The author of How to Cook from A-Z disproves the myth of British navy culinary misconduct in “a work of serious history that is a delight to read” (British Food in America).
This celebration of the Georgian sailor’s diet reveals how the navy’s administrators fed a fleet of more than 150,000 men, in ships that were often at sea for months on end and that had no recourse to either refrigeration or canning. Contrary to the prevailing image of rotten meat and weevily biscuits, their diet was a surprisingly hearty mixture of beer, brandy, salt beef and pork, peas, butter, cheese, hard biscuit, and the exotic sounding lobscouse, not to mention the Malaga raisins, oranges, lemons, figs, dates, and pumpkins which were available to ships on far-distant stations. In fact, by 1800 the British fleet had largely eradicated scurvy and other dietary disorders. While this scholarly work contains much of value to the historian, the author’s popular touch makes this an enthralling story for anyone with an interest in life at sea in the age of sail.
“Overall this is an excellent examination of this crucial aspect of British naval power, and I’m certainly going to try out some of the recipes.” —HistoryOfWar.org