The only problem with 'Real Flavours' is in putting it down. This is Glynn Christian's third re-writing and updating of his comprehensive reference book and it is invaluable reading for anyone who's ever puzzled over unfamiliar ingredients in their local delicatessen or ethnic food shop.

A food writer and broadcaster in England for many years, Christian is originally from New Zealand, giving 'Real Flavours' a rare international perspective. During the 1970s he owned a well known food shop - Mr Christian's Delicatessen - in London's Notting Hill so he also has a good perspective on what people actually want to know about a particular foodstuff. With tips on how to choose, store, prepare and cook everything from Barbery duck and bison to palm sugar and sorghum syrup this book covers everything from the obscure to the daily used.

'Real Flavours' will have the experienced cook in transports of delight while there are also plenty of useful tips here for the mystified beginner. While there are no recipes in the book, the text - although it is laid out in an unfortunately dense manner - is scattered with inspirational ideas. A treasury for every kitchen.

Caroline Hennessy