You are what you don’t eat

If asked to think about food preservation for a moment you might picture an aproned woman boiling oranges for marmalade in a large copper maslin pan; or vegetable scraps being turned into stock; or those recipes from wartime rationing using root veg in place of sugar; or even, with an eye to the modern, you might imagine a trendy chef preparing offal in a gleaming chrome kitchen to ensure the nose-to-tail credentials of his restaurant. Some of the attempts in the past to spin out the life of fresh produce sound positively disgusting But there is more to the history of preservation than preserves, and the obvious enemy, when we

A diplomatic sweetener: the power of marmalade

It took Paddington Bear to solve the age-old mystery of what the Queen keeps in her handbag. When Her Majesty pulled out a marmalade sandwich during the pair’s sketch at the Platinum Jubilee concert this summer, it did more than just tickle the audience. It also served to remind us of our national love affair with marmalade. Long before Paddington developed a taste for it, the preserve had been a stalwart of British popular culture, from Jane Austen (where Lady Middleton applies marmalade as balm for her daughter’s scratch) to Evelyn Waugh (where, in Brideshead Revisited, Charles Ryder eats ‘scrambled eggs and bitter marmalade with the zest which in youth