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Eating for England: The Delights and…

Eating for England: The Delights and Eccentricities of the British at…

by Nigel Slater

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3101035,978 ()22

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Wonderful. I haven't actually read it cover to cover so posting a review may seem somewhat disengenuous - as it is, the book is not so much a sit down and eat it up in a single sitting, rather, take the time to flick through every now and again to find a treasured food memory. Split into short paragraphs about British foodie topics, anyone who enjoys food or indeed wants to rekindle some nostalgia for childhood will enjoy this book. Slater does memory so well that it is difficult not to feel great warmth from pieces covering the ritual unwrapping and pressing of KitKat foil or more obvious turns such as the polarising effect of Marmite. Although I am still a loss to explain why - apart from the physical resemblance - Nigel Slater reminds me a great deal of Alan Bennet. There is something quintessentially British "lovable bookish" sort of chap about the both of them, a trait which comes through in their writing. Other books are worth a read on this topic (culinary oddities) such as The Gentlemans Relish, but the tone is distant and cold when compared with Slater and his unmistakable passion for the quirks of a culinary life.

August 2012 Update:

I have now read this book cover to cover, and still concur with the earlier review seen above. In fact my complete digestion of Nigel Slater's observational memoir would suit his style perfectly: I enjoyed it a few pieces at a time while crunching celery, cheese, and on occasion a chocolate bar during my work lunch (half) hour. The perfect way to read it for as long as colleagues are a good humoured bunch, you can share the most tantalising and rib tickling treats from this smorgasbord of all our fond food memories. ( )
  gwil0r | Aug 6, 2012 |
A thick book of short essays about British foods that Slater grew up with, or his parents did and his observations about newer choices in the market. I had a hard time putting it down, as this book explains what barley water, treacle tart or good Lord, spotted dick, are, as you hear them mentioned in a movie or a book and wonder. Slater also writes about many British treats that are now extinct or on the verge and manages to bring his grumpy father and racist aunt into his food memories. A must for Anglophiles or foodies. ( )
  mstrust | May 4, 2012 |
A lovely descriptive book of British eating habits and I guess you have to be a Brit to know what half of these things are. It takes me right back to my childhood - very nostalgic. This man is a national treasure and I just loved this book.

Back Cover Blurb:
The British are an eclectic bunch, and no more so than when it comes to food. Eating for England is Nigel Slater's affectionate and lively journey around the food - and characters - we find in our shops and kitchens nationwide. Fondly remember Chocolate Limes or Old English Spangles? Love Fruit & Nut, Dairylea triangles, pear drops and Rich Tea? You aren't alone - food is at the heart of the nation's collective memory, and in bite-size anecdotes, Nigel celebrates British food past and present from all corners of the country. Curious characters emerge wherever there's food to be boasted about, bought, cooked or eaten.... ( )
  mazda502001 | May 1, 2012 |
I generally love Nigel Slater's writing - I adored 'Toast', his biography; I like his recipe writing, and I like his newspaper columns. So it was with great happiness that I borrowed this book from a friend.
However, I found it a bit disappointing. Not because the writing is not good - it is engaging and entertaining as you would expect from Slater - but it is all such short little snippets, it all becomes a bit of a shallow blur after awhile. It probably would have been a lot better if it contained longer, fleshed out articles rather than the super-short ones in this book. ( )
  ForrestFamily | Nov 28, 2011 |
I loved this book! It's everything I wanted, but sadly didn't get, from 'Toast', Slater's much-lauded autobiography. Although the format is similar, 'Toast' veered into pretension towards the end and left a sour taste in my mouth, bringing together otherwise pleasant food memories with an altogether more unsavoury sort of anecdote. 'Eating for England', on the other hand, is just plain delicious!

It is split into tiny mini-essays, ranging from a few lines to a couple of pages, each celebrating an aspect of British cuisine. Whether he's commenting on modern cookery habits or extolling the virtues of some traditional teatime treat, Slater's love of food floods every page with warmth, and his humour and pitch-perfect observations made me smile in recognition. From the first crack of an After Eight to the colourful splendour of a farmer's market, chips and seaside rock on the pier to a strawberry picnic, the modern Jamie Oliver-inspired Man in the Kitchen to that annoying woman at the supermarket who insists on using every voucher she's collected that week, there's something for everyone here! And of course, toast once again features several times, in all its many guises and delights...

Highly recommended for food lovers and nostalgic souls, not to mention non-Brits who are downright confused by all the strange names, regional variations, and clashes of terminology between Britain and Everywhere Else! My advice? Make yourself a large mug of tea and a slice of cake, curl up in a cozy armchair, and enjoy... ( )
5 vote elliepotten | Oct 2, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
We're living in a golden age of British food. And yet, as Nigel Slater writes in his hilarious and insightful new book Eating for England: The Delights & Eccentricities of the British at Table, we remain a nation obsessed by Dairylea triangles, Jammie Dodgers and takeaway cappuccinos
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'Eating for England' is an observation of the British and their food, their cooking, their eating and how they behave in restaurants. It features chapters on dinner parties, funeral teas, Indian restaurants, dieting and eating whilst under the influence.… (more)

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