After a hard day’s building and crafting in the world of Minecraft, what better way to wind down and relax than cooking up a storm in the kitchen, re-creating some dishes that could exist in the block-filled world?
That’s just what food writer Tara Theoharis thought and so created the newest gaming inspired cookbook, Minecraft: Gather, Cook, Eat! Official Cookbook, published by Titan Books.
Just like there are many ways to explore the world of Minecraft, there are different ways of navigating around the book and choosing what to make. The recipes are divided up into familiar meal types – appetizers, entrées, desserts (or starter, main course and puddings to us Brits), snacks and drinks. Each is also categorised by the player type that inspired the recipe, and this is shown by icons on each recipe. These include Nurturer recipes that provide extra nutrition or are comfort foods, Builder recipes that provide a bit of architectural challenge and Inventor recipes, which are complex and exciting.
Each recipe also includes dietary notes, which show you which dishes are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free with a range of dishes that fulfil each requirement.
For beginner cooks, the book starts off by giving you some measurement conversions, a list of useful kitchen tools and some kitchen survival tips, such as how to separate eggs or fold in ingredients.
Each recipe includes a written description of the dish with some information about how it links to Minecraft, a difficulty level (easy, normal, hard), yield, prep time, cook time, dietary requirements and if any special tools are required. You will also find the usual things you expect in a recipe – ingredients list and step-by-step directions. You might also see a note linked to the player type, e.g. an explorer’s note telling you any suitable substitutions for fruit and vegetables. Some recipes come with a handy photo of the finished dish, but not all.
The book is designed to look very Minecrafty with the Minecraft font being used throughout as well as pixelated icons, plenty of images of different blocks from the game and Minecraft-inspired artwork in the spreads at the start and end of the book. It’s a pleasant book to thumb through and feels good quality from the embossed hardback cover to the thick, shiny pages inside.
But what about the recipes? There are 44 to choose from and all have minecraft-inspired names from Hoglins and Lava (sausage rolls and hot sauce dip) to Creeper Cleanse (a green juice). Some of the links to the game seem a little bit tenuous but that didn’t bother us as there are plenty of delicious looking dishes to try.
You also get some advice on Minecraft meal planning with ideas on how to combine some of the dishes, for example for an Explorer’s picnic or Fighter’s feast. Being at a loose end one weekend, we tried out three of the recipes: Chicken Jockey Sandwiches with Golden Apple Pie for dessert and Chorus Fruit Spritzer to wash it all down.
Up first, the Chicken Jockey Sandwiches, so called because the ingredients of pesto, chicken and bacon resemble a zombified Piglin riding a chicken (if you squint… a lot). These were particularly easy to make and very tasty. Just a couple of little niggles with this one. Being in the UK, some of the ingredients were a little hard to come by such as the provolone cheese, which we had to substitute for good old cheddar. Some notes on suitable substitutions for key ingredients wouldn’t go amiss. There was no photograph to compare the finished dish, but the instructions were clear enough that you couldn’t really go wrong.
Onto pud – the Golden Apple Pie. This recipe was a bit more lengthy, and required making pastry. Saying that, the instructions made this simple, although with a teaspoon of salt in the pastry it was a bit too savoury for our liking – maybe they like their pastry salty in the US? Comments below please…
Another UK centric moan, the ingredients are given in cups. Even though there was a conversion table in the book it converted cups to millilitres – not a unit used for measuring flour surely? Also, for people who don’t often bake, the construction of a lattice top with no instructions or photo to refer to might be a bit of a challenge. No problem for us though – sign us up for Bake Off (plus no soggy bottom!).
As you can see from the photo – we were rather proud of our creation and it tasted mighty fine to boot.
We decided to also create a drink. The Chorus Fruit Spritzer was a blueberry version of a mojito mocktail (or cocktail with a bit of added rum) and finished the evening of Minecraft inspired foody treats very nicely.
If you are a fan of Minecraft and food (and who isn’t?) then we highly recommend the Minecraft: Gather, Cook, Eat! Official Cookbook. There are some interesting recipes that we’ve never tried before and are already planning our next Minecraft-inspired meal.
Huge thanks go out to Titan Books for providing us a review copy. You can pick up Minecraft: Gather, Cook, Eat! Official Cookbook from Titan Books direct.