Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Ecco; 3.11.2012 edition (April 10, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #57,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #20 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > English, Scottish & Welsh
Please, ignore the people who have never actually looked at this book, except maybe a picture of the cover, have no idea what it is about and just wish to drag the ratings down.Yes, amazingly, meat comes from animals. I eat meat. Get over it.This is a very nice cookbook. Because this book is so much more than the cover. Or a pig.It is a delightful book, full of yes, great recipes in a whole range of categories but even more than that as well. First of all, it has some of the most beautiful photographs of food that I have ever seen in a cookbook, by David Loftus. And some delightful illustrations by Sun Young Park, climbing up the sides of pages, introducing each chapter...so cute.There is also a very entertaining introduction that tell a bit about Bloomfield's story and tells us her take on any number of ingredients and equipment. We also find out a good deal about Bloomfield from about a dozen little essay sprinkled throughout the book, telling fun stories about growing up in England, her family, how she became a chef (she really wanted to be a cop but missed the exam date), her early career, what makes a good pub, how to make a good cup of tea. And happily, every recipe starts with the chef giving a nice introduction to the dish, what she loves about it, how she came to make it, tips and hints and opinions. This is a very personal cookbook, one in which Bloomfield, who is a quite funny, quite likeable person, just jumps out on every page.I am not one to sit down and read cookbooks, but for this one I made an exception.
April Bloomfield's first book is beautifully written, gorgeously illustrated with mouthwateringly stunning food photography to boot. Judge a book by it's cover and you might think this book will be full of controversial recipes aimed hardcore foodies, which could not be further from the truth. Personally I love the front of this book; it is honest, unashamedly real and does not disturb me one bit. As a now-meat eater AND ex-vegan/ vegetarian (of 12 years) I like to know where my meat comes from. My bacon/ sausages/ ham hock-shock horror- all come from a pig! Wow. Who knew.The important part, the recipes, are winners. From the humble porridge recipe (which has changed the way I do breakfast) to April's fabulous pie, I am in love with them all. And yes, there is a section using slightly less common cuts of meat, which STILL manages to be appealing. How can anyone be offended by this? If you are happy to eat a pigs belly why not calves liver? And if you are vegetarian, there are gorgeous non-meat recipes in the book too. And if that is still too much then I'm sure there are some wonderful vegetarian books out there for you.So far I have worked through a handful of recipes and am very much enjoying April's writing at the same time. I've got my sights set on at least another 30 recipes and expect to have a busy summer... Easily the most beautiful and exciting cookbook of the year.
Coming from an individual who raises all natural/humanely raised pigs I say cheers to Chef Bloomfield. She know how to cook a pig. I find it offensive when an individual goes to a mega grocery store - picks out a Styrofoamed lean and boneless loin of pork - goes home an cooks the crap out of it. To all the hypocrites who refuse to eat the liver, ears, trotters, and blood of the pig yet criticize her for holding a pig gently like a young lamb I say shame on you. The majority of the world has enough respect to honor the life given than turn their nose to less desirable cuts of meat. Go after the mega farms that raise animals unnaturally. If you are going to eat meat do your best to support small farms with heritage breeds that are raised in pasture with apples to eat in the fall, trimming from the garden, trees to scratch on, and treated with animal cookies . Lets be rid of mega farms with deep lobby money that dictate the way we eat. April is doing more to elevate our perceptions on the way we consume. Let us encourage chefs that treat their products with respect and source their ingredients from responsible farmers.
I am surprised that many reviewers find this cover so offensive. It isn't bloody, or even gratuitous. The pig is in repose, obviously dead, even stamped by the USDA. Ms. Bloomfield is holding the pig, gently, carefully, and with respect, in the same manner that any hunter or cook would carry food before preparing it. It IS a dead pig, however, but it is also a representation of sustenance and a depiction of the reality of an omnivorous lifestyle, a lifestyle practiced by most of this lovely planet - it all boils down to taste, protein, vitamins and feeding the body what it requires. If you dislike the photo, by all means, don't buy the book - but please don't disparage a well-written, heartfelt book because you choose to eat differently.Would it be a better cover if the pig was replaced with a salmon, a lamb, a side of beef, a naked paralegal, or a garland of fresh herbs? I don't think so. She's a chef, folks, a chef who cooks meat. She carries her wares, her attitude and the tools of her trade with confidence and care. She's also written a fine, fine book - a personal book, with loving portraits of her family, and many fine recipes. What more could you ask of a cookbook? A better cover? Oh heavens, please, we've been blessed with books with bad covers since Moby Dick! Relax - the Dollar Store sells book covers, buy one - otherwise review books you have an interest in. "A Girl and Her Pig" deserves your attention for what's between the pages.
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