New BBC show highlights English food history

If you’re in the UK, the BBC has a new series on the historical origins of our daily meals.  Over three episodes, host Clarissa Dickson Wright reveals the history of breakfast, lunch and dinner through interviews with food historians and other guests.  In the first episode, “Breakfast,” she blazes through English food history from the liturgical beginnings of “break fast,” to pig farming and the traditional “full English” breakfast.  She interviews an archivist with Fortnum & Mason, London’s original gourmet food store, and explains the cultural reasons for the rise of the middle class and the need for stores like Fortnum’s.  John Harvey Kellogg, the American doctor who pioneered cold breakfast cereal, is profiled, with emphasis on his scientific motivations in creating a “perfect laxative” for health spa clients.

Viewers in the UK can watch the first episode, “Breakfast,” on BBC’s iPlayer.  American viewers can locate episodes of the series on or other file sharing sites.

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