Food & Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century

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Academy Chicago Publishers, 2003 - Cooking - 472 pages
C. Anne Wilson Traces culinary practices and preferences from our earliest prehistoric forbears down to the generation of the Industrial Revolution, and offers an extraordinary taste of the times. She provides a tabletop perspective on class structure, religion, politics, and social custom, generously seasoned with such culinary and cultural tidbits as the importance of salt in English history and the role of romance in England's first taste of the wines of southernmost France. Readers will become acquainted with the sources of many of our current tastes and conventions. Discover "macrows," the prototype of macaroni, and that "whales, porpoises and sturgeon were all royal fish." Meringue, to the Elizabethans, was a "dishful of snow," and rather difficult to whip up before the advent of the fork in the late 17th century. Before the Reformation all buns were "hot cross" in order to ward off evil spirits that might prevent the bread rising. Adventurous readers who wish to dine as their ancestors did may do so; Ms. Wilson includes many authentic recipes—such as 17th century rice pudding—which add flavor of a unique kind. This cornucopia of custom and cuisine provides plenty of food for thought for everyone, and what could be of more interest if we are, indeed, what we eat?

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User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

A completely fabulous, highly readable (though not gossipy in the slightest) treatise on edibles in Britain from cavemen to the Victorians. The book is mostly made of the histories of various dishes ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

C. Anne Wilson was for many years in charge of the special collection of cookery books at the Brotherton Library in Leeds, England. She is the author of Food and Drink in Britain and many other studies of British food history.

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