Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Foodies of the 18th century

I'm in the midst of a slog through a biography of Richard Wellesley (the Duke of Wellington's oldest brother). It's a slow read because so much of it is to do with politics, the elder Wellesley being primarily a politician and a diplomat, and it's hard keeping it all straight when the only VIPs I'm really familiar with are the Wellesley brothers themselves, Castlereagh, and Pitt.

But I was charmed and amused when Wellesley, on a tour of Italy in the waning years of the 18th century, sent a bunch of his friends boxes of pasta from Naples, assuring them it was much better than anything they could get in England.

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