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Food Britannia [Hardcover]

Andrew Webb
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 16.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Jun 2011

British food has not traditionally been regarded as one of the world's great cuisines, and yet Stilton cheese, Scottish raspberries, Goosnargh duck and Welsh lamb are internationally renowned and celebrated. And then there are all those dishes and recipes that inspire passionate loyalty among the initiated: Whitby lemon buns and banoffi pie, for example; pan haggerty and Henderson's relish. All are as integral a part of the country's landscape as green fields, rolling hills and rocky coastline.

In Food Britannia, Andrew Webb travels the country to bring together a treasury of regional dishes, traditional recipes, outstanding ingredients and heroic local producers. He investigates the history of saffron farming in the UK, tastes the first whisky to be produced in Wales for one hundred years, and tracks down the New Forest's foremost expert on wild mushrooms. And along the way, he uncovers some historical surprises about our national cuisine. Did you know, for example, that the method for making clotted cream, that stalwart of the cream tea, was probably introduced from the Middle East? Or that our very own fish and chips may have started life as a Jewish-Portuguese dish? Or that Alfred Bird invented his famous custard powder because his wife couldn't eat eggs?

The result is a rich and kaleidoscopic survey of a remarkably vibrant food scene, steeped in history but full of fresh ideas for the future: proof, if proof were needed, that British food has come of age.

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Food Britannia + Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books; First Edition edition (2 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847946232
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847946232
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 275,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This beguiling book is hard to categorise - partly a guide book to the greatest culinary treasures in the British Isles; partly a travelogue; and partly a love song to our nation's food" (Food Book of the Year The Sunday Times)

"A handsome encyclopaedic survey of the best of British food" (Best Christmas Cookery Books Daily Mail)

"Particularly good are the descriptions of tastes and textures. Webb is clearly a messy eater ... but on paper he's delicious. When he talks about figit pie or bara brith it's a stern reader that doesn't find herself overtaken by a bout of empathetic dribbling" (Guardian)

"A fascinating gastronomic portrait of a nation" (The Bookseller)

"A near anthology-sized collection of the nation's most iconic regional dishes and traditional recipes, this book is a must for lovers of British food. Historical stories and producer profiles make it even more essential" (Food and Travel)

Book Description

Winner: Guild of Food Writers Food Book of the Year Award 2012

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very British Soup 15 Jun 2011
I really loved this book, and I am suspicious of national gastronomic guides that can be superficial and pointless. This book is anything but: especially interesting on the less obvious regions and more remarkable specialties. It is quite unlike anything else in print on the subject.

The writer has a disarming, funny, self-deprecating, well informed, somehow itself very British style; and even though its not a recipe book you learn a lot that makes you want to eat and cook what is sometimes so lovingly described. Although adherents to the cult of marmite will be outraged. A vastly more enduring, thoughtful and useful addition to your cookery library than any number of silly potboilers from our rather stale stable of celebrity writers.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Around Britain on a plate 9 Jun 2011
A well researched book, with good photographs, celebrating the best of British food. Find out about Bosworth Jumbles (and where the recipe came from)! Learn what a Coventry God cake or a Dorset Naga is and what makes up Love in Disguise. Best of all there's a directory of supplier of traditional and/or unusual food and drinks.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Local held foodie secrets 30 May 2011
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Whilst I'm just an amateur cook, I do love to hear about regional delicacies and where to get the best to try. As such whilst some have been on my scope for a while (such as Mr Fitzpatrick's Cordials in Rawtenstall) some I'd never heard of such as the Manchester Sausage.

As such to have a title that details some special treats to look out for when I'm out generates something a little special for your own culinary pursuits. After all finding that something special not only increases the options you have at your own meal times but also allows you to discover a few thing that you never know about (or are regional secrets) prior to reading this title.

All in this book was a wonder and I've more than got a few things that I want to try and with friends visiting from other area's I know what to ask them to bring for me to utilise which makes this, whilst not a book of recipes, one that brings the joy of quality products that are lovingly prepared that aren't available in the supermarket which not only keeps local business alive but tradition as well. Great stuff from Andrew Webb and a title that I'll have to guard as I already know one or two who are eyeing it up for "borrowing" on a permanent basis.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read - 10 April 2013
By Nick
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Purchase this as a present for my mum on her birthday and Andrew kindly signed it for me (i used to work with him). Would defo recommend this book, great read and great to inspire some day trips or weekends away to explore the foods of our great country! Fantastic book!
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