There are some products that evoke memories. Dr. Pepper root beer reminds me of my friend Carolyn in the US, HP Sauce reminds me of my husband and Hoola Hoops remind me of our boy Peter. Golden Syrup reminds me of treacle tart while watching Sunday Night at the London Palladium (I was very young!) It’s tooth-achingly sweet comfort food.
The author, Paul Hartley, has a wealth of experience in the food industry. He has run a European-style café-bar in London and an award-winning country pub in Somerset. He is a major contributor to Breakfastandbrunch.com.
The Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cookbook is a stylish volume full of iconic graphics and recipes, both traditional and modern. The cover is emblazoned with tins of syrup and those tins represent one of the most recognised brands around. In 2007 Guinness World Records recognised Lyle’s Golden Syrup as having the world’s oldest packaging for a brand. The company has been around since 1883 so I guess that says it’s a popular product. This is one of the British staples that can be found in food stores from Toulouse to Timbuktu. The locals might not know what to do with it, but the tins always decorate the shelves so nicely.
I have already mentioned treacle tart. It’s a classic and this book wouldn’t be credible without a good recipe. Syrup Sponge Pudding is another family favourite. Note that the name of the syrup is not specified because it was only ever made with Lyle’s Syrup. This is rib-sticking winter gooeyness. Rich Parkin is a Victorian cake that remains a favourite in Yorkshire tea rooms to this very day. Great with a nice cup of tea.
That’s got the nostalgia out of the way, so on to some new ideas that take a tin of Lyle’s to new heights and probably help to give it a broader appeal. How about Mango and Ginger Chutney. Might not be authentically Indian but good all the same. Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lemon is a marvellous combination. Chicken and garlic always work well together and lemon will take the edge off the distinct sweetness of the syrup.
The Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cookbook is charming, well written and thoroughly entertaining. The recipes are all that you would hope but with a few contemporary additions. I, once again, look forward to Sunday night teatime.
The Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cookbook
Author: Paul Hartley
Published by: Absolute Press
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018