There’s nothing quite like a decently brewed cup of tea. Us Brits love nothing better. According to the UK Tea & Infusions Association, the United Kingdom is the second largest consumer of tea, just behind the Republic of Ireland. On average, 80% of the population consume tea everyday. With 165 million cups being drunk daily. In contrast to 70 million cups of coffee.
Now some of the tea drinking purists among you may be shuddering at the mere suggestion of using tea as a cooking ingredient, but with so many different varieties readily available, it’s not surprising that some of them could be used to enhance a dish. After all, we already use coffee and cocoa in our baking and desserts!? You never know, it may even get you using some varieties of tea you wouldn’t normally drink. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Lapsang as its smoky aroma is a little too strong for my palate, but I’m intrigued by the idea of using it in savoury dishes.
I’m not a milk drinker, so I tend to go for teas with a more subtle but not an overpowering flavour, like green tea and rooibos, and I’m not averse to throwing another flavour into the mix. Green tea with Earl Grey is lovely. I’ve also drunk green tea as a smoothie ingredient before now, so seeing the Ginger-Mango Green Tea Smoothie recipe in the book immediately grabbed my attention. It’s not full of weird and whacky taste combinations, it’s a well thought out collection of recipes.
The recipes are easy to follow and lend themselves to certain minor adjustments. So if you’re allergic to dairy/lactose, just replace the milk or dairy products with your usual alternatives. Although, I would suggest using unsweetened versions for the recipes containing sugar as it could make your food/drink a little too sweet. If you’re UK based, you’ll notice references to Kosher salt in some of the recipes. This is a product you can get here. It’s definitely available online and I’m pretty sure some of the larger supermarkets stock it in their speciality sections. If you can’t get it then an alternative might be Himalayan Rock Salt or Maldon Sea Salt!?! I’m going to give both a go to see which works best, so watch this space for an update…
I think what most appeals to me about this book is that it encourages you to experiment with something we all have readily available, and perhaps don’t make enough of. It’s more than just a drink it’s a new set of flavours to be explored. The recipes I’m really looking forward to trying are the White Bean Walnut Spread, Swedish Mushroom ‘Meatballs’, and Chocolate Earl Grey Custard with Kumquats, as I don’t think anyone would ever dream they contained tea.
Book Info: Annelies Zijderveld | Andrew McMeel Publishing | 9 April 2015 | 126 pages (HB)