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The unassuming tuber receives the epic nod it deserves in this "personal paean" to the vegetable by London restaurant critic Bareham ( Mood Food ). Moving swiftly through the potato's history, she concentrates on the potato's use in hundreds of recipes collected from historical sources and such renowned British cooks as Arabella Boxer and Jane Grigson. Recipes are arranged by cooking method and type of fare (soups, salads, buns and cakes). British standards like "bubble and squeak" and shepherd's pie are included, as are lesser-known international offerings (the Hungarian stew gran o tas kocha and the Malaysian curry ubi kentag kari). There's no doubting the author's "affection and respect" for the potato: the research is massive, the organization thoughtful.