Scoff: A History of Food and Class in Britain | History Hit

Scoff: A History of Food and Class in Britain

Alex Spencer

The idea for this book first came about after a rather matter-of-fact conversation I had with a good historian friend of mine. Positing this idea of our changing diets and dishes, from the past to the present, I began to pick apart the exciting themes of palette and people which led me down this delicious path of chronicling the social history of Britain through the culinary journey of the great British meal.

With Scoff, I wanted to focus on the historical aspects of food and its intersubjectivity by delving into the question of whether what we eat forms our opinion of class, and social status.

Whilst you’re reading the book, I have collated a few questions that might be worth asking yourself. These are some of the same questions that I also asked myself whilst writing:

  1. What do I admire and what do I criticize about Britain’s eating habits?
  2. Are all regions of Britain represented, or are some missed out or glossed over? What are the stories, phrases, or dishes from your own region that I might have included?
  3. Are there foods from the past (including from your own upbringing) that we have lost? Which do you think we should revive and which should we say good riddance to?
  4. Is there anything controversial about this subject? Did it make you feel uncomfortable? Did it make you feel that we should do things differently in Britain?
  5. What part of the book seems most alien to your own experience? Is it always the parts furthest back in time or are there parts of our contemporary food culture which seem strange or unlikeable?
  6. The discussions are many, the questions, abound, and I look forward to getting your interesting takes.

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