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The Berry Bible: With 175 Recipes Using Cultivated and Wild, Fresh and Frozen Berries Paperback – June 22, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: Tom Douglas Reviews The Berry Bible

Tom Douglas is an American chef, restaurateur, and writer. He is well known for helping to define Northwest cuisine and igniting the Seattle restaurant scene, winning the James Beard Award for Best Northwest Chef in 1994. Since 1989, Tom has opened five of Seattle's most popular restaurants: Dahlia Lounge, the Greek-inspired Lola, Serious Pie pizzeria, Palace Kitchen, and Pike Place Market's iconic seafood restaurant, Etta's. He also owns Dahlia Bakery, famous for its Triple Coconut Cream Pie.

Tom is the author of Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen, named Best American Cookbook by the James Beard Foundation, Tom's Big Dinners, and I Love Crab Cakes! He bested Masaharu Morimoto in an episode of Iron Chef America and was named 2008 Bon Appetit Restaurateur of the Year. Read his exclusive guest review of Janie Hibler's The Berry Bible:

Washington State is berry country. Every summer for a brief but glorious window of time, my Seattle restaurant kitchens overflow with berry abundance--first the sweet local strawberries, then blueberries, red and golden raspberries, boysenberries, blackberries, and finally, the wild huckleberries we buy from foragers, treasured in the restaurants for syrups, jams, and sauces. Berries are the sweet source of many purple-stained memories, like picking wild blackberries with my daughter, Loretta, when she was a kid, and slamming out hundreds of summer berry crisps after hours in the Palace Kitchen one year for the Bite of Seattle.

That’s why I’m delighted by this AmazonEncore edition of Janie Hibler’s Northwest classic, The Berry Bible. A bible it is indeed--every berry under the sun is included here, from cloudberries and currants to cape gooseberries and salmonberries. Read up on the history, habitat, and health benefits of each berry before diving into the recipes where berries are used in every course, from soups and entrées to drinks and desserts... even barbecue sauce.

Janie has studded the book with berry-relevant stories, anecdotes, and folklore. You can pick up some fabulous facts along the way. Did you know it takes 80 pounds of raspberries to make one 375 ml bottle of Framboise?

My wife Jackie and I like to put up a batch or two of my Mom’s easy freezer strawberry jam (right on the back of the pectin box!), but I think Janie’s excellent chapter on berry jams, jellies, pickles, and preserves will extend our repertoire this summer.

Now I’m going to head out to the deck with a Strawberry Mojito in one hand and my Berry Bible in the other to solve the big question--which dessert recipe to try first? I’m leaning towards Peak of the Season Blueberry Pie, but The Perfect Strawberry Shortcake sounds mighty fine. --Tom Douglas

Recipe Excerpts from The Berry Bible

Delicious, good for us, but underrepresented on our tables, berries are one of nature's greatest gifts. Amending our lack of berry-smarts, Janie Hibler's The Berry Bible presents a definitive guide, with over 200 recipes using cultivated, wild, fresh, and frozen berries--from well-known types such as blueberries and raspberries (and their related varieties), to lesser known kinds, like the cloudberry and manzanita, and apple-like fruit enjoyed traditionally by Native Americans. The recipes cover a wide range of easily produced dishes, such as Morning Glory Muffins with Blackberries and Pork Tenderloin Salad with Warm Strawberry Dressing, and also include formulas for smoothies, cocktails, condiments like chutney, and homemade berry liqueurs such as Madame Rose Blan'’s Crème de Cassis. What makes the book a particularly valuable kitchen resource, however, is Hibler's A to Z berry encyclopedia, a section that, in addition to providing nomenclature, history, habitat, and classification information, also offers picking, buying, storing, and cooking advice. Accompanying the descriptions are pages of color photos that further aid in berry identification, a gift to those who like to gather their own. --Arthur Boehm (from the Hardcover edition)

From Publishers Weekly

From the essential raspberry to the uncommon jostaberry, Food & Wine and Gourmet contributor Hibler sings the praises of the bountiful berry, many varieties of which are indigenous to North America. Without getting too scientific, Hibler explores the history of the berry, how and where it is cultivated and the differences between each variety. She highlights berries' versatility and adaptability, making references to each fruit's cooking capacity as well as its health benefits. Divided into two main sections, the book serves foremost as an encyclopedia of buffaloberries, salmonberries, strawberries and everything in between, listing common names, storage information and other particulars. The second half is an eclectic collection of recipes for beverages, salads, game, pies and more. Forget strawberry jam and cranberry sauce-Hibler offers a refreshing look at a fruit often relegated to pancakes and syrups. Adventurous chefs will be inspired to jump-start their next party with Strawberry Mojitos, followed by Mango-Raspberry Soup and Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Blueberry Port. For dessert, they may want to go out on a limb with Almond Gooseberry Cream Pie, or just play it safe with Peak-of-the-Season Blueberry Pie. Incorporating the berry into both sweet and savory dishes is what Hibler seems to do best, and her recipes are straightforward and well-explained. 8-page full-color photo insert not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935597124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935597124
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #742,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is specifically about the Kindle version of this book. I have never been so disappointed in any book, and I was really looking forward to this - I love berries!

