Although the premise of the book is great and the recipes fairly simple, I found myself not all that excited about them. Good book, worth a look especially if you're not all too sure about the whole local craze just yet, but I found myslef skipping over too many recipes to give this book 5 stars.
Cookbooks -- 36
p.36 "How to Foraging" -- Romantic notions of foraging "No food miles, no pesticides, no exploitation, no middlemen and no markup" -- "it's not just local, it's micro local" -- yes but most of the time for urban readers it is also trespassing (which the book ignores).
Having grown up on a suburban farm I know that foraging by people who don't own the land is trespassing and is often done with no regard to the plant stock or overall environment they are basically stealing from. Also, most wild blueberries these days come from ATV destructive escapades across fragile ecosystems in search of the mother-load of blueberries.
We need to be realistic about what we romanticize.
That being said, I like foraging. I love picking blueberries (sans ATV), finding wild mushrooms (morels, puffballs -- all I know/trust how to identify), wild asparagus and leek hunting, tapping a couple of maple trees and coming across other wild edibles. But it must be done with respect to the natural stock and the environment you are removing the food from.
And that sums up my view of this cookbook -- I really should have liked it. It was praised by Michael Pollen. The premise is sound. The photos are beautiful. But I could not get into it.
Maybe I was reading it during a local food "off season" (early spring) and was not inspired.
Overall, I found it a little over the top for the basic message of: find quality, local in season ingredients and don't do too much with them as they are good as they are.
Even though this book it is North American based and more based on our environment, I find the British Jamie Oliver and the Farmer's Market Cookbook more inspiring to be at least cooking in season.
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