[Sca-cooks] new book on English food

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Mon Sep 15 05:37:00 PDT 2008

Someone suggested that she was much better on 18th and 19th century fare
and that the earlier sections were written quickly perhaps to fulfill 
the contract with
the publisher. I would have thought a great book on the food and the 
table from say the
reign of George III to Elizabeth II would have been a big enough book, but
perhaps not in the publisher's eyes. I didn't even bother to review it 
I posted some notes in it and marked a number of pages and paragraphs as 

If people want to spend money and buy something that looks far more 
in terms of historical detail, they may want to wait and buy Mark Dawson's
Plenti and Grase: Food and Drink in a Sixteenth-Century Household or for 
that matter
buy Peter Brears' new book Cooking and Dining in Medieval England. We 
may quibble
about some of his interpretations (those versions of fish day and 
non-fish day recipes),
but the book is pretty solid on the whole and better reading for our 
than Taste.
One could of course buy  Food: The History of Taste by Paul Freedman 
too. It's
 a much better book also.


Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:
> I'd also question a couple of her assertions in the quoted passage 
> alone: first, that with salt as the only fish preservation option 
> available to most people, the diet was drearily boring (you want 
> boring, have a go at stockfish, and they would have had the same 
> problem with meat, and very possibly fewer varieties of domestic 
> butcher's meat and game combined than the varieties of fish available, 
> at least for the well-to-do, and for the poor, see the meat comments 
> above), and second, the implication that Mary Tudor was any more 
> "Bloody" than her sister, or that the restoration of some of the 
> fish-day rules were not necessarily directly in service of the fishing 
> industry. I mean, she is presumably aware that Mary was a practicing 
> Catholic and Henry was not, right?
> Adamantius 

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