- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Collins; First Edition edition (12 April 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007411995
- ISBN-13: 978-0007411993
- Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 3.3 x 24.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 380,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A History of Food in 100 Recipes Hardcover – 12 Apr 2012
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‘Sitwell has pulled off something clever: a thoroughly researched and witty history that is both compelling and teeming with scholarly facts … You don’t have to be a raging foodie to enjoy this’ Observer
‘At every turn there is a new snippet of social, political and culinary history … A total joy’ Spectator
‘A triumph. Almost every sentence of his scrupulously researched and breezily confident book oozes with a passion for eating’
‘A whopping treat’ Daily Mail
About the Author
William Sitwell came to prominence in the food world when he joined the magazine Waitrose Food Illustrated in 1999. He had previously worked for newspapers such as the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, The Times and London’s Evening Standard having first joined the Sunday Express in 1994. He became editor of WFI in 2002 and won a string of awards for the magazine’s writing, stories, design and photography. Now re-named Waitrose Kitchen he divides his time between editing the magazine and writing about food for a variety of other magazines and newspapers and making forays into television. He has appeared on a variety of programmes as food critic and presenter. He spends his spare time growing vegetables, cooking food and making cider at the home in Northamptonshire that he shares with his wife Laura and their children Alice and Albert. ‘A History of Food in 100 Recipes’ is his first book.
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Top Customer Reviews
Here the author delves back through time and a myriad of recipe books and food books that have been published, wryly noting that many contain similar boastful, self-indulgent claims about their breadth, uniqueness or completeness as those that often appear today. The fruits of the author's labour are presented as a celebratory, knowledgeable, information and yet concise look at 100 dishes, many of which are still popular today (albeit with some modification at times) and many that may have fell by the culinary wayside.
Starting from Ancient Egyptian bread and working in a chronological order the reader is treated to such items as Roast Goat (30 BC), Pasta (1154), tips on party planning (1420), Hot Chocolate (1568) and even a revelation as to how the Englishman discovered the fork (1611). Time and food development marches on and in the past century featured dishes include Strawberry ice-cream soda, Toad-in-the-Hole, Omelette, Cheese Fondue, Fairy Cakes and Sweet and Sour Pork. For one reason or another, which will become clearer to the reader, the author has selected each recipe and pinned it to a specific place in the chronology for a reason. It might be due to an historical event, a "new" cook book or other writing, a new development or even due to a craze.
Truly a quirky, interesting, innovative and thought-provoking series of friendly, informative mini essays.Read more ›
Having said that, it does make for a fascinating chronological read and William Sitwell is the most delightful guide to this altogether charming history of food. I have learned so much - and had lots of chuckles along the way!
The reason for my 4* rating rather than 5* is because there are several typos in the book (surprisingly) and also because I am none too keen on the style of illustration (historical illustrations excepted, of course).
If you like your food served with a generous dollop of history and a good sprinkling of humour, do buy this book rather than borrowing it and read it at your leisure.
And if you enjoy reading about food, I can warmly recommend this extremely good memoir from New York chef Gabrielle Hamilton Blood, Bones and Butter: The inadvertent education of a reluctant chef.
The Author William Sitwell is a food critic, journalist and presenter. He currently edits the food magazine Waitrose Kitchen amongst a plethora of other activities including gardening and being the resident expert on BBC TVs A Question of Taste. He has by no means covered the whole history of food, but has picked out the stories which particularly appeal to him.
Of course the first chapters I jumped to were the chocolate ones and I had two of these to revel in. Both interesting, both very different. The first was Hot Chocolate and recounts the well known "discovery" of chocolate by the conquistador Hernan Cortes. During his stay with Montezuma he learnt the secrets of the cocoa bean, so highly prized it was used as currency. And he enjoyed many a brew of spiced frothing hot (sometimes cold) chocolate. Cocoa beans went back with him to Spain where the drink soon became revered for its health giving properties.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written book, very interesting and well worth the money.Published 9 months ago by Stephanie maddison
love the book and love the seller for sending it to me.Published on 12 May 2015 by Ms. Lindsey Johnston
This man is supposed to be an editor himself (Waitrose magazine if I am not mistaken) but this has to be one of the worst edited food books I have ever come across. Read morePublished on 15 Dec. 2014 by Liz Thomas
I really love this book. Haven't finished reading yet - it's one I dip into now and then, but the historical info is fascinating and the slightly sardonic tone to the writing is... Read morePublished on 1 Mar. 2014 by Mike H
The book exceeded my expectations, well packed and arrived on time The book is a must for any researcher on cookery history.
Beautifully presented book, which you can dip into whenever. Juicy & fascinating facts complimented with a good sprinkling of humour, baked in a well written... pie!Published on 30 Dec. 2013 by Chasamatazz
She thinks it is very good. Now I have to think of another twelve words before this can be submitted.....Published on 27 July 2013 by Julius Kosky