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Spicing up Britain: The Multicultural History of British Food

Overview

Among the cuisines of Europe, Britain's has traditionally been regarded as the black sheep. Yet despite this unfortunate stereotype, British cuisine is today one of the most interesting and varied in the world. In this remarkable history of the last 150 years of British food, Panikos Panayi reveals the transformation and enrichment of British cuisine by diverse international influences.

From the arrival of Italian ice-cream vendors and German pork butchers, to the rise of curry ...

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Spicing up Britain

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Overview

Among the cuisines of Europe, Britain's has traditionally been regarded as the black sheep. Yet despite this unfortunate stereotype, British cuisine is today one of the most interesting and varied in the world. In this remarkable history of the last 150 years of British food, Panikos Panayi reveals the transformation and enrichment of British cuisine by diverse international influences.

From the arrival of Italian ice-cream vendors and German pork butchers, to the rise of curry as the national dish, Spicing Up Britain shows how a combination of immigration, increased wealth and globalization have transformed the eating habits of the British. From the spaghetti bolognese and Thai green curry that Britons eat at home to the dishes from all corners of the world cooked by celebrity chefs on TV, Britain has become a country of vast ethnic diversity, in which people of different backgrounds are united by their readiness to sample a wide variety of foods introduced by diverse ethnic groups. Even migrant communities themselves adapt their traditional products to the British environment, as Panayi illustrates.

Taking in changes to home cooking, restaurants and takeaways, grocery shops and delicatessens and cookbooks, Panayi's flavourful account will appeal to all who enjoy British multicultural cuisine.

with 48 illustrations

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Editorial Reviews

The Bookseller

"This fills a gap between studies of British regional food and the legion of book on Anglo-Indian eating, as it has a much wider sphere of influences."
History Today

"This fills a gap between studies of British regional food and the legion of book on Anglo-Indian eating, as it has a much wider sphere of influences."—The Bookseller

Washington Times

"His book demonstrates convincingly that whether drawing on its former colonial and imperial possessions (including the United States, with its ever-popular hamburger and other fast foods) or on its European neighbors, the openness of British society has truly enriched its diet and produced its present-day variegated cuisine."—Martin Rubin, Washington Times

— Martin Rubin

Diplomat

"Next time someone fulminates about 'foreign invaders' or 'lazy immigrants' give them a copy of Panayi's book. Or buy them a meal."—Diplomat

— Alasdair Buchan

Times Higher Education Supplement

"What makes Panayi's book distinctive and valuable is that he demonstrates his central point by examining the diverse dimensions of Britain's food supply and catering business over the past 150 years. . . . If Panayi has an agenda, it is to wake up ignorant Brits, to make them realise how central immigrants have been to the development of the UK's economy and culture in the last century and a half."—Times Higher Education Supplement

— Jeremy MacClancy

Choice

"Some books are researched. Others are lived. This book reflects both modalities and is strengthened by the author's life experience and sensitivity to cultural nuance. . . . Panayi's many examples, most of which delve deeply into the subtleties of food culture, are carefully researched, detailed, and convincing, giving the reader a taste of the dynamism of culinary interchange."
Washington Times - Martin Rubin

"His book demonstrates convincingly that whether drawing on its former colonial and imperial possessions (including the United States, with its ever-popular hamburger and other fast foods) or on its European neighbors, the openness of British society has truly enriched its diet and produced its present-day variegated cuisine."
Diplomat - Alasdair Buchan

"Next time someone fulminates about 'foreign invaders' or 'lazy immigrants' give them a copy of Panayi's book. Or buy them a meal."
Times Higher Education Supplement - Jeremy MacClancy

"What makes Panayi's book distinctive and valuable is that he demonstrates his central point by examining the diverse dimensions of Britain's food supply and catering business over the past 150 years. . . . If Panayi has an agenda, it is to wake up ignorant Brits, to make them realise how central immigrants have been to the development of the UK's economy and culture in the last century and a half."
Choice

"Some books are researched. Others are lived. This book reflects both modalities and is strengthened by the author's life experience and sensitivity to cultural nuance. . . . Panayi's many examples, most of which delve deeply into the subtleties of food culture, are carefully researched, detailed, and convincing, giving the reader a taste of the dynamism of culinary interchange."
Choice

"Some books are researched. Others are lived. This book reflects both modalities and is strengthened by the author's life experience and sensitivity to cultural nuance. . . . Panayi's many examples, most of which delve deeply into the subtleties of food culture, are carefully researched, detailed, and convincing, giving the reader a taste of the dynamism of culinary interchange."

The Bookseller

"This fills a gap between studies of British regional food and the legion of book on Anglo-Indian eating, as it has a much wider sphere of influences."—The Bookseller

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861893734
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Panikos Panayi is professor of European history at De Montfort University. His father was a Cypriot pastry chef working in London.

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Table of Contents

Preface 7

Part I Introduction

1 British and Foreign Food 12

Part II The First Ripples of Change, Circa 1850-1945

2 Immigration and the Emergence of 'Ghetto' Food 40

3 The Birth of the Foreign Restaurant 65

4 Changes in British Eating Habits 95

Part III The Culinary Revolution Since 1945

5 The Multiculturalization of Migrant Food 124

6 The Victory of the Foreign Restaurant 151

7 The Revolution in the Home 181

Part IV Conclusion

8 Food and Multiculturalization 212

References 221

Bibliography 251

Acknowledgements 265

Photo Acknowledgements 267

Index 269

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