Monday, 8 November 2010

Nigella's missing ingredient.

You can't ignore Nigella especially if you are like me often compared to her!  I get rather mad when the papers announce the New Nigella has been found.  Why try and replace the old one? She's amazing.   Well I am wondering this time if perhaps the journalists and the writers feel she's  somewhat become a product herself now. But If there is one food writer that delights me always -  it's Nigella. But even I a complete die hard Nigella fan have to admit these days things seem to have changed.  Where as once I watched Nigella as the driving force of herself.  I now feel there is a team that team drive her for themselves.   I miss the original. Although I'm glad she recently admitted to having team cupcake  (because let me tell you producing a recipe book is really hard work)  and to produce the kind of book Kitchen that Nigella’s team puts out is seriously allot of work. Indeed, the work that has gone into producing Kitchen is tremendous. With almost 500 pages the recipes are very Nigellsish.. but the truth is I don’t feel her.  I don’t feel her truly.  It’s hard to explain.. but it’s as though there is a Nigella clone who is almost her.   For years now she has been my turn to.  If I want to make anything I literally headed straight to my bookshelf and would turn to her books; I’m not sure I will turn to this one it feels somehow weirdly void of her original soul captured in her other books.

Perhaps I am being overly sensitive? Am I searching for the initial impact she once had on me? 

I still hold her up as the domestic goddess and I can’t just abandon my heroine. So I pushed myself to have a go.. to see if I find the real Nigella in her book I decided to make her sweet and salty crunch nut bars.  So today with the rainy blustery winter weather I wanted maximum comfort.  Something gluttonous. Utterly food sluttery. Something I couldn't resist that are a synch to make. These bars looked like they fitted the bill. They taste like a cross between a mars and a marathon and the only real change I made was that I used whole nut chocolate.. I ran out of ordinary and I cut the bars into small bite size pieces, was Nigella really in this recipe ? Yes I found more of her in this particular recipe .. but the truth is despite being a superb book I’ve had to accept that the Nigella I once fell in love with has been commercialized, and it feels to me like she is going through the motions, I wonder if that will happen to me one day.  I really hope not. Passion is the secret ingredient in the Kitchen.. and this is no exception.. . and I can't find the real honest gutsy passion in the book, no matter how hard I want to find it. 


  1. Hmmm. I haven't got the book yet but have felt very similar watching her on TV recently. I like Nigella Bites much better but I can't work out why. She seems false and wooden, somehow.

  2. Interesting what you say about her book. I've not properly tucked into it yet so cannot comment but I have thought her programme, whilst still wonderful, is becoming somewhat of a caricature of her. Which is a shame. I still love her though and I LOVED those sweet and salty crunch nut bars. I made them on Friday. They've all gone now obviously.

  3. Nice heartfelt post.
    Those choc bars look amazing!!!!

    Do you have anything like that in your book?

  4. I've got some really good food gifts in the book. Lots of things that double into ingredients so make one as a gift and use the other yourself. Emergency gifts and some seriously decadent and easy truffles too.

    Whilst I do really love Nigella, i'm sensing a loss of her as a real person, and I agree with English mum.. she seems wooden in this series as though there is a false forced constant smile .. which is for the first time ever unattractive. .. I wish she would take up the reigns again and let us see the old vivacious natural Nigella

  5. It's interesting isn't it. Sometimes I've felt that she seems a little nervous in 'Nigella Bites', but maybe that's what she needed? Perhaps she is now too polished?
    Thanks for the challenging post. All Goddesses need a flaw right? Better than my flaws I thinks!
    Liz x

  6. My husband gave me this book over a month ago. I have to admit I haven't actually had a chance to cook anything from it yet. I think Nigella's fab and I love 'Nigella Express' so I have to say I'm looking forward to throwing something together from this hefty tome. All the best with your book - sounds great! Anything aimed at making delicious food quickly has got to be a winner.

  7. I've not read Kitchen properly yet so not really formed an opinion on it. Ever since I saw Nigella's short lived, terrible daytime show I've thought that how she comes across on screen is heavily at the direction of whoever is producing and I think that's what's the problem with the recent series. Someone producing has taken it all a bit far and made her look a parody of herself. Having met her in real life I can vouch she's absolutely nothing like this, totally natural and much more like the first few series she did in her own kitchen in Shepherds Bush.

    I imagine there is a team behind her, certainly I understand Jamie Oliver employs about 30 people working for him "the brand" and Nigella is probably the same albeit on a less dramatic scale since she's not fronting restaurants, magazines and modern day tupperware parties as well as the books.

    Maybe when you're on your eighth book you'll be able to do the same thing!! x


If you are reading my blog I must warn you that I am not impartial. I want to influence you. I want to make you stop for just a moment and consider the effect of a lifetime of seemingly insignificant decisions and how making small delicious choices can change the world.

I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time.

It's a delicious revolution.