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3.8 out of 5 stars
A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories
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105 of 119 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 16, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Please, ignore the people who have never actually looked at this book, except maybe a picture of the cover, have no idea what it is about and just wish to drag the ratings down.
Yes, amazingly, meat comes from animals. I eat meat. Get over it.

This is a very nice cookbook. Because this book is so much more than the cover. Or a pig.
It is a delightful book, full of yes, great recipes in a whole range of categories but even more than that as well. First of all, it has some of the most beautiful photographs of food that I have ever seen in a cookbook, by David Loftus. And some delightful illustrations by Sun Young Park, climbing up the sides of pages, introducing each chapter...so cute.

There is also a very entertaining introduction that tell a bit about Bloomfield's story and tells us her take on any number of ingredients and equipment. We also find out a good deal about Bloomfield from about a dozen little essay sprinkled throughout the book, telling fun stories about growing up in England, her family, how she became a chef (she really wanted to be a cop but missed the exam date), her early career, what makes a good pub, how to make a good cup of tea. And happily, every recipe starts with the chef giving a nice introduction to the dish, what she loves about it, how she came to make it, tips and hints and opinions. This is a very personal cookbook, one in which Bloomfield, who is a quite funny, quite likeable person, just jumps out on every page.
I am not one to sit down and read cookbooks, but for this one I made an exception.
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143 of 168 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I am surprised that many reviewers find this cover so offensive. It isn't bloody, or even gratuitous. The pig is in repose, obviously dead, even stamped by the USDA. Ms. Bloomfield is holding the pig, gently, carefully, and with respect, in the same manner that any hunter or cook would carry food before preparing it. It IS a dead pig, however, but it is also a representation of sustenance and a depiction of the reality of an omnivorous lifestyle, a lifestyle practiced by most of this lovely planet - it all boils down to taste, protein, vitamins and feeding the body what it requires. If you dislike the photo, by all means, don't buy the book - but please don't disparage a well-written, heartfelt book because you choose to eat differently.

Would it be a better cover if the pig was replaced with a salmon, a lamb, a side of beef, a naked paralegal, or a garland of fresh herbs? I don't think so. She's a chef, folks, a chef who cooks meat. She carries her wares, her attitude and the tools of her trade with confidence and care. She's also written a fine, fine book - a personal book, with loving portraits of her family, and many fine recipes. What more could you ask of a cookbook? A better cover? Oh heavens, please, we've been blessed with books with bad covers since Moby Dick! Relax - the Dollar Store sells book covers, buy one - otherwise review books you have an interest in. "A Girl and Her Pig" deserves your attention for what's between the pages.
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72 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
April Bloomfield's first book is beautifully written, gorgeously illustrated with mouthwateringly stunning food photography to boot. Judge a book by it's cover and you might think this book will be full of controversial recipes aimed hardcore foodies, which could not be further from the truth. Personally I love the front of this book; it is honest, unashamedly real and does not disturb me one bit. As a now-meat eater AND ex-vegan/ vegetarian (of 12 years) I like to know where my meat comes from. My bacon/ sausages/ ham hock-shock horror- all come from a pig! Wow. Who knew.
The important part, the recipes, are winners. From the humble porridge recipe (which has changed the way I do breakfast) to April's fabulous pie, I am in love with them all. And yes, there is a section using slightly less common cuts of meat, which STILL manages to be appealing. How can anyone be offended by this? If you are happy to eat a pigs belly why not calves liver? And if you are vegetarian, there are gorgeous non-meat recipes in the book too. And if that is still too much then I'm sure there are some wonderful vegetarian books out there for you.
So far I have worked through a handful of recipes and am very much enjoying April's writing at the same time. I've got my sights set on at least another 30 recipes and expect to have a busy summer... Easily the most beautiful and exciting cookbook of the year.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Coming from an individual who raises all natural/humanely raised pigs I say cheers to Chef Bloomfield. She know how to cook a pig. I find it offensive when an individual goes to a mega grocery store - picks out a Styrofoamed lean and boneless loin of pork - goes home an cooks the crap out of it. To all the hypocrites who refuse to eat the liver, ears, trotters, and blood of the pig yet criticize her for holding a pig gently like a young lamb I say shame on you. The majority of the world has enough respect to honor the life given than turn their nose to less desirable cuts of meat. Go after the mega farms that raise animals unnaturally. If you are going to eat meat do your best to support small farms with heritage breeds that are raised in pasture with apples to eat in the fall, trimming from the garden, trees to scratch on, and treated with animal cookies . Lets be rid of mega farms with deep lobby money that dictate the way we eat. April is doing more to elevate our perceptions on the way we consume. Let us encourage chefs that treat their products with respect and source their ingredients from responsible farmers.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book was worth the price alone for the Sticky Chicken Stock. I just made my best Italian style turnip soup ever using this stock as a base. This stock will be a staple in my kitchen from here on out, and I'm looking forward to discovering yet more new favorites within this volume.

