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From the Hardcover edition.
“Few cookbooks focus solely on edible flowers, and those that do often devote more pages to gardening and foraging than cooking. This gorgeous niche filler offers plenty of recipes, most notably visually striking desserts and unique “basics”.”—Library Journal
“I'm head over heels for this book, and I'm excited to have it in my proverbial pocket as we head into spring and summer months with all their flowery opportunities.”—Emma Christensen, TheKitchn.com
Posted April 29, 2013
Miche Bacher of the famed Mali B Sweets brings us this gorgeous, wonderfully written cookbook on the culinary usage of flowers. There are dozens of flowers mentioned in this collection, including ones I encounter regularly such as dandelions, geraniums, herbs, and roses, as well as a few I hadn't even heard of prior to reading Cooking with Flowers, such as nasturtiums, hollyhocks, and elderflowers.
Each flower has it's own "chapter," making finding recipes you want as easy as ever. I also love how each section has a brief background history of the flower, as well as its culinary uses, flavors, seasonality, preparation instructions, and proper units of measure.
Now, my expectations of this book were a little different—I thought at first that it would show me how to actually use flowers as food, such as flower soups, casseroles, sautées, etc., but for the most part, they are not an integral part of the recipes in which they are featured. The majority of the recipes only use flowers as decor; otherwise, they can be easily replaced by a non-flower ingredient (e.g. the various flower jellies that are pretty much regular jellies but use flowers instead of fruits). I'm not disappointed, though! This was an unexpected, and rather aesthetically pleasing new experience.
My only reservation is how there are no step-by-step pictures. Maybe it's because I'm an awfully visual person, but the long chunks of text made it difficult for me to follow the steps for some of the recipes I tried out. Other than that, this book is a must for the natural food lover, and for gift-giving!
Pros: Magnificent photographs // Impressive number of diverse, colorful recipes // Sturdy, refreshing matte-cover hardbound book—great for the kitchen and the coffee table! // Beautiful graphics and text // Organized by flower, with so many to discover and try
Cons: No step-by-step pictures // Recipes aren't groundbreaking in uses for flowers; most of them use flowers as edible decoration, for seasoning, or for pigment
Verdict: Cooking with Flowers isn't terribly inventive in its recipes—for the most part, flowers have superfluous roles, serving as cake/cookie/bread toppings or just as flavoring, akin to the function of herbs—but that doesn't make Miche Bacher's new cookbook any less enjoyable. I love the stunning photographs and the organization of the types of flowers used. Do pick this one up when you get the chance; it's definitely a keeper!
8 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): An engaging read; highly recommended.
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!).