Paul Hartley has penned several brand cookbooks including the Lyles Golden Syrup Cookbook and the HP Sauce Cookbook (both reviewed on this site), Marmite Cookbook and Heinz Tomato Ketchup Cookbook. It’s probably safe to say that Paul has an eye for iconic and popular products.
Guinness – An Official Celebration of 250 Remarkable Years offers us firstly the history of “the black stuff”, “Girder”, “Liffey Water”, and it is indeed a story worth telling. Any product that has lasted two and a half centuries deserves a volume celebrating its longevity. There can surely be only a handful of brands that have endured while the world has changed so much.
Sake is synonymous with Japan, Whisky with Scotland and tea with England, but Ireland has Guinness. It’s available around the globe and is recognised even when poured. The distinctive dark brew with the clerical collar has decorated bars on every continent and has tickled the taste buds of almost every nationality.
This beer is in fact porter. No, dear reader, it doesn’t contain Port. It’s named after the men who hauled vegetables and other foodstuffs in London’s many markets. From 1799 the Guinness that we know today was the only beer brewed by the company. Its association with food might have started in Covent Garden Market and the like but it continues with recipes using Guinness, and there are 18 or so fine and traditional ones in this volume.
Steak pie with ale has been tempting diners for many a year. This has become a classic dish because it works, so it’s no surprise to find Beef and Guinness Puff Pastry Pie. Paul has added dried figs to this version which helps as a foil for the slightly bitter beer.
A must-try from Paul Hartley’s collection is Guinness Honeycomb Ice Cream. This recipe doesn’t need an ice-cream maker so there is no excuse not to make it. It’s a simple dessert using Guinness and those familiar chocolate-covered honeycomb bars. You know, the ones that are a bit crunchy.
The section in the book that charts various advertising campaigns is fascinating. We no longer consider Guinness as Good For You although that was used as a persuasive slogan for a while. The Guinness for Strength poster proved so popular that frequenters of “the local” would ask for a pint of “girder”, making reference to the iron-beam-carrying chap on the ad.
Guinness is a book full of evocative images and a story of vision. It would be a great gift for anyone who enjoys the drink, who enjoys cooking or who has an interest in advertising.
Guinness – An official celebration of 250 remarkable years
Author: Paul Hartley
Published by: Hamlyn-Octopus
Drink history and Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018