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The Kitchen Magpie


Anyone who enjoys cookery, good food or dining out will accrue over the course of many years, tidbits of knowledge. The trick is to remember them at the right time, or even to locate their whereabouts.

Finally help has come in the form of this compact yet surprisingly extensive book. It's the sort of volume you can open at random and dip into at any point. Want to know how people feast in Poland, or learn that milk thistle might help with your next hangover? Or perhaps you might like at your fingertips some arcane and eccentic facts about coffee in order to dazzle a friend next time you settle down to a cappuccino together. For instance, did you know that Frederick the Great required his coffee to be made with champagne?

It's all here: first aid measures involving the kitchen, the rites of tea-making (where does the tea-caddy come from?), the golden ratios of cocktail making, fish, eggs, truffles, cake, cheese, and the true food of love - the Kitchen Magpie has lovingly collected and collated hundreds of facts and anecdotes in this delightful book.

Whether you cook or simply love trivia, this book will become a favourite.

- Reviewed by Sally Hammond

The Kitchen Magpie, by James Steen, published by Icon Books, June 2014, hardcover, rrp $29.99.


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