My food history books

A TIMELINE OF AUSTRALIAN FOOD: from mutton to MasterChef 

This book chronicles 150 years of Australian food, beginning with the first Australian cookbook in the 1860s and ending in 2010 with the game-changing cooking show, MasterChef. This lavishly illustrated book is presented as a timeline; decade by decade it looks at what we’ve eaten, how we’ve shopped and how we’ve produced our food.

Over the years, as the very nature of Australia changed, the way we ate changed too. The book traces the history of our farmers, our manufacturers, our cooks and of everyday Australians as they lived through boom times, depressions and two World Wars.

Even within the lifetime of today’s baby-boomers, there have been revolutionary changes in how we eat. While the standard Anglo-Irish staples of meat and potatoes haven’t disappeared, they’ve been joined by pizza and pho, kimchi and kebabs.

This book serves up history in digestible chunks with big helpings of tasty trivia and a generous dash of nostalgia. How did Tim Tams get their name?  Why was Australia’s first commercial olive oil produced in a prison? Did an Australian firm really market dugong paté?  The book answers these questions and many, many more.

A Timeline of Australian Food is sadly now out of print but your local library may have a copy. You can read some reviews of the book as well as other bits and pieces on my Comments and Reviews page here.

ME AND MY BIG MOUTH – Living through Australia’s food revolution

If Marchant’s lemonade was so sparkalarkalarkaling why isn’t it around any more?
How do you make a genuine Cornish pasty and why can’t you call it that?
Did Australia’s “Mad men” live and lunch like their American ad agency counterparts?
Why did Kathmandu cafés do such a roaring trade in chocolate cake in the 1970s?

These and other burning questions are answered in Me and My Big Mouth, a personal account of how Australian food has changed in the baby-boomers’ lifetime. It’s the story of a generation that can remember life before pizza – a generation that has seen the demise of the local grocer and, decades later, the resurrection of the small local deli.

As well as taking a nostalgic look at growing up in the 1950s and 60s, this memoir gives you an insider’s view of the “Mad Men” era of Australian advertising – a time when lunches were long and liquid, television was the new medium, and jingles were all the rage. It embarks on various culinary journeys – on the ‘hippy-trail from Kathmandu to London, in the old cities of Europe and around Australia’s perimeter – and finally comes to rest in country New South Wales.

It’s a story of technology, social upheaval and coming-of-age. You can order a soft cover copy (allow a little time for shipping) or buy it from the Kindle Store as an eBook. To buy the book,   just follow these links:

Buy the paperback of Me and My Big Mouth from Blurb here.

Buy the Kindle version of Me and My Big Mouth from the Kindle store here.

To request review copies contact me directly.

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