Book Review – The Pumpkin Cookbook, 2nd Edition by DeeDee Stovel.

2 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Storey Publishing for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Okay, as you can guess by the score that I wasn’t such a fan of ‘The Pumpkin Cookbook, 2nd Edition’ as I had hoped to be. I mean, I wouldn’t have requested it to review if I hadn’t thought it looked interesting. And please, don’t get me wrong, I can see this being just the right sort of pumpkin cook book for certain readers and cooks. I feel I am just the wrong person and that is probably due to the fact I cook and eat pumpkin near daily as it’s not a novelty item here in Australia, like it is in the USA and Canada. So, please realise the flaw causing my low score and less than glowing review comes from me the reader not being suited to the book, rather than ‘The Pumpkin Cookbook, 2nd Edition’ being a bad book. It’s not, honest. It has a lot of potential – for the right audience… which wasn’t me.

Though I will also add, before getting into the positives, that I was actually surprised this was a Storey Publishing book as it doesn’t seem to have the usual sparkle they give their work. I mean, the layout was perfection as usual – simple, easy to follow recipes, well laid out formatting and all in all easy to read. What images there were, however, didn’t seem to have the usual Storey Publishing ‘glow’ to them. Oh, and although it doesn’t affect my way of cooking, some modern cooks may not like this book that much as their isn’t a glossy image to go with each and every recipe. Me? I don’t need it so not affected. People more used to the hand held, step by step, must have a picture to compare their work with it reader… they won’t be as happy with ‘The Pumpkin Cookbook, 2nd Edition’ – sorry.

As for the recipes themselves… well, there were some really good ones, some really interesting ones and ones I just wouldn’t try. I am putting it mostly down to the cultural thing again, as in pumpkin isn’t a novelty ingredient here in Australia, it’s a staple. I also found there were just too many recipes that used pre-mades. Things like cereal, pretzels and – the most mind boggling one to me – canned pumpkin. Wasn’t this book all about learning to cook with fresh pumpkin? Again, I am blaming my cultural background on the canned pumpkin thing as I don’t even know if you can BUY canned pumpkin here… it’s fresh or nothing I think.

And, despite there being some attempts to use healthier ingredients, there was still too much refined sugar and the like for my wholefood, unrefined heart.

But I will say the dedication to making such a wide variety of interesting and different recipes where pumpkin was the key ingredient was impressive. Weird thing is the sweets section interested me more than the savoury. As, here, pumpkin is used in both sweet and savoury dishes, but more so in savoury ones.All in all it looked to be a very interesting book that would help the adventurous try using pumpkin in ways they may not have done so in the past. But, again, I feel I must emphasise that I wasn’t the best reader for this book as I am simply in the wrong country. Storey Publishing is USA based and cater to the USA market – which is why the recipes are always only ever in imperial measurements. They were decent enough to allow me an ARC, but I simply wasn’t the best person to review it. Fault all mine.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Possibly. I mean, if any of my friends in the USA or Canada who wanted to do more with pumpkin all year round in all sorts of dishes – then yes. This is a book they should check out. People here in Australia or even over in the UK? No, not one I would recommend. Not the fault of the book – it is perfect for the market it is aimed at.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Yeah, we all know the answer to this, right? This is a great book, a perfect way to allow those in the USA to explore how to use delicious and versatile pumpkin in more meals… but not a book for me. Australia’s see and use pumpkin a lot differently, and that is something I have learned from this book and will remember next time I go looking at pumpkin cook books. 😉

In summary – a cook book that truly allows those who see pumpkin as a novelty ingredient explore other options.

Until next time,

Janis.

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