Book Review: The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook
I have to confess that I have never really been a fan of “British cuisine”. Honestly, growing up in New Orleans I only ever remember talk of English cooking as the subject of jokes. Like most everyone else, however, I have been a huge fan of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and cookbook author Dinah Bucholz has cleverly (if un-officially and without authorization) tied in her 250 page English cookery book with the wildly popular Potter series, thus gaining the attention of even fans like me.
Most of the clever and relatively simple recipes mention the book and chapter number where Harry and the other characters encounter a particular food. There are, as would be expected recipes for such HP staples as Pumpkin Juice (page 40) and Hagrid’s Rock Cakes (page 53), Bucholz includes a number of highly palatable recipes for things like Bouillabase (page 143) and Kreacher’s French Onion Soup (page 63) that don’t seem British at all, while recipes like Steak and Kidney Pudding (page 132) and Bangers and Mash (page 138) epitomize what many of us in the United States think of as British cooking. The recipe for Treacle Pudding sounds rich and decadent and truly ambitious cooks may attempt Vol Au Vents– the impressive pastries served at Bill and Fleur’s wedding early in the final volume, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.
Overall, Bucholz’s recipes seem well chosen and the few I tried seemed to work well in my home kitchen. If you are a Harry Potter fan (and honestly, who isn’t?) and have some interest and skill in cooking, The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook is Highly Recommended.
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