You can tell a lot about a person by how they eat. And evidently, you can tell a lot about a country by the food it consumes.
The British empire is the focus of Lizzie Collingham's book The Taste of Empire.
It shows how items on the British table--and the quest for them--dictated where in the world English people went, and how they treated the people and products they found.
Grab a cup of tea (Chapter Six) and hear how food shapes the world.