Back In Time For Dinner

Written by
Cover of Back In Time For Dinner

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?