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If there is a more beautiful and practical book out this season, I have yet to see it.

In case you have missed seeing this word before, 'locavore' has been coined to describe people who love to eat locally, choosing to eat food grown or raised or bottled or stirred almost within eyesight of their tables. As Amy Willesee says "quite literally, it means to devour a place".

I devoured this book.

Amy Willesee and Katie Rivers are justly proud of the beautiful part of NSW known as 'the Shoalhaven', and it shows. In this book they have set out in words and pictures to celebrate the region and the people who make it such a rich and sumptuous place to live in or visit.

Written in a friendly, chatty style, the reader is taken into the workplaces and pastures and orchards of the many local people who are doing magnificent things with food.

So you get to meet people like:

* Bruno Morabito, with his Italian heritage brought to this country to coax olives and vegetables and other luscious produce out of the Australian soil

* Carole Ruta and Ian Gray's South Coast Providore's conserves and preserves, made the French way and 85 percent of them using local produce.

* Kirsten McHugh and her Witch's Kitchen green tea, grown and dried at Foxground.

* And so many more.. producing oysters, fish, free-range pork, tomatoes, chestnuts citrus, garlic, and occasionally recipes to try.

This mouth-watering ramble along the NSW south coast and the lush hinterland will have you reaching for the car keys before you've turned the last page. That's OK. Take the book with you and use it as a reference as you enjoy a progressive degustation and meet-the-locals trip.

Locavore - a Foodies Journey though the Shoalhaven, Amy Willesee and Katie Rivers, November 2010, paperback, ISBN: 9780646534268, rrp $35.


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