I am looking for a good book on British cuisine, and I have a specific type of book in mind. I tried looking on Amazon, but I couldn't determine whether a given book offers what I want.
- I am looking for a book which is more of a good read than a recipe collection. I actually intend to curl up in an armchair and read it through.
- It should describe different traditional dishes, something about their background, maybe things like where it is from, is it prepared for certain occasions, maybe some historical anecdotes, or typical pairings.
- If there are traditional genera of dishes which require their own technique, I'd like to see that technique explained somewhere. For example, I have a book on French cuisine, and it contains very detailed directions on making pastetes, independently of any recipes.
- A general chapter on food history in Britain could also be nice, if not too long.
- It should also provide the recipes for the dishes - maybe not a big collection, just for sampling whatever is described in the text. But please, it should be a book with good recipes, not one where the author described the cooking tradition and then just slapped the first recipe they came across without even testing if it can be made.
- It should cover baking as well as cooking. I've always wondered what scones taste like.
- It should contain a good share of food porn.
All in all, I guess it is maybe best described as a collection of Smitten Kitchen articles, only the text shouldn't be about the author's personal experience with the food, but about the tradtions surrounding it.
If you know of such a book, I am looking forward to your recommendations.