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dougal

"Heston Blumenthal at Home"

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A short delay before foreign publication wouldn't be unusual.

I wonder whether they'll use the time to take out grams and insert cups for the USA 'home cook'?

I hope they don't use the 2 months until the book will be published in the US to convert it to cups etc.

If they did, they'd also have to rewrite the paragraph on 'Precision' found on page 396 ...

I'm gonna wait until I find out if they turned it into cups (they do rewrite chapters to make them fit US measurements btw) ...

The book itself says (on page 396, Precision, under Using This Book)

"The best way of giving you the chance to reproduce these recipes at home, it seems to me, is to specify precise weights, timings and temperatures. That's why weights are given only in metric and not in cups. While cups might seem like a convenient system that's appropriate for a book on home cooking, it can be quite inaccurate, particularly with irregular solids." (The emphasis is mine.)

Strikes me that a gram-free bowdlerisation of the book would be contrary to the author's clearly expressed intent, and cause enough for an immediate return for full refund.

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A short delay before foreign publication wouldn't be unusual.

I wonder whether they'll use the time to take out grams and insert cups for the USA 'home cook'?

I hope they don't use the 2 months until the book will be published in the US to convert it to cups etc.

If they did, they'd also have to rewrite the paragraph on 'Precision' found on page 396 ...

I'm gonna wait until I find out if they turned it into cups (they do rewrite chapters to make them fit US measurements btw) ...

The book itself says (on page 396, Precision, under Using This Book)

"The best way of giving you the chance to reproduce these recipes at home, it seems to me, is to specify precise weights, timings and temperatures. That's why weights are given only in metric and not in cups. While cups might seem like a convenient system that's appropriate for a book on home cooking, it can be quite inaccurate, particularly with irregular solids." (The emphasis is mine.)

Strikes me that a gram-free bowdlerisation of the book would be contrary to the author's clearly expressed intent, and cause enough for an immediate return for full refund.

If they indeed do that (removing proper weights and putting in cup/spoon measures) I will be returning my pre-ordered book to Amazon and getting one from Amazon UK instead. I seriously doubt Blumenthal would agree to completely remove the metric weights though. Possibly adding cups and spoons is reasonable but not using that instead of weight!

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From what I hear the author has little say in what the publisher decides to use, otherwise Keller's books would be with weights, and many others where I read the author complain but not being able to run up against what the publisher thinks the sheeple out in the lands want. I sure hope this one stays in gramms, but I don't mind ordering from the UK either, might also do so if it's a nicer print/binding etc, sometimes they can be quite different, all the way to hard cover (BG) vs softcover (US) etc.

If they add cups they're just opening a can of worms in regards to conversion mistakes I think.

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I just ordered from the UK I'm in NY. I'm not sure if the US version will be the same but at least I'll get the copy in a week instead of the end of November. The price with shipping was about the same too.

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Got my copy ordered now (Along with the Pieminster cookbook - slightly differing ends of the spectrum!). Was going to get the Ferran Adria family meal one too, but flicking through it in waterstones, I wasn't that taken with it.

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I just ordered from the UK I'm in NY. I'm not sure if the US version will be the same but at least I'll get the copy in a week instead of the end of November. The price with shipping was about the same too.

Funny thing is, at 50% off, even with delivery charges from the UK it comes out a tiny bit cheaper than Amazon for me (I'm in TX). So, I just did the same thing and ordered from UK and cancelled my Amazon order. I guess I should've ordered it a while back along with Macaron which I got this week...

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My wife is gonna be slightly unhappy when I tell her I just pre-ordered this book and Ferran Adria's new book... But honey, I bought this so I can make you wonderful dinners!

Edit to add... The Amazon.co.uk price is $35.25 with shipping. I was wondering if the UK version has metric or imperial measurements. Any other differences that will be differences I should be aware of?

That never works, but it is worth trying.


Edited by DanM (log)

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Edit to add... The Amazon.co.uk price is $35.25 with shipping. I was wondering if the UK version has metric or imperial measurements. Any other differences that will be differences I should be aware of?

Metric where things are given by mass/weight (spices are measured in teaspoons, asparagus, shallots etc. are simply counted)

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My copy landed this afternoon. As I type this the mushroom soup (p. 58) is ticking away on the stove. Looking forward to it.

EDIT

The soup is nice. Well worth the (minimal) effort required.


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

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Just ordered mine for £15 and on the topic of cups versus weight measurements here is an interesting post from MC

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I received the book today by airmail from the UK. Here are my thoughts based on my initial flip through...

It is a very cook book, but I think it hits the mark. Most of the books that I have that are for "home cooking" have simpler dishes that can be made with relative ease on a weekday with readily available ingredients. Unfortunately, Chef Blumenthal's book has a ton of challenging recipes using uncommon ingredients and advanced techniques using equipment not found in many homes. The book is better suited for special occasions, influence, and ideas. If you cook from this book every day, you will probably be broke, fat, and possibly divorced due to the time away from the better half spent on this book.

I think this book will sit next to Morimoto as a another beautiful book that is impractical for regular use.

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I received the book today by airmail from the UK. Here are my thoughts based on my initial flip through...

It is a very cook book, but I think it hits the mark. Most of the books that I have that are for "home cooking" have simpler dishes that can be made with relative ease on a weekday with readily available ingredients. Unfortunately, Chef Blumenthal's book has a ton of challenging recipes using uncommon ingredients and advanced techniques using equipment not found in many homes. The book is better suited for special occasions, influence, and ideas. If you cook from this book every day, you will probably be broke, fat, and possibly divorced due to the time away from the better half spent on this book.

