Review of Delicious: Feel Good Food – Valli Little

Posted: April 6, 2016 in cookbook, Review
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Delicious Feel Good FoodI’m going to begin this review with a note to authors… don’t believe everything you read on the internet. It’s a small thing, but when I read “The health benefits of Manuka honey have been known to indigenous cultures for millennia,” my immediate thought was “That’s impossible”. It’s improbable because Manuka is native to New Zealand, the Maori arrived here between 1250 and 1300, and more importantly, honey bees were introduced by European settlers in 1839 (and to Australia in 1822). And though Native Australians ate honey from native bees, it’s unlikely it was Manuka honey, because those bees produce only enough honey for themselves in the cooler climes where Manuka grows. But I did find this on an Australian web site, “This healing honey has been known to New Zealand’s indigenous cultures for thousands of years.” Go figure.

The book itself is a very large format paperback, and I’m concerned that the binding would not stand up to a great deal of abuse. The content is cheerfully presented with lots of colour photographs. And the ingredient list is not too unusual, as long as you have plenty of coconut products to hand. I tried the Pot-roasted Chicken with Chilli and Coconut Milk and was reasonably pleased with the result, although I would have liked it better if the sauce had thickened more. The “total bakeover” section predictably falls into the “gluten is bad for you” trap, and is afflicted with lots of almond meal and maple syrup. However there is a Banana and Fig Bread made with relatively normal ingredients that I do want to try.

The book’s major flaw is its index, which is next to useless. I need to know that the chicken recipe I want is listed under “mains”, and it is then under “p” for pot-roast, not “c” for chicken. In fact, I’d expect to find all the chicken recipes together under “c” for chicken, as well as under their individual alphabetical entries. Somebody really should have fixed this!

So, it’s another very trendy cookbook, but with a number of interesting ideas, some of them more practical (and easier on the budget) than others. And lots of coconut.

ABC Books

Supplied by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

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