I have no idea how many people outside of the UK even know Mary Berry, but me being a massive anglophile and probably watching more english telly than german telly, it was just a matter of time until I stumbled over “The Great British Bake Off”.
End of 2013 I was in London over NYE with a few of my friends and we rented a little flat in the north of the city and every morning during breakfast we saw reruns of the last Great British Bake Off. I was instantly in love with this show. A show like that would be impossible in Germany. Every competetive show they produce here is mean, vile, scripted bullshit. The competitors are being spurred on to be meaner than necessary and every little conflict is blown out of proportion, until everyone, no matter if judge or participant, is turned into a cruel mess. The Great British Bake Off is different. I’m aware that all tv shows are staged to some degree, but if so they did a great job with that one. They always find lovely characters as participants, who are charming and talented. The baking is amazing and ALWAYS in the center of attention. People are generally lovely to each other and last but not least the judges are fair and not mean (other countries who adopted this tv show failed terribly at that…. I’m looking at youuuuu, Australia!).
I instantly took a shine to Mary. She is just this lovely, well dressed, humorous old lady, who has a nice word for everyone and always gets excited about all things booze. After I first saw the show I started to buy her cookbooks and loved them instantly. Her recipes are well thought out, range from very traditional to modern and every single one I tried was foolproof. Not only does she have amazing baking recipes, she also teaches you how to gut and prepare a whole chicken or to get your sunday roast on the table.
None! None at all.
If you like a variety of traditional and modern recipes you should check out Mary Berry’s books. And if you like foodporn and love baking with a pinch of laughter and honest joy from the contesters, you need to watch The Great British Bake Off.