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Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone…

Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century (original 1973; edition 2003)

by C. Anne Wilson (Author)

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972194,814 (3.83)1
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?… (more)
Title:Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century
Authors:C. Anne Wilson (Author)
Info:Chicago Review Press (2003), 452 pages

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Food & Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century by C. Anne Wilson (1973)



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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 and ingredients, and traces the slow evolution of, say, rice pudding. Intermingled are recipes like: "For to make spinee. Take the flowers of the hawthorn, clean gathered, and bray them all to dust, and temper them with almond milk, and allay it with amidon, and with eggs will thick, and boil it. And mess it forth; and flowers and leaves laid above on." WHAT? I love this stuff. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
This is an excellent overview of the social and economic history of food and cooking in Britain. It deals with each major food group (e.g. Milk, cheese and butter) in chronological order, looking at four broad time periods (Prehistoric, Roman, Early Medieval, Later Medieval, Early Modern). This highly structured approach provides an easily digestible means of dealing with what is a very large and diverse subject. For the casual reader it is given a clear narrative, with anecdote and context enough to ensure that it remains readable. For the more scholarly reader, there are frequent references to primary and other sources, the author has extensively researched her subject. This is complemented by a seven page bibliography and 25(!) pages of footnotes – enough to take the serious reader on the much further study. For anyone with a general interest in food and eating in British history, this makes a terrific general reference, despite its age (it was originally published in 1973. ( )
  antisyzygy | Nov 18, 2009 |
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