In the few weeks coming up to Christmas, we are on the lookout for some great rugby gifts for the holiday season. This week we are reviewing “The Hooligan’s Table: The Rugby Player’s Cookbook”, which is a collection of over 80 rugby recipes from all around the world.
The slogan of the book is “How to Eat, Drink, Think and Entertain like a Rugby Player” and it’s a great little gift for friends and family that love the game and food.
The name “Hooligan’s Table” is obviously a reference to the well-known saying that “rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen and football is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans” and the idea for the cookbook is to provide a collection of rugby meals to eat around the table with fellow players.
“After playing rugby, one of the most physically challenging games you can play, both sides shake hands and walk off the field together—and then sit down to a pint and a meal,” the cookbook states.
In addition to recipes of traditional dishes like Bangers and Mash, Fish and Chips, and Shepherd’s Pie, the cookbook includes more unusual recipes like Kangaroo Filet Mignon, New Zealand Lamb, Roasted Whole Pig and The Great NYC Cheeseburger. It also features many great deserts, starters, and soups – and even some cocktail recipes!
What we really enjoyed about this book is the collection of fun rugby facts, stories and anecdotes that complement the recipes, which were added by the author of the book, David Martin, who is himself a rugby player, coach and referee that brings over thirty years of rugby experience to the writing of this book.
The book is undoubtedly devoted to honouring the tradition of camaraderie around the world in amateur rugby – something that we at Find Rugby Now fully support!
And the book is original – we’ve never come across anything like it!
One observation is that the content is very much shaped by the experiences and the voice of the American author and it may be argued that the book is targeted at an American audience. As such, you can find comparisons of rugby to American football, references to College rugby and some US rugby facts (e.g. the US currently holds the Olympic gold since 1924 when the U.S. team beat France 17-3).
Having played amateur rugby both in the U.S. and in the U.K., I can completely relate to the author’s experiences and perspective on the game. However, it is possible that some UK/European rugby lovers may feel slightly irked at the American feel of the book. Still, even the most English of rugby lovers will benefit from the great variety of rugby recipes and the positive attitude of the rugby loving author.
After all, “in the spirit of rugby, everyone’s invited and this book will give you some great ways to create your own Hooligan’s Table.”
An E-Book copy will only set you back about £2.50 and a soft-cover cookbook will cost less than £14.00. Get your own well in time for the holiday season here!.