I’ve been busily researching for my book on Colonial foodways, but I’ve had an additional opportunity come along that works really well in tandem with it. Thankfully I can research both at the same time (because they both deal with some similar topic areas), so I’m interested to see how they build off each other!
My new book will be published as part of a series on the history of different meals. The series editor, Ken Albala, is someone who has inspired me professionally and as a cook, so when I had the chance to work with him on this project I jumped at it! My book will be on the history of afternoon tea, which is a staple in English culture. I’ll be going beyond describing the meal itself by discussing how tea came to England and how the light afternoon meal developed in English culture. I’ll also be focusing on England as a colonial power, by looking at how (or whether) afternoon tea became a part of different cultures during the Colonial period, and what it looks like in those cultures today.
It’s an ambitious project, but an exciting one! I’m especially excited as I’ve been building our culinary history holdings at the Bentley Rare Book Gallery, so I’ll have some great reference material to look at to learn more about the topic!