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The Taste of Britain Hardcover – 2 Oct 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress; First Edition edition (2 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007241321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007241323
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 25 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 447,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘HarperCollins has given it a major redesign in hardback and very attractive new look, turning it into a covetable item…(and) it settles arguments and solves pub quiz questions.’ Time Out

‘“The Taste of Britain” is a fantastic compendium of all that is great about regional British food, and it is stunning to look at the range of produce we can draw from this country, from our pears to our hams to our ginger beers. [It] tells you everything you wanted to know, from the difference between a Norfolk knob and a Dorset knob, to the history of Tizer and the average weight and dimension of the haggis…a book that makes you proud to be British.’ Gordon Ramsay, The Times on Saturday

‘“The Taste of Britain” conjures up an image of a vibrant, productive kitchen, the eaves hanging with strings of onions, tomatoes ripening in the windows, bread in the oven, chutneys on the dresser…It shows also that avoiding supermarkets is not some grey penance that we choose to impose on ourselves in order to save the world but, on the contrary, an embracing of pleasure, variety and quality. And for all the attempts of television chefs to encourage locally based cooking, TV by its very nature as a medium encourages sitting down and staring rather than cooking – so really TVs should be thrown out of the window, and the money saved should be spent on books like this.’ New Statesman

Synopsis

For too long Britain has failed to celebrate its culinary heritage. But from the introduction of borage to the British Isles by the Romans to the nation's love-hate relationship with Marmite, Britain has always played host to an astonishing range of gustatory traditions. This delightful compendium of Britain's traditional regional foods combines fascinating local history about the origins of some of our most distinctive and curious foodstuffs with a celebration of the ways in which the most humble cut of meat can embody culinary traditions stretching back through the ages. Far from the bland and stodgy board usually associated with British cuisine, 'The Taste of Britain' reveals a culinary portrait of remarkable wealth and character -- from Fat Rascals to Fidget Pie, Cornish pasties to Chelsea buns, and Bedfordshire Clangers to Bath Chaps. Entries have been carefully selected on the grounds that they have been produced in one place for more than three generations, and many for much longer: more than merely a history of food, this is a tribute to a Britain that predates the supermarket era and evokes traditions that date back hundreds of years.Sussex cattle, for example, are mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086, while Shakespeare described an early forerunner of the Cockney favourite, jellied eels, in 'King Lear'.

In range, warmth and enthusiasm, 'The Taste of Britain' is a book for absolutely everyone from the 'foodie' connoisseur interested in the origins of the Careless Gooseberry to the culinary neophyte for whom each entry provides a delightful potted history of taste, industry and tradition. With new material, beautifully redesigned from the original 1999 edition, the cumulative effect of this enthusiastic, heartfelt and endlessly fascinating homage to regional foods is a joyful and compulsively readable celebration of the variety and curiosity of Britain's manifold culinary traditions, and the pride which they inspire.

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29 December 2006
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