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The River Cottage Cookbook

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  990 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
First published in the United Kingdom in 2001, THE RIVER COTTAGE COOKBOOK quickly became a hit among food cognoscenti around the world. Now tailored for American cooks, this authoritative and animated ode to eating well is one part manifesto and one part guidebook for choosing and storing food grown in the garden, butchered from prize animals, or foraged or caught locally. ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Ten Speed Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Michelle
This is one of those books to which I can't fairly give a star rating, because it's largely useless to me, but that doesn't make it a bad book by any means. Much of the book, as other reviewers mention, focuses on raising/growing your own food, and I think this book would be a truly amazing resources if you are interested in that lifestyle. It's a huge tome, and just FULL of information. However, as someone who has no garden space and certainly no room to raise my own animals for food, most of t ...more
Katharine
Sep 21, 2010 Katharine rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Wow. A huge, heavy book. Everything on how to choose breeds, prepare homes for, keep happy, kill, clean, and cook many animals. From the usual farm animals to wild game, to oddities like cuttlefish (and a great picture of the ink all over the bathtub). Also full information on how to prepare and grow a garden and information about all the vegetable and fruit choices. And how to choose fruit from the supermarket. And forage for mushrooms and wild berries. And pretty much anything else you could p ...more
Tim
Aug 14, 2012 Tim rated it it was amazing
The title really doesn't cover the contents.
This is the story of the brilliant River Cottage TV series.
With this book, and the right sources, you should be able to duplicate what he achieved.
A sort of up to date and more comprehensive guide to the father of self sufficiency, John Seymour.
Great read, great recipes, great photo's.
Even if we can't all live in this lifestyle we can dream and take on board some of the advice!
incidentally River Cottage can be seen on Google Maps satellite view, althou
...more
Meredith
Jul 18, 2011 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
But I live in suburbia! At least half of this book is pie in the sky for me. Not that I have any great urge to go off and skin rabbits, make nettle soup, or anything. It's just that I can't. This shouldn't be marketed as a, "You could do this too!" book. Or maybe this lovely book was never meant for city-dwellers. I shouldn't be teasing my self-sustaining fantasies this cruelly.
P.S. The veg recipes look delicious, and the gardening section was inspiring! For maximum doability, however, I recomme
...more
Emily
Jan 13, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
I wish i lived near the sea so i could do down to the docks and haggle for cheap fresh crab and lobster, i mean he was talking about types of crab that you just can't find and i bet their pale white meat would be sweeter for the purple velvet on their claws. i want a farm, i want to eat my own suckling pig and make sausages and bacon and well yeah self sufficiency is a harsh mistress im not sure i could turn my garage into an abattoir. but STILL!!!
Caitlin
Aug 27, 2012 Caitlin rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading all the essays in between recipes on eating sustainably and knowing more about the provenance of your food. I'm unlikely to ever need much of the information on animal husbandry or squirrel skinning, but it was interesting and I have a greater appreciation for the food I bring into my home. As a cookbook this wasn't really my bag - too many exotic ingredients (which was kind of the point) and steps like hanging meat for three days in a cool dry place.

Samantha
Jul 14, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
Some really interesting recipes, that sound absolutely delicious. Brilliant information given for things I had never thought of. A lot of information that most cookbooks don't give, for example how to pick a fish that is fresh,what you are looking for etc. How to cook snails.. Really can't wait to try some out.
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 Catherine Woodman rated it liked it
This is a beautifully photographed book, and while I guess I would consider myself to be a convert, he is very preachy about what he thinks is wrong with the way we grow food. He says we should eat half as much meat as we do and pay twice as much for it, and I larely agree with that. The photos alone are worth getting the book out of the library
Dan Lenox
Apr 18, 2008 Dan Lenox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someday, when I get bored with life in the city, this is the way I'm going to live. Not everyone can say they have pig slaughtering get-togethers once a year and a.)not be joking and b.)not be creepy. A great book about country life not just cooking.
Linda
Jan 16, 2016 Linda rated it did not like it
Shelves: cookbook
This book is for a family who hunts their food: recipes all about game. I didn't realize it when I chose the book, as I liked the vegetable book by this author lots. I don't ever expect to cook anything discussed here!
Elizabeth
Jul 11, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
This book filled me with all kinds of dangerous ideas about having my own flock, harvesting from my own fruit trees, and foraging in the woods. I would consider it more of a reference book for the aspiring homesteader than a cookbook. For that reason, I don't think I need a copy...yet.
lauren
Sep 24, 2008 lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone not offended by meat
Shelves: food
This is a fabulous cookbook. This guy is so enthusiastic about food and he goes into great poetic detail about everything from farm fresh produce to why you should raise and kill your own chickens. I haven't used any of the recipes from this book, but that's beside the point.
Megan
Aug 13, 2014 Megan rated it did not like it
The food was reminiscent of Nigel Slater's food, but not nearly as eye-catching. It was a great encyclopedia of food knowledge, however, and I found myself picking up a number of random food tidbits.
Lee Broderick
Aug 26, 2011 Lee Broderick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
The central tenet of this book is that the year-round availability of ingredients in modern supermarkets has robbed us of much of their enjoyment. It's difficult to overstate the influence that this book had, and continues to have: it remains the definitive volume on seasonal cooking in Britain more than a decade on.

A wealth of information is contained on buying and harvesting ingredients - wildfood and farm & garden produce and this is supplemented by several recipes. The recipes mainly dra
...more
Rachel
Jul 13, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: foodie-books
What an amazing book! I live in the city so I won't be able to apply too many of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's tips, but this book is super packed with ways to produce healthy foods. So much information - it's like an Encyclopedia. Shows where all the cuts come from on the animals. Tells how to pick animals, raise them, breed them and everything. Tips for vegetables too! And the book has recipes throughout. A great reference for the knowing about your food.
Angela Burkholder
Jan 09, 2016 Angela Burkholder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun book to read! We use his ketchup recipe as the basis for our ketchup every year during tomato season.
John
May 16, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-and-drink
If you loved the tv programme... you will definitely like this book.
bookyeti
Sep 24, 2009 bookyeti rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, cookbooks
Not all of us can live the smallholding dream, but following along with Hugh's cookbooks are the next best thing. :) This guy is my hero!
Lili
Apr 26, 2012 Lili rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardback
Another lifestyle cookery book with some very good recipes.
Ellen Monrad
Sep 11, 2015 Ellen Monrad rated it liked it
Shelves: cook-and-craft
If you want a recipe for crispy pig's ears with Hugh's tartar sauce this is the cookbook for you.
Dee Marsh
Jul 11, 2008 Dee Marsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must for anyone living the smallholding dream. The recipes are good but the advice on animal husbandry and killing and preparing thereof is invaluable.
chelsea
Nov 01, 2008 chelsea rated it really liked it
Beautiful photos - seems to be heavy on the meatiness, but I think it will be a good addition to the cookbook shelf...
Dee Marsh
Jul 11, 2008 Dee Marsh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very useful as well as beautifully presented book.
André Darlington
André Darlington rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2016
Jenny
Jenny rated it it was ok
Mar 24, 2009
Irene Yim
Irene Yim rated it it was amazing
Dec 03, 2012
Andy Cattanach
Andy Cattanach rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2015
Colleen
Colleen rated it it was ok
Mar 03, 2012
Lizzy Taylor
Lizzy Taylor rated it liked it
Aug 17, 2012
Jeanne Cate
Jeanne Cate rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2014
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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a British celebrity chef, smallholder, television presenter, journalist, food writer and "real food" campaigner, known for his back-to-basics philosophy.

A talented writer, broadcaster and campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is widely known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food and has earned a huge following through his River Cott
...more
More about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall...

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