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Back in Time for Dinner


That is the punalicious title of a history series currently on the BBC (check the food section of iPlayer or the programme website). Working from the UK National Food Survey and other sources, the producers have been taking a family of five on a whistle stop tour of the years from 1950. Each day brings a new year and they explore meals, social customs and other bits of British history.

It is a fascinating programme and all the more as they have now reached the 1980s, the decade where I turned teenager. I have clear memories of things like getting a microwave although my family never fell for the temptations of ready meals in front of the TV. I think there is one more week to go and I’m looking foward to the 1990s, which was the decade where I really learned to cook myself and experienced life as an independent adult.

What is most remarkable is how much things have changed. At the start of the 1950s rationing was still in force and, even when it was lifted later in the decade, things I take for granted, like having a fridge, were rarities in the UK. Thumbs up to Auntie Beeb for a fascinating menu of culinary time-travel.

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