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The British had always loved sugar, so much so that when they first got access to it, about the time of Henry VIII, they put it on almost everything – on eggs, meat, and into their wine. They scooped it on to potatoes, sprinkled it over greens, ate it straight off the spoon if they could afford to. Even though sugar was very expensive, people consumed it till their teeth turned black, and if their teeth didn’t turn black naturally they blackened them artificially to show how wealthy and marvellously self-indulgent they were.

Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, 2010

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