The History Show

The History Show

Sunday, 6pm

5 June 2011

400 years of food writing

We think of cookery books and celebrity chefs as creatures of the modern age but a new series of edited Penguin paperbacks reminds us that writing about what we eat is a longstanding art.

There are 20 small paperbacks in this series covering 400 years of food writing. It includes people like French writer Alexandre Dumas to diarist Samuel Pepys right up to the still very much alive Californian chef Alice Waters. They’re a mixture of anecdote, travel writing and recipes and they really show how much food connects us with past lives and interesting times.

These are written to be read rather than cooked from. They don’t have those heavy covers and spines you can bend flat on a counter as you measure ingredients and dust the pages with flour.

Irish Times restaurant reviewer Catherine Cleary has taken at look at them and came in to talk about two in particular - Murder in the Kitchen by Alice B Toklas and The Chef at War by Alexis Soyer.

A short history of Irish food Writing

These Penguin food books got us to wondering about our own food writing history in this country. Ella McSweeney investigated and did a taped report about her findings. Her interviewees included food historian, Regina Sexton and Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School.

40th anniversary of the lifting of the GAA's ban on foreign games

For Irish sports fans, the summer months are generally associated with the All-Ireland Football and Hurling Championships. Every weekend from May to September, thousands of supporters deck themselves out in their county colours and descend upon GAA grounds around the country to cheer on their native team.

These days, the GAA community is able to also publicly enjoy so-called “foreign sports” such as soccer and rugby. But it wasn’t always so.

Between 1902 and 1971, Rule 27 prevented the Association’s members from playing, or even from watching any sport that was not considered to be a Gaelic Game.

Then, forty years ago, the ban was lifted.

Dr. Paul Rouse of the UCD School of History and Archives and Dr. William Murphy of the Mater Dei Institute of Education came in to fill us in on the background.

GAA music

Nuala O'Connor explored a range of music that's been associated with the GAA over the years.



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Presenter: Myles Dungan

Producer: Lorcan Clancy


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