アフタヌーン・セミナー 第21回 British Food : A Short History of Influences & why its Reputation is So Poor ≪Part 1≫

  • 2013.09.09 Monday
  • 13:58






2013821日実施したMark Twymanによる「British Food」のアフタヌーン・セミナーです。

本来のイギリス料理とはどのような物であったのか、そして工業化や戦争などの歴史を通じてどのようにそのスタイルが変わっていったのか。なぜイギリス料理は不評を呼んでいるのか。など、Markならではの視点でBritish Foodを紹介してくれました。



British Food : A Short History of Influences & why its Reputation is So Poor

BY Mark Twyman


Part 1


The history of food in Britain is a history of advances and setbacks. At the dawn of the modern era (around 1650), most of the population was still living in the countryside. More than that, there was a degree of stability and many families had been settled in the same place for at least a generation or two. This degree of stability allowed some healthy practices and ways of life to develop.


The biggest benefits were access to products, space and equipment to process these products and the knowledge and skill to be able to get the most from the products, space and equipment. Though there have already been lists of foods eaten and recipes, most of these from institutions such as churches and universities, it’s from this time that households begin compiling recipes and advice as a resource for family members.


However, the first setback occurs – enclosure – this was the practice of appropriating public land for private use. This meant that ordinary people no longer had access to common grazing and woodland meaning they could no longer keep animals, hunt, fish or pick the wild herbs, fruit and vegetables. In addition, there was a move away from strip farming which had given people access to vegetables to crop rotation, an industrialization of farming. People were now forced to find work to do at home.


This meant their attention shifted form food and good household practices and there was a massive de-skilling and many preserving and curing skills were lost. From many families making a living from the countryside they were now involved in commercial work such as sawing and weaving. This situation was further exacerbated by industrialization – where people left the countryside and moved into factory towns.


The impact of this was dreadful as the houses for these new workers didn’t have kitchens. Moreover, workers often had to buy from the company store. This period sees the rise of cooked food on the street – fish and chips, hot pies and so on. It is here that the British food begins to get its poor reputation.


As for the positive trends, discovery, trade and open borders allowed for the movement of ingredients, methods and equipment – not to mention people. The combination of good local produce and imported spices such as nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and ginger produced some wonderful dishes which are still cooked today, for example apple pie or crumble flavoured with nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.


Wars and rationing led to a further loss of know-how and, of course, limited access to produce. After the period of wars (roughly 1888 to 1965) there was a small blossoming of interest in food and a rebirth of cookery books – particularly about the continent. Elizabeth David wrote ground-breaking books about cookery in France and Italy (before going on to write a book about salt and spices – which plays into modern movements).


However, the seventies and early eighties saw the growth of commercially produced processed food. This led to such abominations as instant mashed potatoes and sliced white bread and eventually led to frozen TV dinners and pot noodles. A good illustration of the depth to which food culture had stooped was the sausage – in supermarkets there was one brand available and it was full of chemicals and bread crumbs. This contrasts with today where supermarkets carry a whole range of gourmet sausages – often endorsed by celebrity chefs (Jamie Oliver) and well known farmers (The Black Butcher).


Part 2につづく・・・ http://www.simulacademy.jp/?eid=166


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