Book Review: The Practical Encyclopaedia of Fish and
By Kate Whiteman
RRP $24.99 | ISBN 978 184476 6130| Soft back
First Published November 2008
in case you are wondering, don't be put
off by the price being in dollars - the weights
and measures in the book are in imperial and metric.
having a very large cook book
collection, many of which include fish
recipes, I really wanted a single book
which covered everything to do with fish
and shellfish, including
information about individual fish and
seafood plus other general information.
I happened across
this book on Amazon and as it wasn't
that expensive, given the description and
the word "encyclopaedia", I decided to
buy it blind. I am so glad I did.
Not only does it
have over 100 recipes but it also has
sections on buying, preparing and
cooking fish, identification of
fresh fish, smoked and salted fish,
tinned and pickled fish, shellfish and
brief introduction, there are a few pages
covering equipment - from basic scissors
to fish smokers - all of
which have accompanying photos and full descriptions.
Next comes a comprehensive
section about buying, preparing and
cooking fish and shellfish. Just about
everything you will ever need to know. Once again
there are numerous accompanying photos which are really
helpful to clarify processes such as preparing whole crab or
lobster and filleting or skinning fish, especially for the
less experienced cook.
The next section is entitled "A
catalogue of fish and shellfish" and in the intro it states
"This chapter is designed to help you identify the fish
and shellfish you may find on the fishmonger's slab and give
you an indication of how it can be cooked". It
does a lot more than that, with each specimen featured
having information about the family it belongs to, habitat,
other names, buying, cooking and alternatives.
The chapter is divided into several
sections to enable the reader to find what they are looking
for easily namely, sea fish, freshwater fish, dried and
salted fish, pickled fish, canned fish, smoked fish, fish
sauces and pastes, crustaceans, gastropods, molluscs and
other edible sea creatures - most with a full colour
picture. As well as covering the more common
fish/shellfish, it also features items which readers may
never have heard of or seen such as sea squirt.