ARC Review: The New England Orchard Cookbook

The New England Orchard Cookbook by Linda Beaulieu

Published by Rowman & Littlefied

This cookbook is as good a read as it is a source for recipes.  The author traveled to many different New England orchards over a six month period and shares her experiences with each. A description is given of each orchard, it’s location, information about the owners, it’s history, and the fruits and recipes it specializes in.  Through her descriptions of these orchards, you can see how these places contribute in a positive way to their area and uphold a sense of family and community. There are lots of  interesting bits of information about orchards and their different fruits.  Examples being – the origin of the McIntosh apple was a wild tree found on the property of Mr. John McIntosh in 1811.  Also – peaches and nectarines, “are so closely related that a peach tree will occasionally bear nectarines and vice versa.” And that on these same fruits those with, “an orange-gold background color,” are the sweetest.  It also shares with the reader a list of ten rules of etiquette one should know when visiting an orchard. The back contains a full index of the orchard names, addresses, phone numbers and websites.

The main focus of the recipes are tree fruits – apples, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and quince.  But interspersed with that you will also find recipes including things like blueberries, pumpkins, and butternut squash.  I was able to test out two of the recipes to share with friends – the Apple Onion Cheese Gratin from Clarkdale Fruit Farm as well as the author’s recipe for Crockpot Apple Cider Baked Beans.  Both were well received and very good.  I have many other recipes that I plan to try over the coming months and during the holidays, such as peach blackberry crumble pie, apple butternut squash casserole, streusel spiced cider muffins, and blueberry coffee cake.

This truly is a cookbook that you can sit down and read for enjoyment because it contains so many stories of family orchards, how they came to be, and their plans for the future.  The fact that you also get so many promising recipes to try as well is simply the icing on the cake.

* I received a digital ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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