Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking

Front Cover
A&C Black, 2007 - Cooking - 460 pages
2 Reviews

Along the way, Kate Colquhoun asks and answers a fascinating range of questions from the weighty to the lighthearted. Did the Romans use pepper? How did the Black Death lead to the beginning of rural baking? Why was the sale of fruit banned in 1569? What linked roasted meats and morality in the 1790s? When did we move from serving everything at once to the succession of courses we know today?

From the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution, the Romans to the Regency, few things have mirrored society or been affected by its various upheavals as much as the food we eat and the way we cook it.

In an age of convenience and waste, in which Delia Smith has written a book telling us how to boil an egg and Jamie Oliver has become the guardian of our children's diets, Kate Colquhoun explores two thousand years of our rich culinary heritage, uncovering the ebb and flux of fashions that have both linked and distinguished different societies throughout the ages.

Celebrating every aspect of the history of our cooking - from Anglo-Saxon feasts and Tudor banquets, through the skinning of eels and invention of ice cream, to Dickensian dinner-party excess and the exponential growth of frozen food - Taste tells an intimate as well as formal story as rich and diverse as a five-course banquet. Filled with unusual facts and beautifully illustrated, it is as much about the invisible hoards who influence cookery as about culinary stars and equipment. It is nothing less than an involving and immediate history of the British people, told through the ways we have prepared and shared food down the centuries.

 

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User Review  - John_Vaughan - LibraryThing

It might seem trite to say so but this book is a delicious read. Through beautifully written prose the author takes the reader on a comprehensive review of British history through its food, fashions ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bostonian71 - LibraryThing

Comprehensive look at British history through its food. This does a good job of explaining how different events and societal influences affected what food was available, and has plenty of details and ... Read full review

Contents

The Staff of Life
3
Conspicuous Culinary Consumption
17
Liqaamen
29
An Art in Peril
35
Newe Conceytes
47
Feasts and Fasts
62
Hospitality
72
Pastry
80
Brave Stomachs
211
Draneenness
221
Mad for Innovation
239
A La Rasse
251
Painting the Lamb Roasting the Mutton
257
The Great Laboratory
275
Povertys Larder
288
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
304

Strange Vegetables New Tastes
87
Sugar Never Marred Sawce
102
The English Huswife
112
Blessed Puddings
122
Mad Master Cooks
129
Unhappy Times
141
A La Mode
153
Chefs and Sweethearts
164
Ice
177
Human Nature
185
Good Gravy and Hooped Petticoats
198
Raging Inequalities and the Taste of War
311
Fleeting Fortunes and Discontented Domestics
323
Learning to Walk Loving to Run
345
What I Myself Have Learned
359
Cuisine Poseur
370
A Note on Measures
377
Notes
383
Bibliography
417
Acknowledgements
443
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Kate Colquhoun is the author of A Thing in Disguise: The Visionary Life of Joseph Paxton (2003). It was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize 2004 and longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2003. She reviews regularly for the Daily Telegraph and has written for The Times, the Financial Times, BBC History Magazine, Saga Magazine, The (RHS) Garden and Country Life Magazine

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