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The British Cookbook

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by Ben Mervis
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At nearly 500 pages, this is an expansive collection of traditional and modern recipes collected from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England. (Which implies that it's really the The United Kingdom Cookbook, but we quibble).

Editor Ben Mervis, founder of Fare magazine, has worked with chefs and home cooks from throughout the region to collect dishes as disparate as Barnsley Chops (lamb), mushy peas, a salmon hash known as Tweed Kettle, and naan.

The enduring regional diversity within Britain is obvious from headnotes which take pains to explain that scallions or spring onions are called gibbons in south Wales, and that soda bread means something different in Northern Ireland than elsewhere in the realm. Overall, the selection bends toward the traditional, which makes sense, given the fluidity of modern trends.

Many recipes are identified as coming from a particular town or county, and we would have been delighted to see an index which listed them this way, highlighting the specialties of Lincolnshire, Anglesey, or Aberdeen. Still, we appreciate the attention to this sort of detail

It's worth noting that including more than 550 recipes in a book of this size has forced the publisher to use small type, densely set. 

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.

Published: October 3, 2022

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