Consuming Passions: History of English Food and Appetite (Penguin Classic History)

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9780141390666: Consuming Passions: History of English Food and Appetite (Penguin Classic History)

What have the ancient Romans with their orgies, the primitive Christians with their fasts and their guilt to do with the English traditions of food? Why are oysters and celery believed to be aphrodisiacs? How is eating connected to sexual desire? In this history of the English appetite, Philippa Pullar answers these questions in an amusing manner. She draws such apparently unconnected subjects as phallic worship, cannibalism, agriculture, wet-nursing, prostitution, witchcraft, magic and aphrodisiacs into a fascinating synthesis. Starting with the Romans, she charts the development of the art of cooking, drawing surprising parallels between eating habits, religion and sexual mores. She guides us through the kitchens and dining rooms of such noted gourmets as Heliogabalus, Vittelius, Dr. Johnson and Sydney Smith, into the pubs of Pepys and Lord Rochester and into the bedrooms with Frank Harris. Finally she illustrates her theme by providing recipes for long-forgotten dishes.

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Product Description:

An absorbing and often hilarious history of English appetite. From Roman ordies to Puritanism, from the great class divide of the nineteenth century to the egalitarian seventies, Philippa Pullar explores eating habits in all their diversity, demonstrating the surprising parallels between food, religion and sex. Originally published in 1970, this version was published as a Penguin Classic in 2001. A new afterword by acclaimed food writer Paul Levy brings the story up to the 21st Century

Review:

"* 'A book so readable and so engagingly full of unstuffy knowledge, wisdom and just plain fun' NEW STATESMAN * 'The author has found time for astonishingly wide reading. It is impossible to give more than a tiny sample of the fascinations to be found in this book - instructive, funny and macabre.' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT"

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