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Red Sauce, Brown Sauce: A British Breakfast Odyssey

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by Felicity Cloake
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The very Britishness of this food-travel narrative is evident in its comparison of ketchup (the red sauce) with brown sauce, an opposition that may never occur to residents of many lands where HP sauce and its kindred seem to be sold as examples of acquired tastes.

No matter. They’re but a metaphor for the many strongly held British ideas about breakfasts, some of them dividing regions, others families. Felicity Cloake, gamely journeying throughout the United Kingdom by bicycle, traces not only regional specialties, but the development of the very idea of the British breakfast as something distinctive.

This being the UK, there are of course Characters. Like the sorts of people who enter the World Porridge Championship or those who make black pudding or treacle bacon. And Cloake herself is one, an intrepid narrator who always seems to know someone nearby, whether she’s visiting a marmalade factory in Scotland or a beekeeper in Wales. It’s possible that many cultural references passed us by, but that’s the level of immersion you’ll find here.


Published: October 31, 2023

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