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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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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Having enjoyed Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger by Nigel Slater, I thought this would be a great read.

I wish I hadn't bothered with it now! Whilst some bits were mildly enjoyable, I ended up skim reading a lot of it. It had great premise, with chapters named after the food from the 60s, 70s and 80s, e.g 'Jacob's Club', 'Fry's Five Centres', 'The Ritual of the KitKat' and 'Bisto' etc I thought it would be a walk though my childhood.

However, then I got to the chapter "washing up" and couldn't believe the sexist nonsense he was spewing. I mean, the following statement might have been true in the 1950s but now...?!

"An announcement that 'having a machine is not the same as when you do it yourself' is perhaps the last, desperate cry of the woman worried her position might be in jeopardy. The idea that she could be replaced by a machine is a thread altogether too real. Losing her husband to another woman would be one thing, but to a machine that did the dishes would be a humiliation altogether too much to bear."

With his slagging off of other celebrity chefs and his sweeping generalisation that British stews are "the colour of washing-up water and smell of old people" (his might be, mine aren't) I decided he was so far up his own backside that I've gone right off him.

What a disappointment. ( )
  Bagpuss | Jan 17, 2016 |
I’ve been a fan of Nigel Slater for a long time. His writing, the humor, his recipes and gardening tips….I’ll read anything he writes. This collection of essays in Eating for England is top notch. As you read his very descriptive writing you can mentally see exactly what he’s talking about. This particular book was published in England and isn’t an American edition. The quality of the actual book is fantastic. The paper is weightier, there is a silk ribbon attached into the spine to mark your pages and the jacket is heavy and smooth. It’s a gorgeous book.

If you are an Anglophile you’ll love this book for the description of everyday life; the shopping, getting tea ready, interactions in the shops, offices and home. I like this book even more than I did his autobiographical account in Toast.

This one will always have a place on my overcrowded boom shelf. ( )
  SquirrelHead | Nov 3, 2015 |
I loved this book! The short essay format was much to my liking. I enjoyed learning about many foods of England that I did not know about. Humor added a light and friendly touch to this tome. ( )
  LadyoftheLodge | Mar 25, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (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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