A Wallet Full of Rye

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

According to the leading economist and serious food lover Ha-Joon Chang, many young Korean boys like him grew up warned by their ever-loving mothers that their willies would fall off should they enter the kitchen, traditionally the exclusive domain of women. It’s not the sort of factoid one usually finds in a work on economic […]

Ceps & the City

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

There is plenty of scope for dissonance in a cookbook: between your memories and my expectations; between your devising dishes in a lavishly equipped professional kitchen, then serving them to paying customers, and my making them for loved ones at home. The short (or not so short) passages of travelogue and cultural history, the snippets […]

Health Nuts

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

This is the third book on food matters by Tim Spector. A medic turned professor of epidemiology, he produced a celebrated long-term study of twins. Then his attention was drawn to food, particularly the task of unravelling the relationship between genes, nutrients and their interactions in the gut. He is especially interested in how the […]

The Roast Porpoise of Old England

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

What a delectable banquet of a book this is. Diane Purkiss examines how food has created and underpinned the history of the English nation by detailing the slow work of transforming raw ingredients into sustenance. Purkiss divides her book into chapters devoted to broad categories (such as apples, pigs, loaves, fishes, foraging and tinned foods), interspersing these with entertaining and discursive essays on breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. If occasionally the

Serving up a Treat

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Jonathan Meades is the Jonathan Meades of our generation. Okay, it was A A Gill who said that, not me. But I’m going to steal it anyway because it’s a perfect summary of the man, and this is a review of an ‘anti-cookbook’ that positively boasts that it’s full of plagiarism. There is no such […]

Choose Caerphilly

Posted on by Tom Fleming

The first question one asks on seeing this book is ‘why?’ The answer comes in the introduction: it is that there is now ‘another world of cheese’ beyond the boring old British and European ones we know and love. Those ‘age-old cheese traditions are now being embraced by US artisan cheese producers and, as a […]

Mind over Morsel

Posted on by Tom Fleming

‘Gastrophysics’, a portmanteau of ‘gastronomy’ and ‘psychophysics’ (the study of perception), is defined by Charles Spence as ‘the scientific study of those factors that influence our multisensory experience whilst tasting food and drink’. In layman’s terms, it is an examination of the external factors that shape our responses to food and drink, which, as none […]

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RLF - March