Taste: The Story of Britain through Its Cooking

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Dec 6, 2008 - Cooking - 480 pages
Written with a storyteller's flair and packed with astonishing facts, Taste is a sumptuous social history of Britain told through the development of its cooking. It encompasses royal feasts and street food, the skinning of eels and the making of strawberry jelly, mixing tales of culinary stars with those of the invisible hordes cooking in kitchens across the land. Beginning before Roman times, the book journeys through the ingredients, equipment, kitchens, feasts, fads, and famines of the British. It covers the piquancy of Norman cuisine, the influx of undreamed-of spices and new foods from the East and the New World, the Tudor pumpkin pie that journeyed with the founding fathers to become America's national dish, the austerity of rationing during World War II, and the birth of convenience foods and take-away, right up to the age of Nigella Lawson, Heston Blumenthal, and Jamie Oliver. The first trade book to tell the story of British cooking-which is, of course, the history that led up to American colonial cooking as well-Taste shows that kitchens are not only places of steam, oil, and sweat, but of politics, invention, cultural exchange, commerce, conflict, and play.
 

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User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

An absolutely fantastic history of food in England, beginning in the Stone Age up through the ages as the British learned to cook and refine ingredients. Read full review

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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

Contents

The Staff of Life
3
Conspicuous Culinary Consumption
17
Liquamen
29
An Art in Peril
35
MEDIEWAL BRITAIN
47
Feasts and Fasts
62
Hospitality
72
Pastry
80
Brave Stomachs
211
Drunkenness
221
THE LONG REGENCY
239
A La Russe
251
Painting the Lamb Roasting the Mutton
257
THE WICTORIANS
275
Povertys Larder
288
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
304

THE TUDORS
83
Sugar Never Marred Sawce
102
The English Huswife
112
Blessed Puddings
122
Mad Master Cooks
129
THE COMMONWEALTH AND PROTECTORATE
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 3 11
319
Waste the Food and Help the Hun
338
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 (2008)

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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