The Harrowsmith Fish and Seafood Cookbook


235 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-920656-38-2




Edited by Pamela Cross and Alice Pitt
Reviewed by Gwen Zilm

Gwen Zilm was Technical Services Librarian, Okanagan College, Kelowna, British Columbia.


The Harrowsmith Fish and Seafood Cookbook, compiled from the private recipe collections of the editors, readers, contributors and staff of Harrowsmith, meets a long-standing need for a comprehensive guide to the cooking of fish and seafood available in Canada. The fourfold increase in per capita consumption of fish and seafood, which has taken place in Canada since 1980, virtually guarantees a market for this title.

Reading (and using) this book reminds one of a nineteenth-century book on cooking and household management, which attempts to tell you everything about each subject. Here we are provided with 47 pages of black-and-white illustrations of fish and shellfish, a 12-page introduction to buying and storing fish, and basic techniques in cooking fish and shellfish. A “how-to” chapter of photographs demonstrates techniques for peeling and deveining shrimp, opening an oyster, removing meat from lobster, filleting fish, boning a trout, and preparing squid. A final chapter on sauces appropriate to fish and shellfish leads me to wonder what more I need to know?

As in other Harrowsmith cookbooks, recipes range from the traditional to the highly innovative, from the quick and easy to prepare to the elaborate. The range is truly international: Chinese shrimp dumplings (sui muy), pissaldiere niçoise, gravlax, and scallop seviche keep company in the chapter, “Appetizers.” Early chapters focus on soups and stews, salads and sandwiches, quiches and pies; while later chapters concentrate on cooking techniques, stovetop baking and stuffing, and casseroles.

All recipes have been tested by Harrowsmith and each contributor is acknowledged. Just reading the names and locations shows that this cookbook is a truly collaborative project!

Measurements are given only in imperial units. The index is extensive, organized in terms of major ingredients. Color photographs throughout text add interest and appeal.

Editors Pamela Cross and Alice Pitt are to be commended.



“The Harrowsmith Fish and Seafood Cookbook,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024,