Berries Beautiful!: An All Seasons Cookbook for Lovers of Strawberries and Raspberries


110 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-919845-27-4





Reviewed by Gwen Zilm

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


Berries Beautiful is the recipe book for those fortunate souls with a year-round abundance of strawberries and raspberries and the desire to prepare and serve them in ways traditional and innovative. Carol Olson, a home economist, has compiled and tested this extensive collection of recipes, which ranges from beverages, soups, and breads to desserts and sauces. Planning a five-course menu featuring berries in each course is no problem here: begin with Strawberry Daiquiris, followed by Fruit Soup, Fresh Fruit and Yogurt Salad, Harvest Muffins, Crepes with Berry Filling, and Meringue Delights.

The book itself is designed to be useful. Spiral binding allows the book to lie flat. Ingredients are highlighted in each recipe and are given in both standard and metric measures. As an “All Seasons Cookbook” it includes many recipes using frozen berries or jam.

The index would be more useful if terminology such as “pan desserts” and “luncheon dishes” were avoided and if salads did not have three separated headings — jellied salads, fresh fruit salads, and frozen salads. Also, I question how popular or useful recipes for Berry Wheat Germ Beverage, Sweet Strawberry Pizza, or Strawberries and Pretzels will be.

Visually, this book has some appeal. Small line drawings are attractive, and the four-color photographs provide mouthwatering detail. The printing done in red ink is distracting and unpleasant to the eye.

The emphasis in Berries Beautiful is on providing an extensive collection of useful recipes. The book does contain a large number of recipes, but less attention has been paid to the written explanation in each recipe. For example, the preparation of an elaborate strawberry meringue and whipped cream creation that appears on the front cover is described in two paragraphs.

The varied recipes included here rely primarily on natural and fresh ingredients and “from scratch” baking, but a few use prepackaged ingredients such as cake mixes, processed cheese, Jell-O and/or marshmallows.

At $8.95, Berries Beautiful! is reasonably priced.


Olson, Carol Kutzli, “Berries Beautiful!: An All Seasons Cookbook for Lovers of Strawberries and Raspberries,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,