A curious history of food & drink, Ian Crofton – reviewed.

Ever wondered where noodles came from? How Worcester Sauce was invented? Or even who the ‘Cucumber King of Burma’ was? I did.


This is one of those ‘loo’ books. You can read it cover to cover like I did, in an endless thirst for random gastronomy facts, or your can pick it up as and when you have a spare 5 minutes, and a penchant for having your mind blown.


Why is it that food fads come and go? From Cronuts, Guonuts and Duffins, to Peacock, Porridge and Puffins.


Top right: An original Beas of Bloomsbury Duffin. Yeah boi. 

Forget street cred, foodie cred is where the haps is.


Did you know that the tradition of a Christmas Ham (reputedly) stems from a tradition of the Norse, who would sacrifice a boar to the goddess Freyja at the winter solstice? Beetroot juice was treasured by the Romans as an aphrodisiac, and to my utter shock, Kiwis (the birds, not the fruit) used to be hunted (hunting a kiwifruit isn’t exactly hard, hence the clarification) and eaten, and I quote “they have an earthy flavour which to many would be disagreeable” Too right mate, Kiwis aren’t for eating. They are scaling Mount Everest, for working as Formula One mechanics and appearing in Downton Abbey.


I highly recommend A curious history of food and drink, it’s an amusing romp from 1.9 million years ago to now. It’ll make you think twice about how that elevenses slice of chocolate came to be on your plate. Or may be the second slice.


Go on, I won’t judge you.


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