On a recent trip to my local $1 Book Store I bought 10 old cookbooks, dating back to the 60’s and 70’s. Whilst looking for recipes for Boar today, I started reading The Cooking of the British Isles by Adrian Bailey. The first chapter was an introduction from the books foods editor and consultant, José Wilson. A paragraph in the book really hit home with me and warmed my cockles, so I thought I’d share.
“British food is uncomplicated, reassuring to the palate, a repository of familiar, cherished flavors. There are no gastronomic flourishes to upset the delicate balance of digestion. In essence, it is nostalgic and evocative, intertwined with memories, heightened by time, of snowy Dickensian Christmases when the goose sputtered in the oven, the pudding simmered on the stove, and trays of mince pies cooled tantalizingly in the pantry. It is substantial food, designed to stoke the inner fires in a country that, though never arctically cold, is frequently raw and bone chilling and has yet to fully embrace wholeheartedly the delights of central heating. Armored with a good breakfast of sausage, bacon, grilled tomato and fried egg washed down with cups of strong, milky tea, anyone can start the day with a flush of warmth and well-being. And at the end of a cold, gray winter afternoon there is the promise of tea with scones and jam, and crumpets oozing butter. For British food is, above all, comforting food, the kind you turn to when you are tired, cold, hungry, miserable or sick”.
José Wilson, Foods Editor and Consultant – The Cooking of the British Isles – Published 1969 by Time Life Books