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Book Review: Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook: From Direwolf Ale to Auroch Stew by Alan Kistler

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King Robert Baratheon said “Killing things clears my head.” Well, no one can kill on an empty stomach, so author Alan Kistler offers The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook. Readers can get practical instructions on more than 150 food and drink recipes over 256 pages in this recommended hardcover cookbook.

Readers who have read the entire A Song of Ice and Fire book series, written by George R. R. Martin, will understand the terms, characters, and references better.

Each recipe lists a recipe overview as well as the book, book chapter and character. The “Word of Wisdom” hints can provide help for novices while experienced cooks can customize and tweek as they wish. No recipe titles here because they would spoil some great references and entertaining writing.

The six cookbook chapters are organized in meals throughout the day:

  1. Breakfast (16 total)
  2. Appetizers and Snacks (22)
  3. Sides and Bread (20)
  4. Soups, Stews and Salads (28),
  5. Main Courses (38)
  6. Desserts, Drinks, and “Poisonous” Cocktails (30)

The recipe descriptions do not spoil any plots in the book series – a nice consideration. This cookbook has a full index plus two appendices including recipes by region. Readers can enjoy more than a dozen recipes for wines, ales, and other brews (the ale is especially fun to make). The brewing process appendix offers basic knowledge while experienced brewers can crank out the spirits.

This cookbook has no pictures, but readers can be challenged because they have no preconceived ideas before becoming king of their own cooking castles (beating the official version to release most likely prevented any picture inclusions).

These medieval recipes predictably contain many basic food like bread, eggs, sausage, bacon, nuts, vegetables, soup, salad, meat and fish. The recipes are very hearty and some even include bugs. Recipes include no nutritional information. Kistler presents each recipe with consideration and thought beyond simply slapping a character or location on each one.

The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook, published by Adams Media, is recommended and is priced at $19.99 ($20.99 Canadian) though it is currently priced lower at many stores. The second season of Game of Thrones is currently airing Sunday nights on HBO at 10 p.m. EST.

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