Fandom merch is pervasive these days. It’s always been around, but it’s gone to new levels these days. Instead of just toys and children’s bedspreads we have mugs, backpacks, statues, wall art, kitchenware, etc. etc. And of course, we have books! But not just in the form of expanded universe material, encyclopedias, and novelizations. We’ve got recreations of in universe books, we’ve got collections highlighting all the women of a franchise (the Star Wars and Marvel versions of these are lovely BTW), and we’ve got cookbooks.
Most fandom cookbooks are one of two things. Either they’re a decent regional cookbook based around a hero’s origin (collection of Greek food for Wonder Woman for example) or they’re a regular old cookbook but they labelled the hot wings ‘Human Torch’s Famous Wings!’ and the pizza ‘Spider-Man’s New York Style!’.
But here we have something honestly special. One of a rare but somewhat growing trend of cookbooks with genuine effort put into them to make the character(s)/franchise on the cover matter. And this book doesn’t just have effort put into it, it has maximum effort put into it!
…sorry, couldn’t resist. But yes, much to my very pleasant surprise, Cooking With Deadpool is freaking fantastic. And I say that as someone who’s only a moderate fan of the character. Don’t get me wrong, I like him but at the same time, this new cookbook is the only non-comic book or movie piece of Deadpool merch I own. But I’m very happy to own it, because, as I said, it’s fantastic. So…let’s talk about it.
So, first off, let’s discuss the gimmick of this cookbook, and what makes it so special. This isn’t just a collection of Deadpool’s favorite recipes. This is being presented as Deadpool’s personal cookbook, written and curated by him. He talks to the reader throughout, introducing every recipe with a paragraph or two of in-character stuff, before dropping into more normal cookbook fare to give the actual ingredient list and cooking instructions.
Deadpool’s personality is everywhere here, from the introductions to each section of the cookbook-
to the recipes themselves-
The Merc With A Mouth is everywhere in his book. And he’s well written too! Deadpool is a character that’s very easy to get wrong, but they managed to get him down very well here, to the point where he’s likable, but also still quite funny.
And yes, there is a chimichanga section, with six different kinds of chimichangas for you to make, and a small section about different styles of tacos at the end.
So yes, from a presentation standpoint this is a genuinely fantastic cookbook. But just being fun to read isn’t enough, so how does it function as an actual cookbook?
If I had to describe the recipes of Cooking With Deadpool with a single word it’d be involved. These aren’t simple recipes, this isn’t a cookbook to give to your Deadpool loving child to get them interested in cooking. This is an in-depth, detailed book for those skilled at the art already.
For example, the cheeseburger recipe calls for making your own patties, the pizza recipe calls for making your crust, pretty much anything with dough asks you to make it yourself. It asks you to spatchock (or butterfly) a whole chicken. Now, to those of you who are confident and skilled at cooking this might seem like no big deal, but to a relative novice like me, it can be quite intimidating, even with the pages where Deadpool gives you advice and lessons.
Take, for instance, the cheeseburger recipe. This isn’t a regular cheeseburger, this is a Captain America-themed cheeseburger, the ‘All-American Burger’. This means that not only are you making your own patties (with multiple ingredients, not just ground beef and some seasoning), but you’re also making apple pie filling to put beneath the patty. It’s not some Food Network-level recipe, I know, but it’s still more than one might be expecting to do just to make a cheeseburger.
Now, I need to make it clear that this is a good cookbook. The instructions are clearly set out, the more complex things have step by step instructions with pictures, and when I tried recipes (the aforementioned cheeseburger, some meat pies, tomato risotto, a basic chimichanga, and a dessert salad) I more or less felt like I knew what I was doing and how to do what the book was asking from me. I do like it and I do plan to cook from it frequently.
But it’s important to know that this is more detailed and involved than one might expect from a Deadpool-themed cookbook. So before you buy, understand that this is a good cookbook, but not necessarily the best to learn how to cook from.
All in all, Cooking With Deadpool is a fantastic cookbook. Marvel, as well as the writer team (Marc Sumerak did the Deadpool writing while Elena P. Craig did the recipes), went all-in on a project that really didn’t require all that much effort of them. Deadpool is a popular enough character that slapping his name and some pictures & quotes on a regular cookbook would have sold well. Instead, they went above and beyond what’s expected for a fandom cookbook, and I wholeheartedly applaud them for it.
You can get this new from Amazon for $19 and in all honesty, if you’re a fan of Deadpool I recommend it. It might even be worth getting even if you can’t cook, the detail into the presentation makes it a quality collectible even without getting into its practical use. And if you’re not a Deadpool fan…well it’s still a good cookbook, and there’s some recipes based on other Marvel characters so you’d know better than me if it’s worth it for you. Probably not, but I’m not going to tell you not to get something.
Thanks for reading y’all, and happy cooking!
Images courtesy of Marvel Comics and Insight Editions
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