It seems strange that it’s taken me a year of blogging – and 800 years or so of English literature – to write about bread when it is such a staple food. In the Bible story of Adam and Eve, the first human beings, God punishes Adam with hard work, saying, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground” (Genesis 3: 19). Bread, the most basic of foodstuffs, will only be earned through back-breaking labour.

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The Civilizing Effects of Food

When I first blogged about food in Robinson Crusoe I promised that I would – like the eponymous protagonist – try cooking with goat, as soon as I sourced some goat meat.  Well, goat meat has arrived at my local farmers’ market, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to try it out.   Continue reading “The Civilizing Effects of Food”

The Luxury of Time

One of the most interesting features of Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe is the detailed accounts of how the protagonist learns to survive on an uninhabited desert island.  Once he has built and furnished his shelter, he begins a journal (using paper and ink that he has found on the wrecked ship) and, through this, documents his attempts to build his own version of English society on the island.  He describes making different shelters, building a boat, civilizing a savage – Man Friday whom he rescues from cannibals – and, most importantly for my purposes, growing and cooking food. Continue reading “The Luxury of Time”