THE FOOD OF THE SCOTS
A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology

ALEXANDER FENTON
528pp ILLUS 2007 LIST PRICE: £40.00 E342

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Description
This book explores the nature of food in the Scottish past, including game and wild plants, cereals and dairy products, flesh and drink, whether home-brewed ale or wines from abroad. Through examination of long-held customs, the author provides a detailed appraisal of the realities and complexities of the Scottish diet. Food such as the everyday oatcakes and cheese, prepared in a special way for seasonal or work occasions, and for the personal occasions of birth, baptism, marriage and death, is discussed. The adoption of hot drinks -- chocolate, coffee and tea -- from the end of the seventeenth century marked an economic upswing, at first at high social levels. Change in the composition and timing of meals was reinforced by the industrial age a century later, and dependence on rural products was gradually reduced by imports and by preservation techniques.