Three others to try: Food books

Delia’s How to Cheat at Cooking

How to Cook for Food Allergies

by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, Rodale, £16.99
Another local author, Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne is a professional cook with children who suffer from various food allergies including dairy, egg and gluten intolerance. As a way of empowering other sufferers and parents she has put together a hugely practical book rooted in the belief that good, real food can still be enjoyed despite allergies. She offers sound basic cooking skills to give you the confidence to cook from scratch, tips and techniques for adapting established recipes and practical approaches to issues such as eating in restaurants, eating at parties and maintaining a varied, interesting diet despite the restrictions.

Delia’s How to Cheat at Cooking

by Delia Smith, Ebury, £20
When honesty and integrity in food is putting up a commendable resistance in the face of dominating supermarkets, you have to wonder why on earth Delia is making a virtue out of dishonesty and subterfuge. The same Delia who once championed the basics and doing things simply but properly. Is it sheer contrariness that recipe number one lists Aunt Bessie’s Homestyle frozen crispy potatoes and ready-grated Gruyère from Tesco? There are some useful ideas and sensible short-cuts to eating well when time is short, but they sit very uncomfortably alongside frequent endorsements for processed food from name-checked supermarkets and suppliers.

In Defense of Food

by Michael Pollan, Allen Lane, £16.99
In the tradition of urbane, liberal, erudite American journalist-researchers (think Bill Bryson, Simon Schama) comes this engaging argument to reclaim our relationship with food from dabbling food scientists, big business, nefarious food marketing and rudderless, sensation-seeking journalism (‘Eat chocolate! Don’t eat chocolate!’). The best bit of the book is the final section where Pollan explains some useful maxims for those of us keen to eat well, among them: avoid food products that make heath claims, do all your eating at a table (no, a desk is not a table), and don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.


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