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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best of British, 5 Mar. 2011
This review is from: British Seasonal Food (Paperback)
The fact that concern over food miles, seasonal, local and fresh are all currently high scoring words & phrases in foodie buzzword bingo is a good thing in my opinion. I far prefer to enjoy fresh produce in season than suffer some water-laden abomination that tastes of nothing and has been flown half way around the world.

Mark Hix - previously of the celeb's favourite The Ivy; now with his eponymous Oyster and Chop House in Farringdon and Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis, Dorset and most recently Hix Soho, is a champion of British food and his "British Seasonal Food" has just been published in paperback.

The book is arranged by month, with six to twelve recipes per month - with more recipes for the months of plenty in the summer, with choice being more limited in winter and early spring. Original drawings illustrate the book, and there is a beautiful photograph by Jason Lowe for the majority of recipes.

The book is firmly rooted in Mark's restaurant background. It is also not a book for the fainthearted or squeamish, chitterlings, brawn and offal make delicious appearances, making this book much more than just another run of the mill seasonal cook book. Other ingredients used range from razor clams to wild garlic, venison chops, cod tongues to cobnuts. All the recipes are possible with recourse to either a well stocked food hall or foraging from an ancient hedgerow or beach. Information on how to source the more esoteric ingredients is included (make friends with your butcher and fishmonger), but a measure of planning and forethought will be needed to cook many of the recipes. Although the experienced cook will be able to adapt many of the ingredients. Interestingly many of the unloved cuts of meat, such as lamb breast, can be bought very cheaply as there is little demand for them, a bonus in these times of economic uncertainity.

The recipes definitely look flavoursome, but I'm not sure if they all could be considered fuss free. Sometimes, however, taking trouble to cook something out of the ordinary is what makes cooking fun, and I am happy to celebrate the best of seasonal British food and produce.

On my to cook list are purple sprouting broccoli with pickled walnuts and roasted garlic (March), rhubarb tarts (April), stuffed breast of lamb (May), lamb sweetbreads with peas (July), slow cooked pork belly with autumn squash (September) and scallops with black pudding and artichoke puree (December).
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