What is the essence of the book?
As the title suggest this is a book dedicated to wheat, gluten and diary free cooking. Containing over 120 recipes the book includes sections on starters, fish, meat, vegetarian dishes and a substantial section on desserts and baking. There are also ‘Master Recipes’ for things like gluten free short crust pastry and homemade ricotta cheese (yes, really!).
About the author
Antoinette Savill has written many books on allergy-free cooking over her 25 year career after discovering that she herself is intolerant to gluten. Her other books include The Food Intolerance Bible and Lose Wheat, Lose Weight.
Who will like it?
Anyone with a food intolerance (particularly a newly discovered one) will like this book. Equally if you find yourself in a position where you have to cater for someone with a food allergy (as I did recently) you will find this book invaluable.
Who won’t like it?
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to eat anything then this may not be the first book you would reach for. That said, it seems that more and more people are being diagnosed with food intolerances these days so I would reiterate what I have said above.
What do I like about the book?
Fortunately, I can eat anything and I will confess that I was initially quite dismissive of this book when it landed on my doormat. However, having had a good rummage through its pages and cooking some of the recipes I can safely say that my opinions towards gluten/dairy free cooking have changed. I’d always felt rather sorry for coeliacs and had assumed that their diet must be quite restrictive and rather bland. This book proves that nothing could be further from the truth. The food looks appetising in the accompanying images and the sheer variety of innovative recipes is quite impressive. Frankly you could serve this food and nobody would be any the wiser as to whether or not it was gluten free. Some recipes do require specialist ingredients, such as rice flour, but many of these are now available from the supermarket. I also like the short introduction Savill includes at the beginning of the recipe.
What do I dislike about the book?
Real bread or rather lack of it. Sorry, but bread made with gluten free flour just isn’t the same. I made the Zucchini Bread (with pumpkin instead of courgettes) which was tasty but not nearly bready enough. Luckily for me I can eat the real stuff but I have increased sympathy for coeliacs who have to avoid it. That said, I wouldn’t use the lack of real bread recipes as an excuse not to buy the book.
Would I cook from it?
Already have. I cooked the Asian Prawn Fritters on p25 at my first supper club for two guests who are gluten and dairy intolerant. In retrospect I should have included them as part of the whole menu for all the guests, they were that good.
Where can you buy it?