Version Reviewed: 1.1
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The Hippogriff Cookbook is very unique—part joke, part cookbook, part fandom, it's hard to place it into any one category. The writers claim to be wizards, graduates of the Tadcaster Institute of Practical Thaumaturgy and LED Assembly, who have unearthed an ancient manuscript containing hippogriff recipes. On their site, they write, "The sorcerers who crafted The Manchester Folio saw the need for “A Compendium of Fare and Humbel Flavours to Accompanye Slaine Hippogryphe.” And so, after five centuries in obscurity we bring you their unconventional wisdom: The Hippogriff Cookbook."
Yes, that's right: a book of hippogriff recipes! The app continually pokes fun at the majestic half-eagle, half-horse beasts depicted in the Harry Potter universe and declares that, while recent books (cough, cough) have romanticized them, hippogriffs actually taste delicious. In a series of old-fashioned "pages," this dressed-up e-book presents a number of recipes utilizing rare hippogriff meat. Hippogriff Lemon Custard Bars, Hippogriff Tikka Masala, and Cornish Hippogriff Pudding all make appearances.
If you don't have hippogriff, the app suggests plenty of substitutes. Chicken, tofu, various soy substitutes, and even ostrich eggs make appearances, as well as more outlandish things like griffin meat.
The Hippogriff Cookbook is interesting, because while you could cook the recipes using the substitute (Muggle) meats, I feel like that's not the main point of this app. Yes, it's cool to be able to cook Lemon Custard Bars, but there are better, more complete cookbook apps with many more recipes. However, the app's text is extraordinarily funny, especially for Harry Potter fans, and it's almost worth reading just for the laughs. The recipes are a bonus, but I feel like just owning and reading the app is the main attraction.
So is the Hippogriff Cookbook worth buying? That's a hard question to answer. It's well made, with attention to detail, good illustrations, and funny text. The recipes are legitimate and Muggle-friendly, though limited in number. If you're a Harry Potter fan, ninety-nine cents is a small price to pay for an app this funny, but I'm not sure that you'll get any lasting use from it. As a well-made niche app, The Hippogriff Cookbook stands in a tricky place, so I think that the final call will be intensely personal.