Sunday, January 23, 2022

Adding Class To Cooking: The Downton Abbey Cookbook

I’ll be honest. I have never watched an episode of Downton Abbey. It just seemed a bit too stuffy for me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a fan of the aesthetic. In fact, I have a low-key obsession with historical cooking as well as learning about the way that dinners were served back in the day. 

When I saw The Downton Abbey Cookbook, I was intrigued. It looked elegant, and I’m a fan of elegance. I leafed through it and decided to bite the bullet. Here’s the scoop about what fans and non-fans can expect. 

For The Fans Of Both TV And History

For what it’s worth, I was really impressed with the way they brought Downton Abbey to life. Unlike a lot of fan cookbooks, they don’t just add cheesy trivia about the book. (Don’t get me wrong, they still have quotes and photos, too!)

As much as I get the love of the show, what really impressed me was the historic lean this entire book had. They really bring in a very strong historical bent to the setting of the show, explaining everything from the way things were done to the origins of food trends. 

As a food historian, this was AH-MAZING! I literally sat back in bed and read the cookbook out of sheer intellectual joy. If you’re like me and love to know what elites ate back in the day, you need this book. 

Eye Candy For All

As a food critic and a cookbook critic, I am all for people getting good photos of food. Visuals matter, and that’s one reason I absolutely enjoy this cookbook. It adds gorgeous photos of both the food and the feasts on set. 

I swear, the cookbook’s photos might be what finally push me to watch an episode or two of the show. They really do bring Victorian and Edwardian glamour to life. If you want to see what a recipe looks like when it’s done, Downton Abbey knows how to do it. Not all recipes are pictured, but there are still enough to whet your appetite.

Deliciously Historic

So, I’m not going to lie. As a historic food-eater, I can tell you that a lot of the recipes I’ve eaten from the days of yore are not good. The ones in this book, on the other hand, were tasty. I personally recommend the Sardine Salad and the Yorkshire Puddings. 

With that said, you really can’t go wrong with this book. Even the sandwich combinations they offer for tea time are tasty. If you want to give your friends a real tea party, this is the go-to book you need to have. 

Fans of genuine British fare are going to adore Downton Abbey. The recipes are generally simple, but they can be a bit much for inexperienced cooks. If you are not sure or feel a little squicky about it, you might want to leaf through the book before you make a decision. 

My Verdict

Downton Abbey’s official cookbook is one of the best buys for a fan of the show—or at least, that’s what it looks like to me. What I can say with far more certainty is that you will love the recipes, the history, and the amazingly beautiful layout this book has. 

If British cuisine is your thing, you’re going to adore living it up with this cookbook. My rating is 10/10 — a true masterpiece of modernly historic cookery!

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a food critic, writer, and at home culinary enthusiast!

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