I've just finished a book on the history of trade. What do we have at the bookshop to further my knowledge? Mark Kurlansky's books 'Cod', 'Salt' and 'The Big Oyster' come to mind. I enjoy his style which is a mix of world history, personal accounts and receipes. I've learned of the international reach of cod as a foodstuff which ties in with my history of trade book.
The next book I found was 'And a Bottle of Rum". How can you walk past that title. The author Wayne Curtis claims to tell 'A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails'. We start with the origin of rum and it's involvement with the slave trade. African slaves were needed for the sugar plantations, rum was traded to African chiefs. Planter's punch evolved around this time. The Daiquiri came in with Prohibition, and rum and Coca Cola? WWII. At the back of the book are recipes.
'Curry. A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors' is the last book I found on the shelves during my first quick search. Lizzie Cunningham treats us to the origins of popular dishes such as biryani, jalfrezi and vindaloo. This is an exhaustively researched book. Each foreign invasion over India's long history contributed to its cooking styles and ingredients.And it was a two way street- think of Ian Rankin's character Rebus enjoying a curry after a long night's investigating in the pubs around Edinburgh.