New book on meat trade

A new book, Shoulder of Mutton Field, written by Desmond Whyman, looks at the place that the meat trade has had in social history.

There was a time when meat was second only to bread in most people's diet and customers visited their local butcher's shop three or four times a week, Whyman's book says. Butchers provided the first snack foods, such as pig's ears and tails, trotters, cooked rinds, bacon and ham bones and pork scratchings.

Other long-forgotten "delicacies" included pluck pie, pig's fry, corned leg of pork, chitterlings, bath chaps, collard head, mother maws, pork cheese and pig's snout.

Shoulder of Mutton Field also looks at rationing in both World Wars and how the 1948 Olympics, held in London, became known as the Ration Book Olympics, with the Argentine team bringing 100t of meat. It also focuses on the first butchers' shops in Kentish Town, established in the 18th century.

Des Whyman has spent nearly all his career in the meat trade. His book was published on 1 December.