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Customer Review

30 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute "must" for any Harry Potter fan who loves to cook!, October 14, 2010
This review is from: The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards (Unofficial Cookbook) (Hardcover)
All you wannabe wizards and witches out there, listen up: Use your wand and point to this book in the bookstore and say, "Accio!" (The summoning spell), because you'll want this on your bookshelf in your kitchen.

This is a bewitching brew of a book, a collection of recipes by Dinah Bucholz whom I suspect has worked behind the scenes at the Hogwarts kitchen. The publisher has wisely published this as a hardback, and gone to great lengths to give it an aged look--the paper simulates parchment printing, and the sidebars are comprised of parchment scrolls. The hardback book also lays flat, which is essential: don't you hate it when recipe books flop shut?

Throughout the book, where specific dishes have been mentioned in the Harry Potter novels, Dinah explains the connection; for instance, in a recipe for Vol-au-Vents: "Mrs. Weasley is really an amazing cook. To prepare all the food for her son's wedding, especially such elegant, classy savories as vol-au-vents, is just simply, well, impressive, to say the least (see HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Chapter 6.)"

Vol-au-Vents are puff pastry, in case you didn't know.

What makes the recipes themselves fun is that the sidebars tell the story behind the recipe: its historical basis, and some fun facts.

Dinah clearly knows her way around a kitchen and can ladle it out--150 recipes that cover everything from breakfast foods to after-dinner deserts, a mouthwatering selection of food that will leave you hungering for more. (The book is 239 pages.)

If you are a cook or know anyone who is a cook and wants to try some traditional English dishes specifically mentioned in the seven Harry Potter novels, this book is a "must" buy.

I suspect it'll find its way on Muggles' kitchen shelves worldwide, and over time their copies will be splashed upon with ingredients; it will be well-thumbed, and dog-eared, until it's worn out from use--at which time one should buy a replacement copy.

I wish the publisher's budget had included an 8 to 16-page section of color photos, but the publisher had to draw the line somewhere as to costs. (Maybe they'll eventually relent if we all send our owls with letters saying we want color photos.)

Even without the omission of photos, this is a first-rate cookbook, sure to please even the most finicky diner.

Note: I did contribute an introduction to this book because I thought so highly of it.

George Beahm, author of MUGGLES AND MAGIC, and FACT, FICTION & FOLKLORE IN HARRY POTTER'S WORLD.
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