There aren't ANY photos other than the cover! Not a single one. The "A-to-Z Encyclopedia" without photos is barely helpful. Sure, there is good information, yet I was expecting to be able to identify berries, especially since the description says it is "vibrantly illustrated"... not a one. None.

There isn't an index. To find a berry through the "A-to-Z Berry Encyclopedia" you must go page by page. To find a recipe, you must go to the contents and then the section, and go page by page. Useless in an encyclopedia, useless in a cookbook. I haven't bothered checking to see if the recipes are interesting, they would be too much of an annoyance to find.

For the first time, ever, I am returning a Kindle book. I have an embarrassing number of ebooks, including numerous ebook cookbooks, and love them for the photos and ease of use. Had this been the first ebook I purchased, I'm not sure I would have risked a second one. Perhaps the print version of this book is worthwhile, but I'm not taking the chance.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love eating berries and cooking with them so I was pleased to add another berry-centric cookbook to my collection. Unfortunately, the book is not the encyclopedic reference that it is portrayed to be. Many of us who grew up with a prized set of encyclopedias enjoyed (and learned from) the illustrated maps and photos.

There is not a single photo in the entire book. The chapter entitled, "The A- To - Z Berry Encyclopedia" describes more than 30 types of berries and would have really benefited from a photo of each one to help readers identify them in the store and in the field.*

The format is not user friendly. Recipes are listed one after another so that many, if not most, are on two pages (rather than beginning each recipe on a new page). I find it much easier to use recipes when the ingredients and instructions are on one page so I don't have to flip back and forth (especially when I have flour or berry juice on my hands). The author bolded the ingredients and yield rather than the title for each recipe so it is more difficult than it should be to find a specific recipe (especially since there is no index). At least one recipe (Summer Water) is presented in an essay format (rather than with a list of ingredients followed by the instructions).

If you are mainly interested in facts on berries, this book could be a good choice. The information on berries in the Berry Encyclopedia chapter is very thorough. For each of the 30+ types of berries, the author provides the common name, scientific classification, habitat and distribution, history, where it is grown commercially, how to pick it, how to store it, and notes for the cook.

If you are primarily interested in berry recipes, I have a few alternate suggestions from my cookbook collection.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
NOTE - This review applies specifically to the Kindle version of The Berry Bible: With 175 Recipes Using Cultivated and Wild, Fresh and Frozen Berries. I have not seen the print version.

The Berry Bible: With 175 Recipes Using Cultivated and Wild, Fresh and Frozen Berries is one of those books that has sat on my Wish List for months. Then one day recently Amazon had the Kindle version of the book on offer for an extremely reasonable price at the same time that I had a bit of spare change in the "buying books on Amazon" fund. I find myself deeply disappointed.

Author Janie Hibler seems to have picked, put up and cooked with every kind of berry in existence in the Northern Hemisphere. She devotes a large section of the book to a listing of each of them in a chapter called "The A-TO-Z Berry Encyclopedia." For each of the berries she gives common names, information about the scientific classification, its habitat and distribution, a bit of history, details about where the berry is commercially grown, how to pick them, where to buy them, how to store them and even provides cook's notes. What she did NOT do is provide an illustration for each of these berries, something that would render the book far more useful to the cook and forager.

There are, according to the book description on the product page, 175 recipes included in
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thirty-five years ago `The Berry Bible' by Janie Hibler may have attracted a place in a relatively small market of hippies, vegetarians, and Pacific Northwest berry boosters. Today, I suspect the book will and should attract a lot more attention with the discovery and publicizing of the health benefits of all berries, specifically cranberries and blueberries.
Even though I easily qualify as a `cookbook collector', I have never given much thought to what constitutes a good book for a cookbook collection, as my primary objective in acquiring cookbooks is to review them. But, this book easily qualifies as a paradigm for an excellent member of a cookbook collection. The two most interesting types of volumes in cookbook collections, I think, would be books on specific regions such as Provence, Tuscany, Mexico, and The Philippines and books on specific ingredients such as potatoes, duck, salmon, and eggs.
So, once we start collecting books on ingredients, what should they include? The most obvious answer is recipes. For these, a book on berries has much more to offer than a book on eggs or potatoes since, aside from the relatively small variations between starchy and waxy potatoes, there is not much to tell about how to make the best use of different varieties. There is also not much room to capitalize on recipes that can serve many purposes by being a stage for a wide variety of color, species, and cultivar of product. A good berry recipe can give you recipes for muffin, scone, tart, coulis, or smoothie for blackberries, raspberries, and mulberries in one fell swoop.
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