Complete Traditional Recipe Book
Anyone interested in British regional cooking could do no better than this well-rounded volume. Treasures include Herring Fried in Oatmeal, a briny, crispy Scottish breakfast dish, perfect with buttered potatoes. Vegetable and Nut Greate Pye, which dates from the Middle Ages, is a hearty vegetarian dish stuffed with mushrooms, nuts, dates and spices. The British are known for comforting desserts, and food writer Edington wisely devotes several chapters to them. A few of the best come from famed English universities: Eton Mess or Clare College Mush is a strawberry-flavored cream kicked up with Kirsch, and Trinity Pudding, a creme brulee-style dessert, is a showcase for delicious British dairy. Other recipes showcase the multi-ethnic side of British traditions: Mulligatawny Soup hails from Kerala, India, but the version here is much less spicy than the native one; Almondines descend from French cookies, here made dense with mashed potatoes. While full-color photographs accompany some recipes, they tend to be darkly lit and overwhelmingly brown, stirring not-entirely-appetizing memories of U.K. in the 1970s. Otherwise, this collection proves that traditional British food is much more than mushy vegetables and overcooked meat, and deserves a place at the epicurean table.