As Charles Dickens taught the British to celebrate Christmas
Charles Dickens was a foodie, and his works were introduced with the British festive food, which has not changed since the village Cratchit family at the table in his “a Christmas Carol”.
“What is important to know about Dickens, says the historian Pen Vogler, pulling from the oven a baking sheet with caraway biscuits — is the fact that he knew what it was like to be hungry.”
In his cookbook “Dinner with Dickens” it explores how cooking has influenced his work, and recreates the dishes of which this literary giant wrote in their works. Pen also shows how through food he drew characters and funny situations, and even highlighted social problems.
For our meeting, Pen in haste even made a Christmas pudding, but, fortunately, there were no cereal.
“Dickens as a child had no income in the food — continues to tell of the Pen, shifting the hot cookies on a grid to cool them down. — In his books often present an innocent hungry children. He wanted to show readers that good food and satiety — is the right of any person, even the poor.”
When Charles Dickens was 12, his father was in jail for debt; his family had to move to a conclusion with him, and Charles was sent to a factory for the production of wax, where he earned penny, which he barely was enough for cheap food and bread.
His interest in food, according to Pen, arose at this time.
The attitude of the heroes of his works by eating very often shows us their moral qualities. Fat adults often starved skinny kids; people who are happy to eat and a willingness to share with others your own meals — good; those who are satisfied with a gorgeous feast to the show or throws food — mostly bad. Think about the wedding cake, miss Havisham…
“If there is no correct emotional mindset, then it’s worse than just useless, says Pen. — Food is necessary to enjoy it should enjoy according to the rules. For him, food has been associated with emotions, and not showing off.”
Charles Dickens was a great gourmand (check out his recipe for lamb leg, baked with oysters) and was famous for its abundant feasts, and his wife Catherine had even published a small recipe book for families with different incomes.
“If Dickens were alive today, you probably would have been in the jury of the Bake Off [popular British television program bi-Bi-si “Best Baker of Britain”], although he was not a sweet tooth, and loved the main dishes,” says Pen, cutting the apples into slices.