The photographs are pleasing, as is April Bloomfield's writing. If you savor food, this is a great cookbook for you.
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47 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
First of all if you are from PETA or are overly concerned with applying the rights of man to animals this is not the book for you. There is no need to vote the book down because you find the cover "disgusting". Looks delicious to me. Carnivores (omnivores really) don't rate vegan cookbooks one star for being sissy. Mind your business.

That said April Bloomfield is an amazing chef. I have not had the honor to eat her food directly but I've dined at her NYC establishments and was throughly impressed. When I saw this book in the book store I knew I had to have it.

My impulse buy did not disappoint. While the recipes are somewhat intimidating I now feel inspired to cook. My girlfriend has read it and she feels the same way. We're going to try to tackle the recipes one weekend at a time.

We started easy and the grilled cheese came out great. This is a great book with a quality feel and a fascinating approach to food. Go buy it. If your a vegetarian divert your eyes this isn't for you.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A great cookbook and an interesting insight to the world of a very individual chef. I loved the cover - it displays a healthy attitude to depicting where our food comes from, i.e. dead animals not a plastic supermarket wrapper, and invites us to consider how we are going to use every part. Bravo!
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I can hardly contain my enthusiasm for "A Girl and Her Pig." So much so that I am writing my first Amazon review. April's book is wonderful, thoughtful and honest. Her approach to cooking is simple and her food delicious. The day I received my copy, I made the roast veggies, they were really, really good. April did not do this book alone, a big shout out to the writer JJ Goode and the illustrator Sun Young Park, they should all be proud.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It has become completely obvious to me that not a single person who gave this book one star has read the book. They are literally "judging a book by it's cover", and didn't we all learn about doing that when we were five years old?!?!?!

April Bloomfield is an AMAZING chef and a great talent. The world is blessed to have her both cooking and sharing her recipes with us. And if you knew a single thing about her, or god forbid, ACTUALLY READ ANY OF THIS BOOK, you'd understand how respectful she is of the animals we eat, and how she's a champion of the types of farms that are the antithesis of the ones the animal rights movement rails against. Chef Bloomfield is a role model to many, and her book is amazing. Anyone with a basic curiosity of food should own this book.
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28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
First, I admit that I have not bought, nor read, this book. Then why the 5-star review? Well, in looking at the other reviews it has become clear that the 3.5 star rating this book has is not due to people trying the recipes and finding them wanting, rather it's due to the huge number of vegans who have taken issue with a book that features a dead pig on the cover and features recipes containing meat.

To me, this is so intellectually dishonest as to be offensive. It would never cross my mind to give a vegan cookbook a 1-star review because it didn't have any recipes featuring meat or dairy. My review would be on the merits of what the author set out to accomplish vs. what they managed to achieve.

I get it. You don't eat meat and you don't think other people should eat meat, either. If that's the case I'm sure you can find a ton of books making the case for a vegan lifestyle and give them all 5-star reviews. But to try and bring the average rating of a book down for no other reason than that it shows people how to do something that you don't think they should be doing is really unfair to the author and to potential buyers who might make the mistake of seeing the 3.5 star average and assume it's related in any way to the quality of the book.

At any rate, here's 5-stars for the author in the hopes that it might help balance out the 1-star reviews.
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