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Eating England
by Hattie Ellis with photography by Jill Mead

Eating England book cover In Eating England food writer Hattie Ellis sets out to answer the question, 'What is English food?' The wealth of her own experience and her thorough research from her extensive 'food forays' throughout England lend a voice of authority to her book.

Using a serious but informal, and sometimes humourous approach, Ellis interweaves the places and people that make up England's past and present farming, food, and drink scene.

The book links history, culture, and countryside together in a food collage as the author uncovers answers to the questions of what English food is today, how it got where it is, and where it is headed.

Eating England explores the history and tradition of some of our best-known food and drink: Marmite, mushy peas, roast beef, pork pies, and many other regional and local specialties. These stories make for both engaging and entertaining reading.

Ellis makes skillful use of interviews with independent food producers, organic farmers, chefs, publicans, and shopkeepers, detailing their struggles to survive in an increasingly industrialized, global, and regulated agricultural scene.

Ellis states, "Real food is made by people who use hard-learned skills and pay constant attention to what they do, who take a pride in making something exceptional". She believes it is up to us, the consumer, to care passionately about what we eat and drink, that we are the ones who make a real difference by voting with our pocketbooks.

Eating England is a fascinating and informative read for everyone interested in the joy of eating good food.

If this book has one weakness, it is the guide at the end. Although extensively listing her personal recommendations for 500 places to eat, drink, and shop, the author has given us no price guidelines for restaurant meals. For those on limited budgets-the majority of consumers-it would be a helpful addition. Although, as the author states, you can't put a price on good food, our pocketbooks do so. Nevertheless, the guide is a good starting point for food explorers.

Eating England
ISBN 1 84000 3510

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