Book Review | Back To The Future: The Official Hill Valley Cookbook
Carl turns back the clock to sample the culinary delights found within the Back To The Future time-traveling cookbook
I love these kinds of books, the tie-in to a film or TV franchise. There are some which are just cash grabs and of the lowest quality but they usually are quirky, fun, and informative. And when a cookbook is written and produced regarding a certain title, it is always fun to read, great to attempt, and can astound friends and family with your culinary delights. I own several of these books, from the food of ‘The Walking Dead‘ and ‘Firefly‘ through to the delights of ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge‘. Each one brings something new and original to the table (no pun intended) alongside a great element of fun. And to be able to make and produce food and drinks from the said franchise is always a great way to spend a few hours or days.
Titan Books and Insight Editions have released a wonderful and quite brilliant addition to these titles with their ‘Back To The Future: The Official Hill Valley Cookbook‘. Here, the reader and budding chef can make all the food and drinks that litter the trilogy, ready to present to friends and family, and will look good around a dining room table. Written by Allison Robicelli with recipes by Matt Robicelli and lovingly presented alongside photographs from Ted Thomas, the book is a delight.
Back To The Future: The Official Hill Valley Cookbook | by Matt and Allison Robicelli
The front cover shows us the Chicken Pot Pie, adorned by a pastry version of the Flux Capacitor, which is contained within and is lovingly presented on a chequered table cloth surrounded by two pocket watches and a photograph of George and Lorraine McFly and the declaration that the book contains over 65 recipes from the past, present, and future. The back cover shows photos of three of the dishes that the reader will find within alongside a description of what the book is and the eras the recipes have been pulled from. As we open the book, we are presented with visual representations of the DeLorean‘s Licence plate from the film. As we come to the contents page, we find that we get the obligatory introduction but the book is split into five sections. We will discover the instructions on how to create dishes from 1985, 1955, 2015, the alternate 1985, and finally, 1885. Along the way, we will find the main dishes, side dishes, sweet pastries and dishes, and drinks. All are lovingly presented to us with easy to follow instructions. We are told what tools and instruments we will need in our attempts to create what we decide we would like to try alongside the techniques we will need to employ.
We start with 1985. And the first culinary creation we are tempted to try is the ‘Late For School Puff-Pastry Toaster Tarts‘. Just one look at the picture that accompanies the recipe is enough to make the mouth water. The recipe will make six pastries and they look so nice, that you can taste them already. With peanut butter and strawberry jam in the middle and icing over the top of them, they would be the perfect snack to go alongside a cup of hot coffee. During this part of the book, we will discover delights such as ‘Needles’ Nachos‘, ‘McFly Family Table Tuna Noodle Casserole‘, ‘Frozen In Time Pudding Pops‘, and other easy to make fare that will tempt the taste buds.
We now move to the 1955 section. It is here where we will discover how to make ‘Mr. Caruthers’s Egg Cream‘. A rather simple concoction that is simple to make, this drink has cold milk, chocolate syrup, and cold seltzer as its ingredients and nothing more. What it will create is a wonderful looking chocolate milkshake that the kids will love to make and drink. Other tasty recipes include’ Goldie Wilson Mayoral Tuna Melt‘ sandwich, ‘Biff’s Corned Beef Hash Skillet‘, ‘Pohatchee Drive-In Cheeseburgers‘, ‘Doc Brown’s time-altering Chicken Pot Pie‘, and the ‘Marvin (Straw) Berry Sundae‘ among others that will be wonderful to serve the family and any guests you may have.
Our next stop on our time traveling culinary quest is 2015. Ok, so it was five years ago now but who cares? Not when you can create ‘Exploding Candy Toaster Tarts‘, ‘The Cafe 80s Burrito‘, ‘The Jaws 19 Spicy Grilled Shark Steaks‘, ‘Mr. Fushion Banana-Fueled Protein Bowl‘, ‘Hoverboard Cookies‘, and ‘Mini Pizzas A La 2015‘ to name but a few. These will keep you fueled up on your journey through time and through Marty McFly’s and Doc Brown’s time-changing adventures. These are easy to make and enjoyable recipes that you and the kids will enjoy making time and again. The ‘Hoverboard’ cookies look incredibly tasty as do the ‘Exploding Candy Toaster Tarts’.
