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Customer Review

on 17 October 2011
I have not been an enormous fan of Allegra McEvedy's recipes in the Guardian. Somehow they have never really excited me. This book is very different. I was having coffee in Blackwell's in Oxford (great Café Nero coffee - highly recommended) and someone had left this on a table.

I ran my usual test for cookery books..

.. open at random on three recipes - how many do you want to cook and, much more importantly, how many do you want to eat. I got three out of three to cook and eat. Another couple and it was five out of five.

Same with my wife. So I bought it and we have cooked and eaten three so far and they were all very good indeed.

It is a handsome book; good photographs and just the right amount of background stuff. Interesting to read of her collection of cooking implements gathered in her travels.

The recipes are plainly laid out by country - none of that "how much do I do know and I can show off with" stuff that you get too often in some cookbooks. And they are with generally easily accessible ingredients (OK maybe not if you live in a small village in Wales or rural Oxfordshire) but certainly not hard to locate. And they are different and with bags of flavour.

My favourites so far: rabbit lasagne (lot of work but great result); sesame sweet and sour aubergines (never realised aubergines could be this good but I cut down a little on the seasonings); and the absolute best - Fried Eggs, Salt Cod and Black pudding. I know, I know but it is great.

So good recipes and a good read in a very nicely produced book. Will probably never cook more than 60% - but that's not bad at all.
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