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Time Out reviews the freshest books for carnivores and seafood lovers

River Cottage Handbook No.5: Edible Seashore

John Wright, Bloomsbury, £14.99

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The sheer number of these River Cottage-branded books might suggest they are being churned out, yet they’re all surprisingly good. This volume is particularly notable because it’s small enough to use as a field guide, is easy to use and is engagingly written. We used it on a trip to Norfolk to gather foraged plants we’d not tried before, including alexanders.

The necessary caveats are all still there – for example, hemlock (fatally poisonous) is easily mistaken for other umbellifers, including alexanders. With the help of the book, we lived to tell the tale. The many pages on collecting mussels, razor clams, crabs and the like are also eminently practical, and types of net are discussed along with the rules and ethics of foraging.

The recipes at the end seem a little superfluous, but they're accompanied by suitably luscious photography. A perfect, and beautiful, book for beginners or intermediate-level shore-foragers.

Guy Dimond, Time Out London Issue 2023: May 28-June 3 2009

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