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I The Rasta Cookbook Laura and Ivor ()sborne. (Optima £6.99) The Rastafarian brethren believe in ‘the natural high'. being in good health and spirits through harmony with nature. They shun processed food. are usually vegetarian and cook with no added salt: the food we eat being the point where the body interfaces with nature. The presentation of this hook is as fresh. hold and unfussy as the recipes it offers. There are exotic fruit drinks (Sweetie ( 'ome Brush Me is banana punch with vanilla. nutmeg and honey ); spicy dips and crispy fritters; ttnusual soups ( ('remnerl Brerulfruit. Pumpkin and Clio-(710); main dishes (Uptown Garden Egg aubergines stuffed with cashew nuts); and pads (Dread Nut Pudding is a steamed groundnut number). Ingredients which feature heavily are hot peppers. limes. bananas.


coconut. ginger. cinnamon and mango. There is a glossary of (‘arribean Tropical ingredients giving more familiar alternatives where possible. This could be manna for jaded palates. absence ofthe crucial ‘herb‘ notwithstanding.

I Delia Smith’s Christmas (BBC Books £12.95) If you can overcome your prejudices and turn over the twee cover of Nearly Eve rybody‘s Favourite Cook‘s latest work. you could be convinced that a traditional Christmas with all the edible trimmings is an institution well worth preserving. You have to admit it. when it comes to cooking. Delia is exceptionally imaginative yet down-to-earth. This book is no exception in that the recipes are ones you are actually likely to make. rather than just drool over: they will ‘work'. and they are almost guaranteed to be delicious. Delia‘s aim is to alleviate the panic which prevents many cooks from enjoying anything except climbing into bed on (‘hristmas night. As well as ‘campaign strategy“ (including a countdown to the Big Meal). there are loads of recipes incorporating the gamut of seasonal flavours. including several for the often neglected vegetarian (‘hristmassen I Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion. (Dorling Kindersley £9.99) This smart-looking little book makes no excuses for being devoted to the exclusive family of Single Malt

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Scotch whiskies. Nevertheless. its accounts of the origins of the noble spirit. its varieties and its production methods are perfectly intelligible to the uninitiated. The extensive survey which forms the bulk ofthe book is methodical. Each malt. illustrated by its label. is subjected to scrutiny according to prearranged terms and scoring systems. Tasting notes are so energetic and committed that it is hard not to credit the author‘s opinions. however impossible it may seem to give whisky marks out ofa hundred.

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I The Taste of China Ken Hom. (Pavilion £20) It seems strange. when there is hardly a town in Scotland without a Chinese takeaway. that a survey of‘the real tastc‘ ofChina today should still seem a journey into the culinary and cultural unknown. Hom‘s own story is as fascinating as are his insights as a home-coming emigre. Recipes reflect the principal themes ofthe book: historical influences. regional idiosyncracies. and social functions. The intelligence and sensitivity of Hom‘s writing is matched by some of the most magnificent photography I have seen in a cookery book: it makes you want to rush to the travel agent I Broths to Bannocks cooking in Scotland 1690 to the present day Catherine Brown. (John Murray £15.95) Brown makes no concessions to modern sensibilities and trends. but champions traditional Scottish fare. bones. floury tatties and all. Her evocations of past culinary establishments and eating traditions tend to sentimentality. but are nevertheless packed with detail. and demonstrate the intimate relationship between food and drink and broader social issues. The recipes represent her reiterated belief that the best and most distinctive Scottish cooking emanates from the great stock pot. She argues that the slow cooking and subtle flavouring responsible for rich and tasty Scotch broths and stews is an art whose principles are akin to those of the elevated court bouillon. Perhaps most intriguing and entertaining are the recipes quoted from manuscripts from the 18th century onwards. I Evening Times Guide to Eating Out in Glasgow David Phillips. (Richard Drew £2.99) Accessible, restaurant to a page, area by area approach to 110 ofGlasgow‘s eating out

possibilities. A discursive paragraph deals with individual features such as what the place looks like. who you

can expect to see there. when. and

how many of them. and what you will be offered to eat. This gives you some idea what to expect even if you do not share the author‘s judgement. Each entry then lists useful information such as opening hours. prices. disabled facilities and nearest underground station. There is no mention of provision for‘ vegetarians. Indexes under ‘type of food‘ and proximity to entertainment/art venues are helpful.

I La Pdtiniere and Friends David and Hilary Brown (Century £16.99) This is definitely ‘haute‘ cuisine. The title refers to the highly acclaimed Gullane restaurant that is so adored by patrons that they are prepared to wait for up to two years for a table. The proprietors. and authors of this book. take the business of food very seriously. In fact. I find the fastidious and opinionated introduction very pompous. On the other hand. most ofthe recipes sound superb. and they are not all hugely complicated. For people who gain satisfaction from the preparation and consumption of exquisite food. this book offers clear practical advice and lots of incentive: Sole and Smoked Salmon Mousseline. Spiced Breast of Chicken with Wild Apricots. Chocolate Parfait. . .

I Ian McAndrew on Poultry and Game (Hamlyn £16.95) Game is experiencing a wave of popularity as a greener alternative to farmed meat: the creatures have a nice life. have a ‘sporting‘ chance ofgetting away. are not full ofchemicals. and are therefore better for you and tastier. Why therefore do 1 find something gross about a picture of a minute quail breast accompanied by its own poached eggs lying in a pool ofblood-red consommé'?

I The Taste of Thailand Vatcharin Bhumichitr. (Pan £9.99) If Bhumichitr serves his food as lovingly and as imaginatively as he writes about his native country. it is not surprising that his Soho restaurant has an outstanding reputation. This book combines great loyalty to Thai tradition with a desire to make Thai cuisine as accessible as possible to a Western cook. Most recipes apparently are uncomplicated and quick to cook. but they are arranged for convenience in order ofdifficulty. It is possible to prepare a full meal

.from the first country food section.

This precedes more sophisticated Bangkok dishes. a section on seafood. one on the food of northern Thailand. and finally. special occasion and restaurant food. This is a wonderful introduction to one of the most fragrant and universally appealing national cuisines. As Bhumichitr states. ‘lemon grass and fish sauce. coriander, galangal. garlic. sweet basil and coconut milk all combine to make a harmony that is unforgettable.‘

94 The List 23 November- 6 December 1990