Consuming Passions: History of English Food and Appetite

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9780241019450: Consuming Passions: History of English Food and Appetite
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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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"* '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"

About the Author:

Philippa Pullar was born in London in 1935. She received a Cordon Bleu Certificate of Cookery and was a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society. She also wrote an acclaimed biography of FRANK HARRIS to be published in Penguin Classic Biography in August 2001.

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