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Book no.1
Fools Gold Saffron Small.jpg


Saffron has allured us with its golden hues throughout time. It was the darling of the Medieval kitchen, the saviour of the apothecary’s chest and gave cloth a regal glow. Unlike many spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, saffron can be successfully grown in England. From the middle ages through to the eighteenth century there was a thriving saffron industry in this country. Some people even claimed English saffron was the best to be found in the world.   Sam Bilton will show you how a few saffron fronds can make your repast a thing of great beauty and wonder to your dinner guests.

Book no.2


Gingerbread is a lovely treat which has played a part in almost everyone’s childhood. But what was gingerbread made of when it first arrived on our plates? When did treacle, dark and sticky, first become available? And why did the gingerbread man leap from the tin, and run so fast with a fox snapping at its heels?


Sam Bilton examines the history of gingerbread, from ancient times down to the present day, before introducing us to a range of delicious gingerbread and ginger cake recipes that bring the story of this spicy and much loved treat to life.

Book no.3


What makes chocolate so alluring? Why is it the inspiration for endless culinary creativity? Sam Bilton explores our complex relationship with this versatile confection, which is made from the humble beans of the tropical cacao tree.

Divided thematically, the book moves between the ceremonial uses of chocolate and its reputation as an aphrodisiac, investigates its reputed health properties and poisonous possibilities. Other chapters reveal the darker side of its production in the Americas, through slave labour and exploitation of indigenous populations, as well as its commercialisation as a sweet treat in Western cultures, and chocolate consumption around the world.

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