World Food History

A Set of Food History Books

Christmas food books Whether you buy one, two, or all 50+ titles in this World Food History series by Reaktion Books, each slim volume “explores the rich history of cuisine. . . reveals the global history and culture of a particular food or beverage.” The Taster has now read several and so far, every book has proved reliable, well written and enjoyable.

With so many titles to choose from, you can build up a very personalised set for someone special. The Taster knows what he’d like — Cheese, Figs, Lemon, Pie, and Brandy, thanks very much :) His Aged Mother, in contrast, might like Tea, Cake, Bread, Game and Pancakes. See the whole range HERE, from A for Apple to W for Wine.

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Diet History

Calories And Corsets

Calories & Corsets Louise FoxcroftA history of dieting over 2000 years, by Louise Foxcroft. We particularly liked the chapter on recent history, and how big business and governmental bodies have participated in our ideas about diets and dieters.

“An enlightening and entertaining social history of how we have tried (and failed) to battle the bulge over two millennia. . . Meticulously researched, surprising and sometimes shocking, Calories and Corsets tells the epic story of our complicated relationship with food, the fashions and fads of body shape, and how cultural beliefs and social norms have changed over time. . . This unique and witty history exposes the myths and anxieties that drive today’s multi-billion pound dieting industry – and offers a welcome perspective on how we can be healthy and happy in our bodies.”

Of interest to slimmers, foodies and historians. Published 2013, £8.99 from Profile Books

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Rafi’s Spicebox Curry Cookbook

Rafi’s Spicebox curry cookbook

curry cookbookThis book was due to be published just as The Taster went to press (December 2016). Having tried one of Rafi’s Spiceboxes, we can testify to their lusciousness: really nice, authentic food; and usefully, for those who like very little, or a whole lot, of heat, you get to decide how much heat you need (the paprika comes in a separate packet).

Born in Hyderabad, India, Rafi herself moved to the UK in 1965 and opened her first Spicebox store in 1989. Now, it is a team of passionate foodies headed by her sons, Kevin and Lee. Apparently, the recipes in this book have been bubbling away for years. All are based on Indian flavours and concepts, but adapted to work with ingredients easily found in the UK. Some are designed to fit in with aspects of British life such as the traditional Sunday roast, or to liven up ‘a drizzly British BBQ’ (somehow we feel the British climate was not among the factors that so happily attracted Rafi to these shores). Some are Rafi’s own original recipes, some have been inspired by further travels.

Banjara Press 2016, £20 from Spicebox

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Happy reading!