We now arrive at the Alternate 1985. As you would expect, as these are from the Biff Tannen altered future, a future where he is the very embodiment of excess, these recipes look and sound rather extravagant and decadent. But in reality, they are simple to make and will fit into the medium price range when it comes to sourcing ingredients. In fact, quite a lot of what goes into the dishes you will probably have in your food cupboards and your liquor cabinets. The section starts as it means to go on, with ‘The World’s Luckiest Shrimp Cocktail‘. The most expensive ingredient here is, of course, the shrimp themselves as you will need two pounds of extra colossal shrimp, peeled with their tails left on. The rest though is made up of condiments and ingredients that you probably will have inside your home already. Other recipes here include ‘Make Like A Tree And Leaf Salad‘, ‘Hell Valley Calamari Fried Diablo‘, ‘The Number One Citizen‘ which contains Vodka and Vermouth as its main ingredients, ‘Biff’s Bananas Foster‘ which is a nice looking ice cream dessert, and the ‘Tiramisu Al Tannen‘ which is top of my list of dishes to attempt to make (I love Tiramisu, as my waistline can attest to).
We make our final stop on our tour through time and Hill Valley through the years with a trip to 1885. First up is another dish I’m aching to attempt. ‘DeLorean Whitewall Doughnuts‘ look amazing. As the name suggests, these are doughnuts that are topped with white icing. The recipe will make around 24 doughnuts so the recipe will take time to make and finish. But the result looks amazing. Following this, we have ‘Hungry Bear Claws‘ which again, looks like the perfect partner to a cup of tea or coffee. Other great things to try include ‘Clint Eastwood’s Cowboy Punch‘ which contains Tequila, ‘The Palace Saloon Beef Jerky Stew‘, ‘Frisbee Apple Pie‘, ‘The Hill Valley Clock Tower Inaugural Chicken Fry‘ which contains three separate elements in fried chicken, Coleslaw and a lemon haymaker dressing and, of course, it wouldn’t be right to not include how to make the ‘Wake-Up Juice‘. One look at the ingredients list and you can understand exactly why it has its name. It is something that will certainly give you a kick and will almost certainly wake you up and sober you up pretty quickly!
The book ends with a guide on how to plan a ‘Back To The Future‘ Movie Marathon. This handy section gives the reader great tips on how to plan and execute their themed party, from the food and drink right up to the plates, music, and atmosphere. It is all here ready for the reader to implement and put into action. After the year we have all suffered and the way things are looking right now when everything settles down again (if it does), then it could be a great idea for a party. And lord knows we could do with a get-together with our nearest and dearest once it’s safe.
The book is highly recommended for anyone that feels that they want to attempt the delightful food and drinks contained within the pages. It fits in brilliantly on the bookshelf in my kitchen alongside my other cookbooks, both movie, and TV tie-ins, and regular recipe books. The recipes are so easy to follow and easy to create and the fun is making them and amazing your family and guests. The food is also suitable for everyday cooking or preparing ready to go when you get home. Of course, some dishes and recipes are suitable for mum and dad only and some are quite the idea for Valentine’s Day.
A nice pasta dish with a cocktail on the side sounds wonderfully romantic and will make a perfect night. Take my advice, if you want to make roads into your future, grab this great cookbook. Just be advised, you won’t need to travel at 88MPH or require 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to make these tasty treats.
Back To The Future: The Official Hill Valley Cookbook by Matt and Allison Robicelli Hidalgo is published by Titan Books/Insight Editions and is available to buy NOW!
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!
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Carl Roberts is the News Editor of The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!