Eating for England

  • by Nigel Slater
  • Narrated by Nigel Slater
  • 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The British have a relationship with their food that is unlike that of any other country. Once something that was never discussed in polite company, it is now something with which the nation is obsessed. But are we at last developing a food culture, or are we just going through the motions? Eating for England is an entertaining, detailed, and somewhat tongue-in-cheek observation of the British and their food, their cooking, their eating, and how they behave in restaurants, with chapters on, amongst other things, dinner parties, funeral teas, Indian restaurants, dieting, and eating while under the influence. Written in Nigel Slater's trademark readable style, Eating for England highlights our idiosyncratic attitude towards the fine art of dining.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

And Scotland, Wales and Ireland ............

Nigel Slater is a greedy guts. There can't be any British foods, sweet or savoury; gourmet or junk; trendy or long forgotten, that he hasn't eaten and (mostly) loved. Here he gives little chapters to all, from faggots to Abbey Crunch biscuits, poached salmon to sherbert lemons, and all the varied occasions on which they might be eaten. In his wise, witty and often waspish style, he delivers an amazingly history of British eating habits over the past 50 years or so. It is very entertaining and nostalgic, and you will soon be scouring the supermarket shelves for some long forgotten treat!
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- Joan

Makes me think English food really is bad

Working abroad I’m often asked about British food. And why it's 'so bad'. So I bought this book looking for some good things to say about English food. Unfortunately I chose the wrong book to do that.

There are two main problems with this book for me. First, it feels like an apology for English food. After listening to an anecdote about the ritual of unwrapping a chocolate biscuit to get to the ‘treasure’ inside, we’re told that the biscuit itself doesn’t taste great and it’s only really eaten for nostalgic reasons. When the topic turns to the Sunday roast, I become more confident that we'll hear about good English food. But no, we’re told that brussels sprouts smell like fart. OK, maybe they do, but I’m looking for a more positive angle! I gave up hope when it was announced that toast is Britain’s offering to the gastronomic world. Blimey, English food really is bad, I thought.

The second major problem with the book is the structure. Chapters are very short and don’t seem to be in any particular order with topics introduced and then abandoned willy nilly. We’re told that summer food is lighter in England than in other countries. It’s ‘a water colour compared to European gouache’. Interesting, I think. But before I’ve even had time to settle down ready to hear more, it's back to the topic of cheap biscuits from the supermarket or the merits of processed cheese on white bread.

This book is read with enthusiasm and it’s full of nostalgic stories, some of which I could relate to. There are nibbles of interesting information but nothing to really to get your teeth into. Like eating one of my old school dinners, I got to the end but I didn’t enjoy it.
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- Kari

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-10-2007
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited