Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Review: Hugh Fearlessly Eats It All

Everyone knows I'm a teeny bit obsessed with food - I'm an obese person trapped (thankfully) in a small body. I recently got shown this cool place in Havant where you can get free books which would otherwise be sent to landfill, so you're helping out the environment by recycling as well as getting some new books free of charge. I picked this one out because it's not the kind of book I would pay money for, but it's pretty interesting and easy to dip into rather than reading in one full sitting.
This book is a collection of his best and most controversial articles over the years. Hugh's agenda is a really positive one - rather than telling people never to eat meat and making them ashamed for being animal murderers, he encourages people to enjoy good quality meat from animals who were treated well, and to cook the meat in a delicious way so as to make the most of it. A lot of his articles are slating the fast food industry for their treatment of animals and the quality and nutrition of their products, and to be honest some parts did make me reconsider my love of McNuggets (I know, I'm disgusting...)
He also talks a lot about his personal experiences with food, from raising his own animals for meat, to unusual foods he's eaten (Fugu fish in Japan, and sheep's brains for example!), and fond memories of home cooking with his family. Scattered amongst these stories are recipes so you can try some of these foods yourself. I was actually quite tempted to make the tuna and egg sandwich filling he used to eat as a student, because it actually sounds amazing...!
As we all know, Hugh can be a bit of a food snob at times, and some of his articles did some across as quite patronising and out-of-touch with what 'normal' people can feasibly afford and have time to prepare. Supermarkets may be taking over the privately-owned butchers and emulsifying the country's food into bland mass-produced crap, but most people don't have the time or money to travel further afield and shop in multiple butchers and greengrocers to get their weekly shop, especially those with families and demanding jobs.  Still, I find this with most chefs, even the supposedly down-to-earth chummy ones like Jamie Oliver seem to think everyone has a fridge bursting with fresh local ingredients and hours to spend preparing the family meal each day!
Anyway, grumbles aside, this book was entertaining and informative, and the articles were varied enough to keep my attention. There is a bit of repetition, as these pieces were obviously written years apart and for separate publications, but you could be forgiven for thinking Hugh has a bit of an obsession with sheep's brains with the number of times he mentions them in different articles! 

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