Thursday 14 June 2007

If this is colonial food, then sell it to me! - # 138

For new comers this is the third Karl Moritz episode. This is going to be a long, and I hope engaging journey.

We're still wandering around the little market in Hammersmith, but keeping our eye on the coach which will soon speed off again towards Richmond.

Karl drags me over, excitedly, to the stall selling Philipino take away. He's never seen that before!

I am reminded that the discovery of the Indies meant that tea, sugar and coffee arrived, and also spices. The British went mad for them - in fact "consumerism" was alive and well in London. Not only sugar and coffee from the west indies, but also very high quality textiles from India were highly sought after and very affordable. Contemporary reports tell how every servant girl and "low type" in London would dress up in finery....."plain country Joan is now turned into a fine London madam.....can carry herself as high as the best.......her poor scanty petticoat is changed into a good silk one...five yards wide at least" Daniel Defoe. One commentator complained that it was impossible to tell a gentleman from his servant.


  1. Interesting post. I like the food and the photo.

    Abraham Lincoln
    If you have not seen a big ant then it might be worth seeing my post this morning.
    Brookville Daily Photo

  2. Interesting post, and proving that nothing in the world is new, in 1721 The Calico Act was passed, restricting the import of cotton goods from India because of the perceived damage it was doing to the garment industry in the UK. Globalisation, trade wars etc etc

  3. How is Karl dressed during your journey?

  4. This is a great idea, Chuckeroon! Glad to take the ride along with Karl and you.

    Question about the coffee in relation to the West Indies. I thought coffee (Qahwah) was indigenous to Arabia, in particular places like Yemen.

    I agree with Richard. On a related note, the fabric thing is interesting to me, as I've been reading a little about the history of that industry in Switzerland. AFAIK, some of the best and most exclusive (i.e. used by the ateliers in Milan and Paris that we mere mortals don't even hear of) laces and fabrics are still woven in CH, in places like St Gallen. Ooops, here I go, off on a tangent again. I'm incorrigible!

    Okay, crops. I'm keeping an eye on the developments and will be sure to update you when I have interesting information.