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Irish Traditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland's Heritage Hardcover – March 16, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Darina Allen's beautiful and unpretentious vision of cooking is connected to the land, its seasons, and to the artisan producers. I find this book important and irresistible." -- Alice Waters, Chez Panisse

"One of the reasons Irish cooking is starting to become a serious topic is in large part to Allen, whose advocacy of traditions and slow food has made her Ireland’s answer to Alice Waters." -- Huffington Post

"Ms. Allen’s stature as an educator and activist is on a par with that of Ms. (Alice) Waters, Julia Child and Jamie Oliver, all chefs whose ideas expanded far beyond the kitchen." -- The New York Times

"Allen is the most enthusiastic ambassador of the greatness of Irish food..." -- Gourmet.com

Darina Allen, founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School in East Cork, Ireland, has written a good number of wonderful cookbooks. And now she's just revised and updated her classic "Irish Traditional Cooking," written 20 years ago when she was just beginning her career as teacher, author, TV cook -- and, interestingly, founder of the first farmers' markets in Ireland.About 15 years go, she writes in her introduction, she realized that "with the passing of one more generation, a whole culinary tradition, with all its fascinating regional variations, was in imminent danger of being lost. That was the starting point for this book. Writing it has been a labor of salvage as well as love." She explains that "while traditional Irish cooking stems, in the main, from simple farmers, it also embraces the more sophisticated food served in the grand houses of the Anglo-Irish gentry."I haven't had a chance to cook from the book yet, but I've picked out some recipes to try: Irish nettle soup for the nettles coming up in the garden after the rains, poached salmon with Irish butter sauce, Ballymaloe Irish stew, roast rib of beef with batter pudding, horseradish sauce and gravy, bacon and cabbage, and a recipe for steak and kidney pie that dates from 1907. There's a recipe for funeral ham -- i.e., cold ham to be served at the wake. I like the sound of potato and caraway seed cakes, too, and Irish apple cake. And of course, I'm going to try her recipe for Irish soda bread. (S. Irene Virbila Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2013)

From the Publisher

Imbued with a passion to preserve the traditions of Irish cooking, Darina Allen has journeyed all over Ireland, researching and recording different recipes and regional dishes. From County Cork where she learnt from Joan Twomey how to cook apple cake in a bastible on an open fire, to Ballyheigue in County Kerry, where she collected bairneachs (limpets) off the rocks to make the traditional Good Friday Soup, to Granny Toye's vivid descriptionof how to make the Boxty pancakes of her youth, Irish Traditional Cooking is a rich record of Ireland's wealth of culinary history. Ireland's strong tradition of farming, home baking, simple good food was based on what was readily available, with broths and soups, fish, game, and potato dishes all an essential part of traditional Irish cooking. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kyle Books (March 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190686876X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906868765
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.2 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Irish Traditional Cooking' by leading Irish cooking school owner, Darina Allen is the fourth Irish-centric book I have reviewed and the second which warrants attention as a sound source for genuine Irish recipes. The other worthy book on this subject is `the Irish Heritage Cookbook' by Irish-American high school teacher and culinary writer, Margaret M. Johnson. Of the two, Allen's book is the more scholarly in that it endeavors to give a relatively complete and authoritative view of the cuisine of all Ireland. While Ms. Johnson's book is very good, it is a much more personal view of both Irish and `Irish-American' cooking.

One area covered by Ms. Allen which are not covered by Ms. Johnson is the native Irish pantry with items such as homemade sausage, homemade vinegar, homemade marmalade, and the like.

It's interesting that the two books take very similar approaches to Irish cooking. Unlike the classic Italian cookbook, neither proceeds by course, but primarily by principle raw ingredient. And, unlike Ms. Allen's great `ballymaloe cooking school cookbook', this book is totally Irish.

Ms. Allen's chapter subjects are Broths & Soups, Eggs, Fish, Game, Poultry, Lamb, Beef, Pork, Offal, Potatoes, Vegetables, Food from the Wild, Desserts, Pancakes, Breads, Oatmeal & Other Grains, Cakes & Biscuits, and The Irish Pantry. In addition to all the recipes, and there are certainly a goodly number for the price, there is an excellent historical foreword by Irish culinary historian, Regina Sexton. There are also numerous heading sections on groups of recipes such as nettles, herrings, eels, and many others.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Attention: "The Complete Book of Irish Country Cooking" and "Irish Traditional Cooking" are the same book, under different titles. DO NOT BUY BOTH. As for the book itself, it is more comprehensive than any of the books by Margaret M. Johnson (e.g., "The Irish Heritage Cookbook" and "The Irish Spirit") but less detailed. In other words, Ms. Allen includes more recipes but the instructions in each recipe are not as thorough. Given a choice, I would choose one of Ms. Johnson's books over Ms. Allen's. Ms. Johnson's recipes are more appealing as well, and more accessible. I might eat a bowl of nettle soup if it were presented to me but I would not seek it out or look for nettles to make it. Ms. Allen's book contains many recipes for things like Nettle Soup that most people will never make. Ms. Johnson's books include one mouth-watering recipe after another, each of which makes me want to run to the grocery store for the ingredients.
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Format: Paperback
I first checked this cookbook out from the library. I was so impressed I just had to buy it. Page 8 shows Darina Allen with Lana Pringle in a traditional Irish kitchen making Barm Brack. That image took me back to the days of my childhood and the many wonderful memories of summer days spent visiting family in Ireland. Darina Allen does a wonderful job of implementing a heartfelt dose of Irish history into the book. As for the recipes, for the most part they are simple to make, yet tastefully superb!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This cookbook is not only wonderfully written and composed (it's well organized, includes little historical bits, and even some very old, original recipes) but it's also very user friendly (the recipe instructions are easy to follow and anyone who knows their way around a kitchen will have no trouble). More importantly, the food is exactly like what I had in my travels around Ireland, and what I so desperatly wanted to eat again upon returning home.
A great book, I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
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Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this cookbook and cannot wait to try many of the recipes. It has a lot of history before each section as well as descriptions before many of the recipes to tell where the recipe came from and how it fits into Irish tradition. It had the overall effect of making me feel as if I'd traveled to Ireland and visited the kitchens of chefs and housewives alike.

The only disappointment was that at least one of the recipes I would like to try is written with antiquated measurements (ie. use two stones of flour).

Still, I would highly recommend it to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
I received this cookbook as a Christmas Gift and have used it several times. Everything I've made so far has been wonderful. The recipes are easy to follow and delicious. There are wonderful pictures and interesting tid bits through out. A great cook book for experts and novices. A wide variety of food and dishes.
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It's great! Recently went to Ireland, and the recipes match the food I had there. Recipes are easy to do and to make! Love it.
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This book is a great source of recipes and history of Irish food. Most of the recipes are authentic simple and without too much embellishment, cooked as I remember from growing up in Ireland. Of course there are regional variations but Darina Allen covers the best parts in this great publication. Anyone who is interested in cooking REAL IRISH FOOD and not just the wildly incorrect 'Corned Beef & Cabbage' that is seen as the traditional fare here in the U.S.A. on St Patrick's day needs this book in their kitchen. By the way, I had never tasted the said corned beef and cabbage until I moved to the U.S. and have no desire to do so again!!! If you have an interest in your Irish heritage and want to do it properly, then get this book and you will have a true representation of what traditionally was cooked in an Irish kitchen.
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