Recurring Decimals…..

Everything here is irrelevant

Of British Culinary History….

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…and whether it is an oxymoron. The incomparable Mr Pai, takes time off from heady matters of the Indian state and global politics to comment:

 In recorded history (Jaffrey, S. Tandoori Nights. BBC) Britain’s culinary tradition goes way back to circa 1960 CE, with the South Asian conquest. But archaeological studies and radio-carbon dating suggest that Britain had some from of a cuisine even before that, mainly involving roasted root vegetables (eg potato) and meat (eg beef). Anthropological studies, mainly from the spread of people from the British Isles to Australia suggest that deep fried pieces of fish and oblong pieces of potato might have been invented in Britain. There is some confusion though—perhaps another older European conspiracy—because the deep fried pieces of potato are called “French” fries in North America.

But British culinary tradition also involves liquid foods. Here the British influence is more discernable. Ancient British mystics invented nutritious drinks that included malt, hops and barley as ingredients, and involved an elaborate process of brewing. Other British mystics invented a more nutritious brew involving molasses, wheat, oak barrels and distillation. Scholars speculate that India’s national drink, Scotch Whiskey, actually originated in Britain. They point to circumstantial evidence—a particular musical instrument on the label of a famous brand—that suggests British origins. But other scholars reject the British Invasion theory by pointing to the turban, beard, colour of skin and other adornments on the same label and argue that the drink is purely Indian. Similarly, they argue Beer was introduced to Britain by Dr Mallya during the second wave of the South Asian Conquest of Britain (circa 1998 CE).

In conclusion, we can safely say that Britain’s culinary tradition is rich, long and has had a wider influence than is generally acknowledged.  (link to the original post)

And I always thought French Fries originated in Belgium.


Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Posted in Food, Fun

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