Weirdology's Reviews > The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-Wizards Alike

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz
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's review
Aug 20, 11

bookshelves: cookbooks
Read from August 13 to 19, 2011

As a Harry Potter fanatic, I had to check out this book. But as a health freak, I'm a little afraid of it. I don't usually cook or eat most of the type of foods in here, so maybe I'm wrong, but I think a lot of these recipes contain pointless and unhealthy ingredients. With the desserts, I can understand there being butter and sugar, but I've made a few desserts before and I don't remember adding nearly as much as these recipes call for. Even in a lot of the "healthy" recipes there's usually butter, sugar or salt added. Like one recipe instructs you to slather butter over perfectly good fish for no reason at all! I know you could just leave that step out, but still. Eww. I'm wondering if all this butter and sugar is a British thing or the authors preference. The few foreign dishes, like the French foods or the Hungarian Goulash, are healthier. So I'm guessing it's the former.

I've found a few recipes that I'm willing to try. A couple of them will only take minor adjustments to make healthier, like switching the butter for olive oil when frying the sausage in the Herbed and Spiced Fried Sausage Patties recipe. The other recipes that I'm going to try are the Fried Tomatoes, Bouillabaisse, Beef stew with Herb Dumplings, and the Pumpkin Pasties. I can't make the Pumpkin Pasties any healthier since it's a dessert and there's just no avoiding it, but they're one of the few foods that had me curious when reading Harry Potter. I've been craving these things since I first read about them at age 11! And I'm lucky since this recipe doesn't use as much butter and sugar as the other desserts.

I was disappointed in the pumpkin juice recipe. It was just a mixture of pumpkin and other juices, like apple juice. Although I know this is probably what it would really be like, or perhaps just pumpkin juice by itself, I was hoping for something different. Someone who's been to that Harry Potter theme park, or whatever it is, said they had some pumpkin juice and it was spicy. Not spicy hot. Just more like it had spices blended in. I think I'm going to look online for a recipe like that.

I was also disappointed in the cauldron cakes. They're just pancakes. I imagined them to be cupcakes shaped like cauldrons. lol. Oh well.

The mincemeat pie had no meat in it. And also way too much butter and sugar. I think I'll look up an alternative recipe for this as well.

Something that annoyed me was that something as simple as eggs and bacon were in here. Though I know the author is just trying to be thorough and include every single food that's in the Harry Potter books. But it was getting redundant and ridiculous when an eggs and bacon recipe showed up again... and again. First it was fried eggs and bacon, then scrambled eggs and bacon, then a third and fourth recipe for eggs and bacon separately. What?

Even though I don't really like the recipes, I learned a little from this book. With some of these foods, I thought they were exclusive to Harry Potter, like something Rowling made up. They sounded exotic and weird, like something you would make from potions ingredients. Turns out a lot of it is traditional British food. I enjoyed the little side notes. They were usually about the history of the food, British culture, and British or European people of the past. Even Nero the Roman emperor! Apparently he used to eat a mixture of snow, honey and fruit?

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