Hard tack

The humble biscuit has a noble history

Sin-eating is an old European practice. After a person’s death, during the period of lying-in, a biscuit would be placed on the corpse in its coffin. Before the burial, one of the mourners would eat it in order to take on the sins of the departed and allow them to move on into the next life free of the burdens of their transgressions. Such fascinating info is the stuff of Lizzie Collingham’s book The Biscuit. This review, sadly, won’t touch on a tenth of it. Collingham has bagged a senior place among writers telling history through a single item of food. The book ranks up there with Salt and Cod