Scoff: A History of Food and Class in Britain by Pen Vogler


Bookseller Review by Miriam:

‘In Scoff Penelope Vogler enthrals with a pacy social history of the cultural value of food; what was available and when – the innovations, imitations, rules and trends. Who knew that we were eating pasta before we were eating fish and chips? From gin to tripe, ice cream to doilies… it’s all here. With recipes from food writers of the past, personal anecdotes and insights into what Jane Austin and Dickens had for ‘dinner’! There was even a much-appreciated chapter on vegetarianism. Fascinating and fun!’

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ISBN: 9781786496492 Category: Tags: , , ,


Avocado or beans on toast? Gin or claret? Nut roast or game pie? Milk in first or milk in last? And do you have tea, dinner or supper in the evening?

In this fascinating social history of food in Britain, Pen Vogler examines the origins of our eating habits and reveals how they are loaded with centuries of class prejudice. Covering such topics as fish and chips, roast beef, avocados, tripe, fish knives and the surprising origins of breakfast, Scoff reveals how in Britain we have become experts at using eating habits to make judgements about social background.

Bringing together evidence from cookbooks, literature, artworks and social records from 1066 to the present, Vogler traces the changing fortunes of the food we encounter today, and unpicks the aspirations and prejudices of the people who have shaped our cuisine for better or worse.