I think this book will sit next to Morimoto as a another beautiful book that is impractical for regular use.

I don't think that the book is for the daily use during the week but even there are a fewrecipes. On the other side most of the recipes are notthat complex that you can't do them easily on a weekend day -it's a very practical book.

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I received the book today by airmail from the UK. Here are my thoughts based on my initial flip through...

It is a very cook book, but I think it hits the mark. Most of the books that I have that are for "home cooking" have simpler dishes that can be made with relative ease on a weekday with readily available ingredients. Unfortunately, Chef Blumenthal's book has a ton of challenging recipes using uncommon ingredients and advanced techniques using equipment not found in many homes. The book is better suited for special occasions, influence, and ideas. If you cook from this book every day, you will probably be broke, fat, and possibly divorced due to the time away from the better half spent on this book.

I think this book will sit next to Morimoto as a another beautiful book that is impractical for regular use.

Hmmm. I have most of Heston's Books (Fat Duck, Heston's Feasts, both In Search of Perfection books). I was considering passing on this one until I read the above. Now I may have to have it after all.

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If you cook from this book every day, you will probably be broke, fat, and possibly divorced due to the time away from the better half spent on this book.

Sold!! Like a previous poster, I was going to take a pass (I have lots of home cooking books and enough experience to wing it if necessary) but this definitely sells it. I'm fond of the intro to The French Laundry, where they say it isn't 5 star cooking for the home cook, it is 5 star cooking.

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Got my book today from amazon UK and have to say it's by far the best book Ive gotten since modernist cuisine arrived, and I buy a lot of cookbooks. Like the above posters, I prefer books with somewhat complicated recipes. I read cookbooks to learn new techniques and flavor combinations so I dont care for the "easy recipes for the home cook" books much at all. Highly recommend this book to people who get joy from spending hours in the kitchen to churn out a meal and view cooking as a labor of love.

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This book is now a steal at £13.50 at Amazon.co.uk!

However, I've just spent 20 times that ice cream maker, pretty much so I can try making the Red cabbage gazpacho and pommery grain mustard ice cream, which one of my favorites at The Fat Duck.

Book = cheap

kit for book = expensive!

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Now that I have spent a few days and several hours digging deep into this book, I must say that my initial impression was wrong. This is an intimidating looking book at the surface, but is a bit more forgiving when you dive in. Chef Blumenthal does a great job in each chapter explaining how to cook the various dishes. More importantly, he explains why things happen when you cook. He goes into detail of what emulsions and foams are, how to create them, and how to use them. He also pushes the envelope a bit by challenging home cooks to try new techniques that they may not be comfortable with, like smoking, sous vide (this is a stretch, who has $500-700 laying around for a sous vide setup?), and making ice cream with dried ice (safer than liquid nitro I guess).

But as I said before, there are a ton of recipes that are not feasible for everyday cooking, like the crab lasagna and the fish pie. But there are enough simpler recipes to make the book useful on a regular basis. That being said, I will probably get more use out of Ferran Adria's Family Meal than this book.

A couple of nitpicks... Chef Blumenthal... learn to smile a bit. You look too serious in every picture in this book. It gives the impression that you cannot have fun while cooking your food. I would like to have seen vegetarian mains, not just sides in this book. But even he admits that veg are far too often overlooked in British cuisine.

One last thing, if you have an issue with alcohol, this may not be the book for you. He uses a fair amount of sherry, vermouth, wine, etc, in this book. This will cause problems at my side with a pregnant wife.

Good book, with a few issues.

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Hi Dan, as long as the alcohol is cooked off it should cause no problems with your wife's pregnancy. Enjoy :)

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Has anyone been able to determine what changes have been made to the US edition considering units or anything else? The prices are now equivalent, when considering shipping to the US.

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I have compared the US edition of The Fat Duck Cookbook with the UK edition and didn't see any changes; Bloomsbury as publisher is doing a good job. I was recently very disappointed in Phaidon which in preparing a US edition from the UK original stripped the recent Adria, Family Meal, of metric measurements and in many cases made huge errors in converting! I had to get the UK edition as a replacement. I am wondering if the US edition of Heston at Home has any of the same problems.


Edited by inductioncook (log)

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Has anyone been able to determine what changes have been made to the US edition considering units or anything else? The prices are now equivalent, when considering shipping to the US.

I have the uk version and just quickly glanced at the us version in Barnes and Noble this evening. It was just a quick glance but measurements were still metric and temps were still in centigrade, so it would appear they didn't change anything from that perspective.

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Thanks so much. The publisher has now sent me a note confirming that there were no changes for the US edition. Yay Bloomsbury!!


Edited by inductioncook (log)

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I hope that the recipes do not involve any hard-to-find ingredients such as Liquid Nitrogen, Activa or Carageenans. I can cope with agar-agar but I am not going to order a dewar of LN2 any time soon.

Some of his dishes, such as the Eggs and Bacon Ice Cream, are prepared in the restaurant using liquid nitrogen, but the recipes in the book substitute the more readily available dry ice. I made his Whiskey Ice Cream yesterday, using LN2, and it was absolutely the best ice cream I've ever eaten.

Activa and other hydrocolloids may not yet be grocery store staples, but they are widely available on the Internet, and increasingly in smaller, more useful sizes for the home cook. But a quick skim through the index of the new book only shows agar-agar and soy lecithin -- not even any Xanthan Gum, which I find surprising.

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