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Welcome to British Food, a History: Lent.

In his first podcast series, chef, food historian, scientist and blogger, Dr Neil Buttery charts the season of Lent.

Over seven episodes, dropping each Sunday throughout Lent (starting 23/02/20), he'll be looking at the special days and customs that crop up over the 40-day fast, assessing it from every angle: the food, the social history, the anthropology and the science. Of course there's a healthy sprinkling of religion in there too. It's a podcast that tells us about why we mark Lent, how we do it and how that all fits into our evolutionary journey.

Just how did communities manage to get through it in centuries past? It must have been a grim and gruelling part of the year in miserable Britain. No meat products were permitted and there was little or no fresh produce, given the bleak time of year Lent usually falls.

As we move across time, toward the modern day, we’ll see how the strict rules of Lent have changed and slackened as our lives have become less and less gruelling. This may be a good thing, but it means we’ve lost many of our customs, much of our heritage, and – frankly – the point.

Throughout the series, Neil will be interviewing all types of people, from bishops to evolutionary biologists, chocolatiers to farmers as well as the great British public.

For episode notes, please visit the website

The series is written and presented by Neil Buttery and is produced by Beena Khetani.

Made in Manchester by Sonder Radio