Seashore (River Cottage Handbook No. 5)
by John Wright
Not just a cookery book: you have to go down to the shore and catch or collect the food yourself. The 240 page hardback book (with an index) is exceptionally well produced in quality of the binding, paper as well as the quality of writing, information and clear useful colour photographs. It is well organised into nine chapters:
Starting Out: Conservation and Equipment, including the first paper published instructions on how to construct a shrimp net (push-net).
Foraging: Lots of useful and essential information about the tides, weather, safety and what to wear.
Rule Book: This is the bravest inclusion. John Wright attempts (better than anyone so far) to explain the rules, law and ethics of seashore collection, what you are allowed and not allowed to do. It is worth buying the book for this chapter alone.
All the expected species and some unlikely edible candidates are included and each is given two pages. Very informative and lots of information I did not already know. John Wright conducted his research first hand and we shrimped together on Southwick Beach with Peter Talbot-Elsden (as shown in my photograph, not in the book).
The Recipes: Well I would omit the chilli in the Potted Shrimp. After collecting the food, I am usually a wee bit tired and this chapter should be for your partner. Let me know how you get on?
The home-made shrimp net on page 17 is an identical design to mine, the one used by John Wright before he made his own on our expeditions at Southwick, and the one used by Charlie Dimmick on River Walks filmed on nearby Lancing beach.
Conclusion: Highly recommended, essential purchase ***** (highest five star rating).