by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby William Morrow, 2018 Review by Christian Perring on Jan 8th 2019
BOSH! is a vegan cookbook which avoids using the word "vegan" in its title or indeed anywhere on its cover, front or back. It is from the UK, and is written by the people behind Bosh.tv, an vegan cooking website and YouTube channel that also does not highlight the vegan word. The book has a heft to it at 288 pages, nearly half of which are attractive photos of the food. It is healthy and multicultural, with a Creamy Carbonara pasta dish, a Mushroom Pho Vietnamese soup, Burrito Samosas, a Falafel Bowl, Tom Yum Soop, Peri Peri Hasselback Potatoes, Maki Sushi Rolls, and Big Bad Nachos, for example.
Some of these do sound like those vegan recipes that you never want to try. The Big Bad Nachos come with a suggestion of Cashew Cheese, which obviously isn't going to melt in the way that most fans of nachos have come to expect. But to be fair, it is their own Garlic & Herb Cashew Cheese, which is made with cashews, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon, parsley and chives, blended together. So long as you are not expecting anything like cheese, it is going to be delicious.
Watching some of the videos on their Youtube channel, their UK-ness stands out, not just in their banter but in some of their ingredients. A nice recipe for cauliflower Tikka Masala calls for passata, which I hadn't ever heard of before, and isn't even available at WholeFoods. It turns out to be a kind of tomato sauce commonly available in the UK. But it seems that the recipes in the BOSH! book are carefully selected to avoid such parochialism. Of course, you will need a well-stocked supermarket or you may need go take a trip to your Asian food market or a more specialized health food store for some ingredients. I think the only "dairy-free" butter my local supermarket sells is margarine, and I'd have to go somewhere else to find a more appealing version.
What's striking about this book is that the recipes are straightforward and the recipes don't look overly fussy, yet the meals looks really colorful and are tasty. There are deserts and cocktails too. For anyone who wants to cook plant-based meals, BOSH! Is an extremely attractive guide.