Stuffed: A History of Good Food and Hard Times in Britain (Hardback)
  • Stuffed: A History of Good Food and Hard Times in Britain (Hardback)
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Stuffed: A History of Good Food and Hard Times in Britain (Hardback)

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£22.00
Hardback 464 Pages
Published: 02/11/2023
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Waterstones Says

From battles over farmland to whose responsibility it is to feed key workers, this hugely entertaining and enlightening volume from the author of Scoff details the myriad changing customs, laws and traditions that have dominated the way we have viewed food over the centuries.

In times of plenty, we stuff ourselves. When the food runs out, we're stuffed too. How have people in the British Isles shared the riches from our fields, dairies, kitchens and seas, as well as those from around the world? And when the cupboard is bare, who steps up to the plate to feed the nation's hungry children, soldiers at war or families in crisis?

Stuffed tells the stories of the food and drink at the centre of social upheavals from prehistory to the present: the medieval inns boosted by the plague; the Enclosures that finished off the celebratory roast goose; the Victorian chemist searching for unadulterated mustard; the post-war supermarkets luring customers with strawberries. Drawing on cookbooks, literature and social records, Pen Vogler reveals how these turning points have led to today's extremes of plenty and want: roast beef and food banks; allotmentfresh vegetables and ultra-processed fillers.

It is a tale of feast and famine, and of the traditions, the ideas and the laws which have fed - or starved - the nation, but also of the yeasty magic of bread and ale, the thrill of sugary treats, the pies and puddings that punctuate the year, and why the British would give anything - even North America - for a nice cup of tea.

Publisher: Atlantic Books
ISBN: 9781838955748
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 695 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 33 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

A fact-stuffed romp through our edible history... Impressively wide-ranging... [Vogler] relishes the moments where the past crashes up against the present. - The Times

A banquet of fascinating titbits, deep research and intellectual nourishment... Stuffed is dusted, metaphorically speaking, all over with icing sugar: a delicious and tempting thing. - Rachel Cooke, Observer

Fascinating... A scholarly and imaginative book full of incident and food for thought - Mail on Sunday

Delightful... Vogler offers up a feast of tales about popular British foods, ranging from potatoes to kippers and ale. - Gillian Tett, Financial Times

Delicious... [Vogler] is excellent, as in her 2020 book Scoff, at foraging among the sources to bring us wonderful stories of older food cultures. - Guardian

In this provocative history of British food, Pen Vogler goes back 400 years to lay the blame for our absurd modern eating habits. - Sunday Times

Engaging... Vogler shows how ongoing - and vital - the battle is to eat well... Deeply researched and great fun. It might make you think twice about what you eat, too. - Evening Standard

There is so much to enjoy in Stuffed... Vogler is a hands-on historian for whom the past is right there in the kitchen, the supermarket and the everyday ingredient. In Stuffed, her delight in the taste and craft of food-making, its stories and its skills is irresistibly palpable. - Literary Review

Vogler's book is divided into the histories of different foods - each telling of supply and demand falling into the right or wrong hands. The stories span pre-Enclosure times to the recent pandemic. They are deeply unsettling and anger-provoking, and it's a book that those who have influence over what we eat should read. - Rose Prince, Spectator

Persuasive... This clever and informative account confirms that we are indeed what we eat, and that our history is a product of it too. - New Statesman

Eating and feeding are the central projects of all human societies and Stuffed reveals that they are the very best lenses through which to understand our shared history. This is an extraordinary book about food, health and power; meticulously scholarly and extremely funny; as important as it is entertaining. Crucially it slices through the contemporary and historical politics of state versus individual responsibility: eating well is our responsibility, but it is the responsibility of the state to ensure we have that ability. And the book furnishes some ability itself with a series of recipes so that you can dine like a 17th central nobleman or a medieval peasant and feel a little more connected to the story of why we eat what we eat. Shot through with wit and humanity Stuffed is an all-consuming read. - Chris van Tulleken, author of Ultra-Processed People

Thoughtful, thought-provoking and full of fascinating detail (and intriguing recipes), this is a timely reminder we should never take our food for granted. - Felicity Cloake

Pen Vogler's Stuffed may tackle the question of hunger, but it is a generous and irresistible feast of a book. Spanning more than one thousand years of history, and focussing on 26 staple foods, Stuffed details the complex forces that determine diet, making clearer than ever that what we feed ourselves, our families and our communities is socially and politically shaped, and it always has been. - Polly Russell

This culinary history of Britain looks at the foods that sustained, nourished or delighted its inhabitants in times of plenty and hardship... Pen Vogler is warm, wise company throughout - History Revealed, 'Book of the Month'

Serves up a veritable smorgasbord of delicious tidbits as it charts the history of our island through the contents of its dinner plates - Buzz Magazine

This mouthwatering, kaleidoscopic history is infused with a light, informative tone and is convincingly argued... Meticulously researched, spiced with penetrating analysis and rich in colourful detail, Stuffed is a sparkling banquet. - Business Post

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“Incisive and thought provoking”

I absolutely loved Pen Vogler’s book Scoffed and Stuffed is an engaging, informed and highly entertaining follow up. I believe Pen’s research and knowledge as a food historian is impeccable and she puts her learning... More

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