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Slow Food Bible Print E-mail
Reviewed by Ceri Balston   
Wednesday, 05 November 2008

Author: Margaret Barca

Slow Food BibleAt the cornerstone of many of the world’s culinary traditions lies the art of slow cooking. Braising, casseroling, stewing and cooking in a tagine are just a few of the cooking methods that spring to mind. But the real essence of slow food is not so much in that it takes a long time to prepare and cook (indeed many of the recipes in this book are actually quick and straightforward) but its rather about taking the time to enjoy food and delight in sharing good food with friends and family. It’s also about choosing ingredients carefully, sourcing seasonal and local produce. In essence it’s about rediscovering the joyful reverence of cooking that not only nurtures the body and soul but also bonds people together.

Meat dishes dominate this book with sections titled Chicken, Duck & Rabbit, and Beef, Lamb, Pork & Veal. Even for vegetarians like ourselves we could appreciate that there were some very special recipes that will have families salivating whilst the slow cooked aromas fill the home. Italian Lamb Ragu and Classic Beef Goulash are highlights in these sections, along with Afgani Lamb with Chickpeas, Mint & Yogurt, just one of the many more exotic dishes to try out.

The soup recipes also look great and there are some fantastic recipes that have helped us reinvent the way we use vegetables. The majority of these though were simply for side dishes and it would have been nice if there were a few more vegetarian main courses that we could have tried.

The book also contains a Seafood section, with just a handful of recipes, and an extensive desert section (for us, always a highlight in any recipe book) with divine recipes such as Pecan & Cranberry Bread-and-Butter Pudding.

Unsurprisingly many of the recipes in Slow Food Bible are hearty winter warmers which don’t really apply to our South African lifestyle. We also didn’t feel that there was anything to really make this book stand out from the huge array of similar books on the market. Unlike other books that promote a certain lifestyle choice, such as Fairtrade or organic, this one didn’t inspire us to adopt the slow food lifestyle which is a shame as it’s a really worthwhile movement.

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