A History of English Food

A History of English Food

Hardback

By (author) Clarissa Dickson Wright

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  • Publisher: Random House Books
  • Format: Hardback | 512 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 236mm x 50mm | 998g
  • Publication date: 14 November 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1905211856
  • ISBN 13: 9781905211852
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Illustrations note: b/w and colour
  • Sales rank: 139,136

Product description

In this major new history of English food, Clarissa Dickson Wright takes the reader on a journey from the time of the Second Crusade and the feasts of medieval kings to the cuisine - both good and bad - of the present day. She looks at the shifting influences on the national diet as new ideas and ingredients have arrived, and as immigrant communities have made their contribution to the life of the country. She evokes lost worlds of open fires and ice houses, of constant pickling and preserving, and of manchet loaves and curly-coated pigs. And she tells the stories of the chefs, cookery book writers, gourmets and gluttons who have shaped public taste, from the salad-loving Catherine of Aragon to the foodies of today. Above all, she gives a vivid sense of what it was like to sit down to the meals of previous ages, whether an eighteenth-century labourer's breakfast or a twelve-course Victorian banquet or a lunch out during the Second World War. Insightful and entertaining by turns, this is a magnificent tour of nearly a thousand years of English cuisine, peppered with surprises and seasoned with Clarissa Dickson Wright's characteristic wit.

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Author information

Clarissa Dickson Wright found fame alongside Jennifer Paterson as one half of the much-loved TV cooking partnership Two Fat Ladies. Her autobiography, Spilling the Beans, was a Sunday Times number one bestseller and she is also the author of many other books, including Clarissa and the Countryman, Clarissa and the Countryman Sally Forth, The Game Cookbook and Potty! She has made several programmes for television about food history, including Clarissa and the King's Cookbook (which looks at recipes from the reign of Richard II), and a documentary on the eighteenth-century food writer Hannah Glasse.

Review quote

"This is a marvellous read ... [Clarissa Dickson Wright's] skill is to make food, even 800 years ago, seem relevant and amusing today" Country Life "Magnificently eccentric and robustly informative ... an impressive tour of the horizon of a well-stocked mind ... [a] glorious sense of the continuity of English cuisine from the Middle Ages to the present shines from every page of this engaging, funny and admirably entertaining history" Sunday Telegraph "A learned, serious tome, packed with information and history" Guardian "Combining her two great passions of food and history, she takes us on a chatty and fascinating crawl from Medieval times when pigeons, eels and nettles were staples, to the pizzas, baked beans and chips of today ... consistently entertaining and informative" Daily Mail "A most entertaining book" BBC Olive Magazine

Flap copy

In this major new history of English food, Clarissa Dickson Wright takes the reader on a journey from the time of the Second Crusade and the feasts of medieval kings to the cuisine - both good and bad - of the present day. She looks at the shifting influences on the national diet as new ideas and ingredients have arrived, and immigrant communities have made their contribution to the life of the country. She evokes lost worlds of open fires and ice houses, of constant pickling and preserving, and of manchet loaves and curly-coated pigs. And she tells the stories of the chefs, cookery book writers, gourmets and gluttons who have shaped public taste, from the salad-loving Catherine of Aragon to the foodies of today. Above all, she gives a vivid sense of what it was like to sit down to the meals of previous ages, whether an eighteenth-century labourer's breakfast or a twelve-course Victorian banquet or a lunch out during the Second World War. Insightful and entertaining by turns, this is a magnificent tour of nearly a thousand years of English cuisine, peppered with surprises and seasoned with Clarissa Dickson Wright's characteristic wit.