Taste by Kate Colquhoun

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Written with a storyteller's flair and packed with astonishing facts, Taste is a sumptuous social history of Britain told through the development of its cooking. It encompasses royal feasts and street food, the skinning of eels and the making of strawberry jelly, mixing tales of culinary stars with those of the invisible hordes cooking in kitchens across the land. Beginning before Roman times, the book journeys through the ingredients, equipment, kitchens, feasts, fads, and famines of the British. It covers the piquancy of Norman cuisine, the influx of undreamed-of spices and new foods from the East and the New World, the Tudor pumpkin pie that journeyed with the founding fathers to become America's national dish, the austerity of rationing during World War II, and the birth of convenience foods and take-away, right up to the age of Nigella Lawson, Heston Blumenthal, and Jamie Oliver. The first trade book to tell the story of British cooking-which is, of course, the history that led up to American colonial cooking as well-Taste shows that kitchens are not only places of steam, oil, and sweat, but of politics, invention, cultural exchange, commerce, conflict, and play.

About Kate Colquhoun

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Kate Colquhoun is the author of A Thing in Disguise: The Visionary Life of Joseph Paxton (2003). It was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize 2004 and longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2003. She reviews regularly for the Daily Telegraph and has written for The Times, the Financial Times, BBC History Magazine, Saga Magazine, The (RHS) Garden and Country Life Magazine.
Published December 6, 2008 by Bloomsbury USA. 480 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Cooking. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Taste

Kirkus Reviews

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The history of British food, beginning with a tough grain that was all the rage among Neolithic farmers.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Taste

The New York Times

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This book examines Britain’s sorry cuisine for insights into class, national character and social change.

Dec 09 2007 | Read Full Review of Taste

The Guardian

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Lists and food have always gone together: think of Martial's mottoes or the exorbitant menus for "interlarded fast days" in Rabelais.

Aug 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Taste

The Guardian

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Anyone taking on a project as huge as this without any grounding in the subject will inevitably find themselves producing journalism, a story about a story, rather than the thing itself.

Nov 02 2007 | Read Full Review of Taste

The Guardian

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Until the first real English cookery book, The Forme of Cury, compiled around 1390 by the cooks of Richard II, we can't, broadly speaking, really have a history of cooking, only a history of growing or importing food and its consumption.

Oct 06 2007 | Read Full Review of Taste

Publishers Weekly

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A history of British cooking may sound like the setup for a joke, but what Colquhoun has written is an invaluable work of social history and one of the more fascinating kitchen-related books to cro

Aug 27 2007 | Read Full Review of Taste

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