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Best British Cookbooks of 2012


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Best British Cookbooks 2012
Towards the end of 2012, the BMA (British Medical Association)made claims that celebrity cookbook recipes make you fat. The timing of this report was impeccable as it was right before the busiest present shopping weekend of the year, so worries that this would affect sales were flying round. Personally, I thought this news would probably have little or no impact on book sales as celebrities and their books are still the hottest cookbook ticket around.

Jamie Oliver was slammed hard in the report, but, as he once again headed up the festive book charts for the third year in a row and reported book sales during his publishing contract in the region £134m , I was sure he would not to be losing too much sleep over Christmas.

With that level of book sale revenues it seems we are just as much in love with the celebrity book as ever, but are we? My desk is constantly loaded with all the latest celeb cookbooks, but for me, most of them go unread and most are usually shipped off to the charity shop or donated to the local school without me ever opening them. In 2012 though there has been a shift in what I open, what I read and what makes it onto my book shelves. The change is not seismic but the rumblings have begun.

What makes the books I am reading and keeping different is more often they tell a story, they recount a journey or provide insight or inspiration; in other words, they are not simply a regurgitation of old recipes.

Am doubting any of these will knock the ubiquitous Jamie off his pedestal just yet (you never know) but they do see a change in what is being published and many have more of a personal touch to them, are about real people, history, events or a story. Oh, and there are lots of recipes to cook from as well.

2012 saw the publication of my third book, The Great Book of Tea. I am not including it in the list of the top ten favourites, for obvious reasons.

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