Historic Isle of Wight Food – James Rayner


Local Isle of Wight writer James Rayner uncovers the Island’s forgotten culinary heritage in this comprehensive history book.


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Historic Isle of Wight Food by James Rayner

Uncovering the Isle of Wight’s Forgotten Culinary Heritage.

This book takes a tour of the last world of Isle of Wight food, bringing to life the forgotten elements that characterised the Island’s regional cuisine in centuries past, from foraged fruit wine to samphire and sand sprats.

It explores how the Island’s landscape, traditions and heritage combined to create a distinctive and varied food culture and reveals the stories behind some of the Island’s most iconic food products such as the spicy, plum-filled Isle of Wight Doughnut and the local version of a creamy panna cotta. It unearths how wild garlic became named after the local Romani gypsy minority and how a local type of biscuit became reproduced in bakeries as far afield as Calcutta.

It concludes with a look at the wave of European chefs and hoteliers who changed the course of local food forever before exploring the edible wild plants, dialect terms and historic recipes that defined Island food, allowing this forgotten food culture to be revived once again.