An inspiring book filled with fantastic photos from brunches around the world. Before I had children I enjoyed travelling and I used to enjoy reading Lonely Planet books and magazines for inspiration. I am also a bit of a cookbook addict, here is part of my collection (I have well over 100):
When deciding which of my cookbooks to review first on The Breakfast Page it was a very easy choice. What is not to love about a Lonely Planet Cookbook! So this is my review of Lonely Planet the world’s best brunches
- Title: the world’s best brunches
- Tagline: where to find them & how to make them
- Author: Lonely Planet (various contributors), Forward by Bill Granger
- Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd
- ISBN: 978 1 74360 746 6
- Edition: published March 2015
Coffee table book or cookbook?
Whilst I keep this book with my cookbooks and it is full of recipes, for me it is more of a coffee table book than a cookbook. This is the type of book I sit down and read or browse for inspiration. The recipes that I have followed in the book are fine but some do expect a certain level of competence.
Anyone familiar with Lonely Planet will be familiar with their stunning photography. The book has lots of photos of very different foods from around the world, these pictures really help to inspire me to try new recipes out.
There are just over 100 recipes in the book. There are classic brunch dishes such as buttermilk pancakes, English crumpets and Eggs Benedict. Alongside these classics are dishes from abroad many of which I was not familiar with such as Japchae from South Korea and Singapore Kaya Toast. There is also a drinks and condiments section including tomato ketchup, smashed avocado and bucks fizz.
There are a few dishes that could be argued they don’t belong in a book about brunch (Scones, Scotch Eggs), however what constitutes brunch is different for most people. In true Lonely Planet style the dishes come from across the globe from Australia to Brazil to Poland.
Every recipe is marked as easy, medium or complex. It is also marked if vegetarian, healthy or indulgent. There is also markers for how the dish would be eaten (cutlery, chopsticks or by hand).
Every recipe follows the same layout. There is a title and brief introduction to the dish including what country it comes from. The first page details the following:
- What is it? This includes a bit of information on what the dish actual is, very helpful for those dishes I had never heard of.
- Origin: Did you know Waffles date back to medieval times! There is some great information on where dishes originally come from.
- Tasting: This is typical travel style reviews from the authors trying out the dish.
- Finding it: Here is a tip of where to find the dish, in some cases listing a specific venue.
- Tip/ Variations/ Did you know: this is a short comment related to the recipe and is different for each one.
Personally I love reading about the origins of each dish and learning something new.
The second page is the recipe. The ingredients list is detailed and the methods in most cases are very to the point. Of the recipes I tried I would say they expect you to be a capable cook, there are full instructions but detail within those instructions is mixed. The book is clearly a compilation from different sources so as would be expected some recipes methods are more detailed than others.
Recipes I have tried from the book
I have tried quite a few recipes from this book and have had mixed results. I was surprised how well the English Crumpets turned out as I had never made these before. The Tomato Ketchup tasted lovely but was a lot of effort for ketchup. The Beer Damper turned out ok but didn’t taste the same as the ones I had tried when I was in Australia. I tried out Biscuits and Gravy, I think it turned out as it should but I don’t think sausage gravy is for me (my husband who lived in the states did enjoy it). The Acai bowl was interesting and certainty felt very healthy. The French Toast was divine.
The world’s best brunches
I think this book certainly delivers on brunches from around the world. There is such a range of dishes it would be very hard not to find something you would want to try out. As a breakfast and brunch fan I really love this book, it is one of my favourites for inspiration when I want to try something a bit different for a weekend brunch. Personally for me this is a real winner on the breakfast front and I would recommend it.
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