How food became a matter of morals

Julian Baggini in The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_2112 Jul. 22 01.19The way these cream cakes flaunt themselves,” says saucy Carry On star Barbara Windsor, glaring disapprovingly at a chocolate eclair bursting with whipped cream, “it’s enough to lead a girl astray.” Her frown turns into a giggle. “Given half a chance,” she adds before tucking in gleefully.

Nothing captures the peculiarly moralistic British attitude to food better than this 15-second advert from the 1970s. And if poetry is the art of capturing whole worlds in few words then its immortal slogan “naughty but nice” is greater proof of its author’s artistry than the Booker prize its writer Salman Rushdie would go on to win.

For as long as we can remember, the British have associated delicious food with depraved indulgence. Anything that tastes good has got to be bad for your body, soul or both. The marketing department of Magnum knew this when it called its 2002 limited edition range the Seven Deadly Sins. Nothing makes a product more enticing than its being naughty, or even better, wicked.

More here.