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Bought, Borrowed, Stolen Hardcover – October 5, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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100 Million Years of Food by Stephen Le
"100 Million Years of Food" by Stephen Le
A fascinating tour through the evolution of the human diet, and how we can improve our health by understanding our complicated history with food. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Allegra McEvedy founded, with partners Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, Leon, the award-winning, healthy, fast-food restaurant chain, which currently has eight London restaurants, with more planned for 2008. Leon was voted "Best New Restaurant" by judges Rick Stein, Gordon Ramsay, Nigel Slater, Heston Blumenthal and Jay Rayner in the 2005 Observer food awards. In 2008 Allegra was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Conran (October 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840915773
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840915778
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,216,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There are numerous cookbooks published every week so for any author of this genre it must be a real challenge as to how to stand out from the crowd. However, Allegra McEvedy does manage to find a different approach with this book which is part travelogue, part a description of her collection of knives, and, of course, the recipes.

The format of the book is that the author takes us to 19 different locations which she has visited and which are quite far flung and include, for example, Burma, Japan and the Norwegian Arctic Circle. For each country we start off with a page or two about the author's personal experience of that place and a fact file containing information about the population, geography etc and some information about the cuisine. This is followed by a couple of pages on the knife or knives she has acquired there, one page of which is a picture, and the next a description of how she acquired it, how it was made, its use etc. Then we have the recipes, normally between 5 and 8 per country.

I have some reservations about how useful this is as a cookbook in that the recipes are not, in general, ones which you look at and really want to try out. We are quite adventurous in our culinary tastes, so it is really not a question of ethnic dishes not appealing to us, or that many required ingredients were not readily obtainable as by and large they were not that obscure although there are some which may be a challenge to acquire. I think the main issue is that although there were beautiful full page pictures of the final dishes, many did not really appeal very much to our personal tastes.

This is, however, a well produced book with thick pages and is much thicker than you would expect for 340 pages odd as befits a book which will be handled a lot if you do use the recipes regularly. It is unlikely to join the small group of recipe books which we use on a regular basis though.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My dad is a passionate cook and loves to learn about not only the foods eaten around the world but also the tools used to cook them. This book seemed perfect for him and he hasn't put it down since I gave it to him. This book is the perfect gift for anyone who loves food.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very impressive looking tome. It is has quirky photographs of the dishes and montages of the country/travel photos visited and is also a travel type of journal. So this is not just your typical type of cook book.

The journal/explanations of the authors travels and how she found the recipes within each of the countries is very interesting. There is no order to the book. It jumps from a country such as Burma to the city of San Francisco then to Brazil and starts with Turkey going then to New York. This can be a bit disconcerting and if the travel bits are being read like a book, it appears to be disjointed.

The recipes themselves are not ones I would rush out and make myself. The reason for this is threefold, they either require ingredients that I and my family do not like, or ingredients that are difficult to get, or finally they are complex and time consuming to make but each recipe is well illustrated and described.

This cook book is a great travel based book, giving a little flavour of each country visited. The recipes are quirky and different but can be time consuming ad complex to make. Many people will find them interesting and quite unique. I suppose given time and maybe the need to prepare a dinner party that required this quirkiness I would attempt some of the dishes, but I feel this is not a book that can be used on a daily basis to cook family meals that everyone would enjoy.

Interesting, but not practical in many cases as a cook book.
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Format: Hardcover
Bought the book on a whim because it is so beautifully done. Love good tools, therefore hugely enjoyed the stories about the knives. Loved the travelogue and foodie bits. As for the recipes: Being an impatient cook, I want things to work out and quickly. I have no patience for incomplete recipes or recipes that do not explain why an ingredient is there and what it does for the whole. Also I want to have an option to minimize shopping and cooking time. I tried out about 15 of the recipes and all met my requirements. The whole family liked them although most dishes are not what we typically cook. I was glad to find several recipes to enrich our breakfast menu. Part of the fun: being taken on a cooking tour around the world....not a basic cookbook, not a comprehensive ethnic cookbook but stuff to incorporate into tried - tested - liked - repeated. Definitely need more knives.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This cookbook is a unique one in that Allegra McEverdy talks about food and recipes of different countries she has traveled to. She also talks about her collection of knives from the same countries. The recipes give approximate timing which is helpful if you don't have a long time. The recipes offer a great variety. I read this cookbook cover to cover.
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