Along the way, Kate Colquhoun asks and answers a fascinating range of questions from the weighty to the lighthearted. Did the Romans use pepper? How did the Black Death lead to the beginning of rural baking? Why was the sale of fruit banned in 1569? What linked roasted meats and morality in the 1790s? When did we move from serving everything at once to the succession of courses we know today? From the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution, the Romans to the Regency, few things have mirrored society or been affected by its various upheavals as much as the food we eat and the way we cook it. In an age of convenience and waste, in which Delia Smith has written a book telling us how to boil an egg and Jamie Oliver has become the guardian of our children's diets, Kate Colquhoun explores two thousand years of our rich culinary heritage, uncovering the ebb and flux of fashions that have both linked and distinguished different societies throughout the ages. Celebrating every aspect of the history of our cooking - from Anglo-Saxon feasts and Tudor banquets, through the skinning of eels and invention of ice cream, to Dickensian dinner-party excess and the exponential growth of frozen food - "Taste" tells an intimate as well as formal story as rich and diverse as a five-course banquet. Filled with unusual facts and beautifully illustrated, it is as much about the invisible hoards who influence cookery as about culinary stars and equipment. It is nothing less than an involving and immediate history of the British people, told through the ways we have prepared and shared food down the centuries.