“Food Glorious Food Book”….. From Cakes to Curries to Cornish Pasties
Last night saw the culmination of many weeks of baking, cooking and judging when the final of “Food Glorious Food” was aired on ITV, with two dishes remaining in the competition. The winning cook’s dish was up to win £20,000 as well as seeing their creation being sold in Marks and Spencer’s food hall. I have watched the programme on and off over the last few weeks, and I have to admit to being fairly underwhelmed with the television format, whereby contestants brought their home-cooked dishes in to be judged, and were humiliated in some circumstances (by at least one of the judges), not a necessary form of entertainment in my humble opinion. However, there were some notable highlights, with one of the dishes being created and made by Star Bistro, part of National Star College that helps young people with disabilities gain valuable life experiences; their Pimms Summer Fruit Jelly was robbed of the final prize in my opinion, but it was wonderful to see all of the students and their recipe make it to the finals. (A fragrant white chicken korma won in the end, which was a little disappointing, as we see so many types of curries in M and S already, and I thought that it was rather boring that a curry won, when there were so many other fabulous regional recipes entered, just my opinion of course!) However, the book is a totally different kettle of fish, it’s actually very good and is full of innovative and interesting, family regional recipes.
RRP: £20 (Currently £12:80 on Amazon)
Octopus Books Press release:
Includes over 100 family recipes for Britain’s favourite dishes. This book is packed full of dishes from ordinary members of the public, and features the food that we all love to cook and want to know how to cook. It includes dishes such as Lancashire Hot Pot, Cornish Pasties and Bakewell Tart.
Every recipe tells a story. And every family has one – a recipe that tugs at your heartstrings, makes you laugh, brings back memories and sums up all that’s great about food: its ability to delight our senses, bring people together and spread joy and happiness. Food, Glorious Food! – the book of the major new ITV1 series presented by Carol Vorderman – will be crammed full of these heart-warming and delicious recipes. Packed full of dishes from ordinary members of the public, the book will feature the food that we all love to cook and want to know how to cook. Those dishes will form the spine of the Food, Glorious Food! book. But each recipe will be so much more than just a list of ingredients and a set of cooking instructions: that’s because each will be accompanied by the inspiring story of its creation, along with fascinating and revealing photos plucked from the personal archives of the recipe’s creator and their family. The featured dishes will encompass old favourites like Lancashire Hot Pot, Cornish Pasties and Bakewell Tart, alongside new and inventive fusions of flavours that simply have to be tasted. Some dishes will incorporate quirky twists – for example, an extra ingredient that was originally added by mistake – while other recipes will stick to time-honoured techniques, handed down through multiple generations of the same family. In between the featured recipes will be thoughtful reflections on Britain’s food heritage and the nation’s love affair with home cooking. This is the definitive guide to the UK’s best recipes, written for the people of Great Britain, by the people of Great Britain.
“Food Glorious Food” is an attractive hardback book that is what I call a “sensible” size for the kitchen; it’s not too heavy and each recipe is accompanied by an image of the finished dish, as well as a very personal and touching note about the cook (author) and the history of the attached recipe. Some of the notes are very poignant and that’s what makes this book so different from the usual “run-of-the-mill” cookbooks – it is simply a collection of “personal family” recipes that will resonate with most people. There are tales of overcoming cancer, making cakes to give away as gifts EVERY day of the year as well as lots of “mum’s recipes” which are all the more touching when it is mentioned that mum is no longer around. The book is divided into regions of England, sadly, Scotland isn’t featured, which is one of the flaws in the series, and Wales is only JUST mentioned as part of the South West. So, I was puzzled why the title claims that it was a “…..search for Britain’s best recipe”, as Great Britain is not fully represented. I may be a pedant, but I think that the ITV series, and the book, missed a trick when they decided on the regions that were to be included. Moving on, the regions that are represented in the book are set out as separate chapters and the chapters comprise:
Foreword (By Simon Cowell)
The recipes are diverse and varied, as can be expected for a cookbook that shares non-professional cook’s family recipes. There are classic recipes for cakes such as mini Victoria Sandwich Cakes, Cornish Pasty and Cawl as well as twists on classic recipes, such as Chinese Style Yorkshire Puddings with Duck and Hoisin Sauce and Fruit 66 Special Bread and Butter Puddings. Some of the recipes that caught my attention from the TV series are:
Dragon’s Pie; Mrs Martin’s Original Sticky Toffee Pudding; Simon’s Pie; Scoffins; Penistone Pork Pie; Grandad’s Meat and Potato Pie; Malton Mess in Brandy Snap Baskets (from the mayor of Norton, my nearest local town in North Yorkshire); Colin’s Cream Horns; Baked Trifle; Smoked Salmon Cheesecake and the drag queen Miss G’s Cracked Black Pepper Profiteroles filled with Pecorino Cheese.
There is a fabulous selection of sweet, savoury, meaty and vegetarian recipes and I have bookmarked several to make over the next few weeks with Fruit 66 Special Bread and Butter Pudding be high on the list, which was contributed by the Bilton Grange Community Centre Skiffle Band who are called Route 66 and come from Hull.
If you followed the series on ITV and want to recreate some of the recipes that were featured on the show, then this is the book for you, as all of the “rosette” winners have their recipes featured in the book. It’s diverse and there are some very different recipes, which always intrigues me. It’s basically a rather posh “recipe swap” cookbook where much-loved family recipes have been shared with the general public. The layout and design are attractive and as the book is set out by region, there are no category chapters such as “desserts”, “meat” and “vegetarian” etc, however, each region’s chapter does start off with savoury and end with sweet recipes, which makes for easy searching. The index is easy to follow, with many recipes being listed under their major generic title, such as “pies”, “pasta”, “chicken” and “cakes” etc. Simon Cowell’s foreword features his mum’s roast potatoes recipe, which to be frank, is the only item of interest on the page, but I was pleased to see that the contributor’s were allowed to share their thoughts and memories alongside each recipe. I give this book a 4 out of 5 - it would have been so much better if the regions had included Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but that is probably an error with the programme and not the book, which only follows the TV series. I recommend this book to all those people who want a “real recipe swap” cookbook, where there are unusual recipes featured that have been contributed by “real” home cooks.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of “Food Glorious Food” from Octopus Books for review; all views and opinions in this post are my own. Karen S Burns-Booth