
I have cooked every single recipe in this book, except for some of the deserts and I must say. Not a single one disappointed.
The recipes are easy to follow, haven't found any flaws in them and accompanied by beautiful pictures.

Even if your not going to cook from it it's a fun book to have, Jenny Chandler has a great writing style that really takes you on her travels with her. It's really a travel guide as well as a cookbook.
She has done extensive research on all her recipes and provides lots of useful info on where to buy (even if your not in Spain) or what to substitute if needed.
The book is full of classics that you can eat at the family restaurants and find on all the "menu del dia"s and all of them taste authentic. I much prefer this book to "1080 recipes" the so called bible of Spanish cooking. I own that as well, but have found this book to be much more useful and easier to follow.
There aren't any fancy recipes (although some do take a lot of work to cook) just classic home cooking. Most of the ingredients used are cheap as spanish cooking uses a lot of veg, pulses and cheap cuts of meat. It does have a lot of fish and shellfish recipes, those tend to be much cheaper in spain than in northern European countries.
Also loved her first book "The food of norther Spain" both books go with me every time I travel to Spain, which is often.
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on 13 March 2015
This Is a lovely looking book although the photos on the kindle edition are very small. I was looking forward to reading this book,as I love Spain and Spanish food. The idea of using market stalls as a starting point was intriguing. The writing, telling the reader about what ingredients can be found in markets in different areas of Spain was interesting but I was disappointed in the recipes themselves. I found little to inspire me, and I found most recipes to be rather simplistic, uninteresting, and frankly not particularly Spanish. Given the marvellous interesting ingredients to be found in Spain, recipes for example for a fairly basic salad recipe was not what I was hoping for. What a shame. To be fair, Jenny Chandler is a readable author, and I found her book on pulses to be more interesting and inspiring.
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on 10 June 2015
I bought this on Kindle and was bookmarking so many recipes which the author interleaves with the evocative descriptions of the different Spanish food and markets in that I felt that I had to get a hard copy. I can't wait to do the seafood 'operetta' that contains hake, monkfish, prawns, langastines, clams, mussels, Spanish brandy, white wine, fish stock, onion, garlic, chilli, tomatoes, paprika, few saffron strands and parsley I highly recommend this book.
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on 7 June 2015
This is definitely one of those cook books which is worth owning even if you never plan to cook any of the recipes! For anyone who loves Spain or Spanish food, it's a delight to browse. And for real cooks, it has plenty of useful little tips as well as the actual recipes.
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on 13 November 2017
A really excellent book, brings out the flavours and tastes of Spain. Cannot wait to use the recipes.
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on 25 October 2016
Not really impressed with this book. Lovely looking hard cover , but some recipe is simplistic, uninteresting compare with another cookbooks . it is expensive too.
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on 8 September 2015
A great book full of inspiration which accompanied the highly successful television series. It really is a very good and generously written book with some exceptional recipes covering the very best of Spanish cuisine.
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on 25 December 2013
I was hoping for a book that delved into how to prepare and make some of the wonderful Spanish cuisine. It is very thin on content with recipes that do not reflect the true quality of Spanish food. I sent it back in disappointment.
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on 6 September 2014
Not that impressed with this book. Lovely looking book on outside but unfortunately the saying don't judge a book by the cover is in this case correct .Its contents where not exciting
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