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Celtic Folklore Cooking Paperback – 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Sabbats, festivals, and informal gatherings all have something in common--food. But choosing the right food for the occasion can be difficult. Celtic Folklore Cooking takes the guesswork out of planning a feast, with plenty of sumptuous ideas for an entire meal, from soup to dessert and even drinks to accompany your food. (Consider baked trout for Beltaine or Lammas cookies for Lughnasadh.) Joanne Asala gathers generations-old recipes from Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, and England, associates them with appropriate festivals and times of the year, then sprinkles a dash of folklore between them. Perhaps you would like to learn the 400-year-old "Song of Harvest Home" while making Marigold Buns. Celtic Folklore Cooking is like having centuries of Celtic tradition in your kitchen, and it will help you find just the right flavor for your festivities. --Brian Patterson

From the Publisher

Many people today are following Celtic traditions as part of their spiritual paths. But the foods eaten by the ancient Celts have been little known--until now.

In Celtic Folklore Cooking author Joanne Asala reveals recipes she has gathered from journeying to the British Isles. She found the best traditional cooks in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall who center their menus today around the same simple foods that have fed the Celtic people for generations: fresh meats and fish, nutty grains, wild fruits, rich dairy cream and butter, and home-grown vegetables. More than 200 of their recipes are included in Celtic Folklore Cooking. But there's more!

Through the generations, the foods of the Celts have inspired a rich crop of proverbs, legends, and songs. Celtic Folklore Cooking combines the recipes with their folklore, resulting in a book that is valuable to Wiccans, chefs, and people interested in ancient traditions and folklore.

This book is as charming as a whitewashed cottage and cozy as tea and scones by the fire. Celtic Folklore Cooking will draw you into the culture, folkways, and character of the Celts, who have always lived close to the land and the changing of the seasons. This delightful book with fill your mind with joy and your stomach with tasty food. Get a copy today.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; 1st edition (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567180442
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567180442
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.9 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Absolutely wonderful. I love this book, and everything I have tried out of it has been a smashing success. If you are born again, or object to Pagan references I recommend you look elsewhere, the food is good, but there are pagan references and history of culture that you will not apreciate. For everyone else, understand, this book is full (and I do mean FULL) of recipes from our (Celtic) forfathers, and some from our contemporaries. Mincemeat Parcels with whipped cream, Michaelmas Goose with Sage and Onion Stuffing (delectable), Homemade Irish Cream, Eggnog (nummy), Poacher's Pie, Irish Stew (2 Variations), Venison Soup, Venison Roast, Saffron Cakes, Faerie Cakes, Herbed Honey and Herbed Butter, recipes for making Heather Wine and Dandilion Wine, Spiced Whiskey and non-alcoholic homemade eggnog, Scones and more!
Baked Onions, Cockle and Mussel Stew, Dublin Lawyer (Lobster), Baked Salmon, Roast Pheasant, Duck in Spiced Oranges, Whiskey Fried Steak, Welsh Bubble and Squeak and sooooo much more!!
And sandwiched in between it all, folk stories and history. I LOVE this book!! I can't help but highly recommend it. Enjoy!!
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Format: Paperback
I'll say right off the bat that this will be a book you'll either love or hate. There isn't another cookbook quite like it, so it's really hard to make comparisons. I personally think its terrific, and my coven has used it on a number of occasions. We've had good luck with the citrus curd, crescent moon rolls, soda bread, tea brack, and baked trout among others. Yum! Asala has taken on the gargantuan task of suggesting traditional Celtic dishes for the festivals of the wheel of the year: Beltane, Samhain, Yule, etc. Some of these dishes do stem from the earliest days of recorded history, others are obviously more recent in origin, so a purist may find it inappropriate to call this a "pagan" cookbook. Still, all religions, even reconstructionist neo-paganism, are fluid in nature and are constantly changing. What's important is the "now." You may still observe the "old" holidays by using "modern" Irish recipes. The recommendations are Asala's own, and I feel they have a lot of merit. She has also managed to distill a lot of other information into one convenient format. The proverbs and songs, especially, can be found in a dozen different collections. But I think she has presented them in a new way by placing them with recipes that they enhance. For example, if one of the recipes has "milk" as the main ingredient, she has linked it with a proverb about cows or milking or added a bit of folklore about cows. So I consider this book as a good jumping off point into celtic mythology and culinary history. If you want to learn just about the foods, find a book that is strictly a cookbook. If you want to learn more about folk sayings, check out an old proverb collection or poetry book like Carmina Gadelica.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I agree with the other reviews, and there is not much I can add but I had to vote on it regardless.
I am allergic to yeast I was delighted to discover a book with bread recipes that do not contain yeast, I have since learnt that, in the past, nobody used yeast in bread, it is actually an inferior mass-production method to use yeast to make bread rise.
After buying the book, I was astounded to see so many wonderful references to Celtic heritage. It was wonderful.
The reason I did not give it 5 stars is because I believe some full colour photos of the meals would be nice ... although, at the same time, might detract from the wonderful country feel of the book.
I would say this is a very good present for anyone remotely interested in anything Celtic + cooking, it has a wonderful feel to it, warm, enchanting, entertaining you can actually browse through the little tidbits.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Celtic Folklore Cooking' by culinary writer and folklorist, JoAnne Asala of Chicago is truly unique among the 500 some cookbooks I have reviewed over the last two and a half years. The only books that come close to it in combining spiritual and culinary worlds are the books on Jewish Holiday cooking. In some ways, Ms. Asala's book deals with things which are less alive today than the very active world of Judaism, since virtually no one except wannabe witches or druids make the lore in this book a part of their everyday life. But, that glib summary of our Celtic heritage today ignores two strong influences where Celtic lore still works on our psyches from behind centuries of misty influence.

The first and more subtle influence is the effect of Celtic lore on the placing of our Christian holidays. Practically every single Christian and Secular holiday, including Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Carnavale / Marti Gras, Lent, and Advent can be traced to the mapping of Christian doctrine onto the pre-existing Celtic agricultural calendar. One can almost feel the palpable shadow of great Stonehenge, that early instrument for tracking that calendar, weighing on our imagination on Spring, Midsummer, Autumn, and Midwinter celebrations. While it is quite beyond the scope of this book and this review, one can wonder how the Celts in the damp north influenced the Greek and Roman based early Christianity, but it obviously did, in no small way.

The second great influence is more obvious today than it may have been for over a century.
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