Christmas, food, and trains are a trifecta of winter tradition and with good reason. When it’s cold outside, staying inside with a hot meal and watching a choo-choo make its way around a little track while the cat freaks out is a good way to spend a snowy day. Seeing as how all of us food addicts love ourselves some fancy culinary book learnin’, a good cookbook or history book is also the perfect Christmas gift for us. And now there’s a food history book that covers some of the most famous train adventures and the cuisine among them.
Written by eight authors who have traveled on those legendary lines, the book includes 36 recipes from the dining cars and station eateries, taken from historical menus and contributed by contemporary chefs. In your own kitchen you can make such dining-car classics as a Flying Scotchman cocktail, French petits pois aux artichaux (peas with artichokes), Turkish green beans with thyme and yoghurt, spicy Indian vegetable jalfrezi, Russian potato salad, Canadian baked Alaska, and a seductive Italian mascarpone mousse with Marsala.
You’ll also learn how these railways originated, what dishes were served in their dining cars in different periods of time, and how passengers ate in railway-owned hotel-restaurants at both ends of the line. You’ll discover how catering services on the trains coped with supplying fresh foods to discerning passengers, and how railway food services were disrupted by the two world wars in Europe. And you’ll laugh at the rise and fall of the “infamous British railway sandwich” on rail lines throughout Britain.