Sugared Orange: Recipes and Stories from a Winter in Poland by Beata Zatorska and Simon Target – Review

The sequel to the award winning culinary memoir “Rose Petal Jam ” and as its predecessor, sumptuous in its design, this could be seen initially as one of those ‘Gastro Porn’ books destined only for the coffee or bedside table to be read in greedy furtive spurts and never to be cooked from.Β Sugared Orange continues Beatas touching story of a childhood in rural Poland, with 50 new recipes and treats, plus a winter journey that takes in the cities of Lublin, Warsaw, KrakΓ³w and Γ³d, as well as some of the oldest forest in Europe and the frozen Mazury Lakes.

However the recipes beg to be made. Like much of Mittel to Northern European cookery, the flavours, techniques and ingredients are warm, comforting and designed to keep the body and soul working. From St. Nicholas’ Day to the vigil of Christmas Eve and the mid-winter revelry of a Sylwester New Year’s Eve Ball, the major festivals and timetable of Christian Human life is set out alongside the more everyday task of feeding a family in a memoir format that tells me so much about a country, relatively unfamiliar.

My favourite recipes? Gingerbread cake made with chocolate; dark, dark chocolate and honey. Ebony deep, sticky and Wintery this is grown up Gingerbread. Usefully another pleasing meal can be made in the main from leftovers and is not costly- Beef Rissoles with chili and breadcrumbs: the chili cuts across any tendency to denseness.

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