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Not everyone knows that there is a food intelligentsia. And even some who would count themselves among it are unaware of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. It takes place every year in September at St Antony’s College. Foodie scholars attend, but this is still a secret society after 16 years. None of the flamboyant critics come: no Craig Brown, Jonathan Meades or AA Gill. Food plus scholarship equals obsession, not narcissism. The media has never been interested.

They come from 16 other countries besides Britain. Conversation is curious. “Do you still get the food insects newsletter?” “Yes.” “I…

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