Back In Time For Dinner

Written by

Who’s the author? Mary Gwynn, the founding editor of BBC Vegetarian Good Food and subsequently editor of M&S magazine. She has worked as a consultant editor and trainer for Waitrose for 12 years.

What’s it about? Full of delicious detail, this marvellous companion to the BBC series is rich with nostalgia and provides a feast of extraordinary factual nuggets. Do you remember the arrival of the fish finger, the rise and fall of Angel Delight, Vesta curries and Wimpy hamburgers? Did you own a fondue set or host a Tupperware party, or were you starving yourself on the Cabbage Soup Diet? Was life always too short to stuff a mushroom? And what was the point of Nouvelle Cuisine?

Good book for: Foodies interested in the social and food history. There has been a revolution in our kitchens. In 1950, the average housewife worked a seventy-five-hour week. No one owned a fridge or had seen a teabag, let alone an avocado or a Curly Wurly . Ten years later, sugar consumption had rocketed: we ate more biscuits for dinner than vegetables and fruit. It was not until the mid 1990s that we started to worry about ‘five a day’. And now, nearly twenty years on from the first vegetable-box delivery scheme, we are fatter than ever before . . . Has there ever been a golden age of the family meal?