Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Cake: A Global History by Nicola Humble

After having missed Teaser Tuesday last week for the first time in months, I am back with some festive teasers from my first (and most likely only) non fiction read of the year.

I have chosen a couple of teasers, both relating to Christmas cakes, from Cake: A Global History by Nicola Humble. This is part of a series of called The Edible Series where each book focuses on a particular type of food. In addition to this one about Cake, there are others about Pie, Cheese, Chocolate etc. I am definitely planning to try and read more because it was a fun little read. I am planning to do a Weekend Cooking post about this book in the next few weeks!

My first teaser comes from pages 19:

By the Middle Ages, porridge existed in many forms, one of which was an enriched version in which the oats or wheat were accompanied by dried fruits, suet, butter, honey and spices. This luxurious mixture had a celebratory function, and was often served Christmas. This 'plum porridge' ('plum' being the generic medieval term for dried fruits) eventually became so stiff with ingredients that it was more solid than liquid. It was at this stage that cooks began to boil it in a cloth, developing the glossy, round plum pudding that was later to play so central a role in the Victorian Christmas.

and then from page 77:

The Twelfth Cake was replaced by (some would say mutated into) the Christmas cake - still a rich fruit cake with almond and royal icing, but no longer bearing those symbolic figures.

The British Christmas cake, like many of our most treasured rituals of the season, is not, therefore, very old at all. It has, though, acquired a notable presence as a symbolically necessary component of the festivities.

Merry Christmas to my fellow Teaser Tuesday-ers!

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. Head on over to find out all about it, and how to join in!


  1. This sounds like my kind of non fiction read. I would like to read the cheese and chocolate books!

  2. Where did you find this book? It's so unique. Didn't know about The Edible Series. Did you write how many books are in the series? I'm going to reread the Teaser in case I missed something.

  3. Tea, someone pointed me in the direction of a podcast interview with the author, and after I heard that I had to go and find the book. According to the inside flap there are going to be 39 books all up in the series.

    Sam, cheese and chocolate sound good to me too.

  4. Sounds like a yummy read! And fascinating, too. I love cake. This week my teaser is from The Iron Queen.

  5. I so want to read these books!! I have been hearing great things about them and really am intrigued! How can you go wrong with a whole book about cake?? You can't!!

  6. No need to tell you how much this book -- and the series -- calls to me.

  7. Yuck. I can't stand Christmas Cake.


  8. Fredamans, the fact that Christmas cake is disliked by so many people and yet so much still part of the Christmas celebration is one of the things that the author talks about in the book.

    Beth F, no, no need for you to mention that at all!

    Zibilee, you can't!

  9. That's interesting. Enjoy your festive books. My teaser is here, if you want to take a look: http://abookblogofonesown.blogspot.com/2010/12/teaser-tuesday-21122010.html

    Merry Christmas!

  10. What delicious teasers! Thanks for sharing.

    Here's mine:

    (click on my name)

  11. Interesting. I made a a microwave pudding that consists of essentially oats, SRF and chopped dates.

  12. Ok that's made me hungry, thanks for the yummy teasers.

    Merry Christmas

    My Teaser Tuesday

  13. Hmmm sounds like yummy reading. I'll have to look for that pie book.