Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Forgotten roots.

The Land That Thyme Forgot-William Black 

Ah...English food there is nothing really quite like it. That statement is can be taken any number of ways. True many a joke has been made at the expense of British gastronomy and not without good reason. But like all countries England has a unique culinary heritage all it's own.

It is in fact a rich history that has somehow gotten over looked and surpassed by the negativity that has grown up around British food. Like any country there is a great deal of local diversity and numerous regional dishes and food.

Black, an Englishman, has taken it upon himself to look into British cuisine, not through the eyes of a critic but more of those of a traveler. He crisscrossed the country looking for the unique and the good. The unexpected and the endangered. 

In return the reader gets a look at a fascinating side of the UK that is often over looked. As well glimpses in to corners of the land that are well off the beaten path. Small producers are profiled and regional specialties tasted. It is somewhat reassuring that there still is some diversity out there. While at the same time one can't help but wonder how much longer some of it can last in  an overly homogeneous and highly regulated marketplace.

It might seem as if Black is on some sort of vision quest.  Perhaps he is trying a little too hard. No. He really can't be too far off the mark, after all given the chance who would not want to spent a couple of days indulging in the current London culinary scene? Fine British food had to have come from somewhere. And that is where Black takes us.

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