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Taste of Britain
taste-britain0001To attempt to write the history of Britain is an enormous task. To further link the country's rise and prosperity to its food, might seem an oxymoron to some. After all, British fare has rarely been seen as even a contender for a place among the world's better cuisines.

Yet, Kate Colquhoun, a highly respected author, attacks this seemingly impossible task with energy and weaves an absorbing tale of taste, tracing its connection with everyone from prehistoric pot-stirrers, through lords and ladies of the court, to TV chefs and the foodies' current favourite 'Cuisine Poseur'.

Through it all she also manages to set the record somewhat straight, showing that British cooking, for all its detractors, has been a mirror of the times which influenced the preferences and shopping budgets of the people.

Nor were these times always harsh and deprived. In 18th-century Britain, while fish was expensive, oysters and whitebait were readily available, sometimes free for the taking from the Thames.

Taste is an entertaining 375 pages of reading and colour plates, followed by a further 80 pages of notes and index to back up the extensive research needed to produce such a ground-breaking work.


Taste - the story of Britain though its cooking, by Kate Colquhoun, Bloomsbury, 2007, rrp $55.


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