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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

V.C.4 - The British Isles

from V.C - The History and Culture of Food and Drink in Europe
Once Britain was cut off from the mainland of the Continent and fishing was feasible in the clement weather of the summer, fish became a part of the local diet as meat was in the winter. The Romans raised vines in southern England and grew peaches, apricots, figs, and almonds in sheltered gardens. Fish played a large role in medieval banquets as well. An act of Parliament made Saturday a fish day so as to encourage both shipbuilding and fishing. There were various recipes for an Elizabethan fish-day salad that included herbs and periwinkles, along with white endive and Alexander buds, with whelks to garnish the whole. Beer and ale remained the most popular drinks in Britain until the beginning of the eighteenth century, when home-brewed distilled spirits took over. Since the 1950s, Chinese, Indian, Cypriot, Thai, and Mexican restaurants have grown up throughout the towns and cities of Britain.
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The Cambridge World History of Food
  • Online ISBN: 9781139058643
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