Champagne

Author: Becky Sue Epstein
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1861899637
Format: PDF, Mobi
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From the smash of a bottle on the side of a new ship to the pop of the cork at a New Year’s Eve party champagne signals celebration, fun, and camaraderie all over the world. Bubbly, as we affectionately call it, is a symbol of luxury and decadence and the go-to drink whenever there is an important toast. This history from Becky Sue Epstein is a celebration of the world’s most celebratory drink. Here, Epstein chronicles champagne’s story, from the world’s first sparkling wine, produced in Limoux, Languedoc, in 1531 by monks at an abbey in Saint-Hilaire to the celebrities who made champagnes famous and continue to do so today— from Dom Perignon to the widow Veuve Cliquot. Most important, Epstein fully explains the distinction between champagne and sparkling wine. In this informative chronicle, she answers whether French champagne is really better than other sparkling wines and elucidates the science behind that characteristic fizz and bubble. She takes the reader on a tour of vineyards in wine regions around the world and teaches the correct techniques for storing and serving champagne and sparkling wines. Whether you prefer magnums of Cristal or the affordable thrill of Cold Duck, Champagne is an invaluable complement to any bubbly glass and an informative, elegant gift for connoisseurs, beginners, and wine lovers of all kinds.

An Edible History of Humanity

Author: Tom Standage
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 0802719910
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A lighthearted chronicle of how foods have transformed human culture throughout the ages traces the barley- and wheat-driven early civilizations of the near East through the corn and potato industries in America.

Caviar

Author: Nichola Fletcher
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1861897316
Format: PDF, ePub
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Served up with a mother of pearl spoon and alongside a crystal flute of champagne, caviar is the ultimate culinary symbol of wealth, luxury, and decadence. But how did tiny fish eggs—which many might regard as an unwanted, throwaway food—become such an international delicacy? In Caviar: A Global History, renowned food writer Nichola Fletcher answers this curious question, examining the rise of caviar as an indulgence and its effect on the lives of the people who seek and sell it today. Fletcher takes the reader on a tour of the main areas of caviar production—Russia, Iran, Europe, and America—and investigates how the industry has contributed to the decline of the sturgeon population, the fish most associated with caviar. As Fletcher details, many efforts are underway to create sustainable sturgeon farming, which would make it possible to enjoy caviar with a clear, environmental conscience. Featuring vibrant illustrations and many fascinating anecdotes, Caviar also offers advice on purchasing and serving caviar. This is the perfect food book for everyone in need of a little opulence and glamour.

Wine

Author: Marc Millon
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1780231466
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Look. Swirl. Sniff. Taste. Savor. Whether you’re tasting a refreshing white or an aromatic red, these well-known steps are the only proper way to take the first sip of wine. Oenophiles have never been rare, but over the past decade, wine culture has exploded. Amateur wine enthusiasts join dedicated collectors at tastings and on vineyard vacations, and young professionals pack trendy wine bars. Even Hollywood has gotten in on the action—movies like Sideways, Bottle Shock, and French Kiss relate the deep love we have for a glass of pinot noir, a bottle of chardonnay, and the grapes that produce them. But how did wine surpass all other beverages to achieve global domination? In Wine, Marc Millon travels back to the origins of modern man to find the answer, discovering that this heady drink is intertwined with the roots of civilization itself. Wine takes us from Transcaucasia some eight thousand years ago across the Mediterranean Sea, following wine as it spread along with classical civilization throughout Europe, and showing how, thanks to the myths of Dionysus and Bacchus, many of the major wine-producing regions were established in Western Europe. Millon then details how the Spanish conquistadors first brought European grapes to the New World to develop wines for the Catholic mass, and he depicts how wine production traveled to the distant lands of Australia and New Zealand. Today, it is even part of the burgeoning economies of India and China. Millon also explores the types of wine developed in each region, describing the many varieties of grapes and the process of fermentation and storage. Crisp and concise, with a hint of cherry and a soupcon of citrus, Wine provides the perfect introduction for wine novices seeking to impress at their first tasting while offering an engaging chronicle for experts looking to learn more about this most mysterious and magical of beverages.

Brandy

Author: Becky Sue Epstein
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1780233485
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Made from distilled wine, brandy has a long, noble tradition of refined consumption, but it has also recently experienced a surge in popularity thanks to new cocktail trends. Brandy chronicles the history of this very popular spirit, traveling from medieval alchemists to present-day drink mixologists and exploring brandy’s production and consumption from the Middle Ages to today. Delving into brandy’s fascinating story, Becky Sue Epstein reveals that many cultures have contributed to the history of the beverage, from the Dutch calling the drink “burnt wine” to the Spanish colonials in Peru and California who produced the first brandies in the New World. She also explores the distillation and aging processes, and she discusses the spirit’s many varieties, including the elegant, amber Cognac and the more overlooked Armagnac. In addition, Epstein offers advice on buying, storing, and serving brandy, while also providing recipes for both classic and new cocktails. Taken neat or mixed in a sidecar, Brandy is a tasty book for both connoisseurs and first-time drinkers to enjoy.

Cheese

Author: Andrew Dalby
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1861897057
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Take a slice of bread. It’s perfectly okay in and of itself. Maybe it has a nice, crisp crust or the scent of sourdough. But really, it’s kind of boring. Now melt some cheese on it—a sharp Vermont cheddar or a flavorful Swiss Gruyere. Mmm, delicious. Cheese—it’s the staple food, the accessory that makes everything better, from the hamburger to the ordinary sandwich to a bowl of macaroni. Despite its many uses and variations, there has never before been a global history of cheese, but here at last is a succinct, authoritative account, revealing how cheese was invented and where, when, and even why. In bite-sized chapters well-known food historian Andrew Dalby tells the true and savory story of cheese, from its prehistoric invention to the moment of its modern rebirth. Here you will find the most ancient cheese appellations, the first written description of the cheese-making process, a list of the luxury cheeses of classical Rome, the medieval rule-of-thumb for identifying good cheese, and even the story of how loyal cheese lover Samuel Pepys saved his parmesan from the great Fire of London. Dalby reveals that cheese is one of the most ancient of civilized foods, and he suggests that our passion for cheese may even lay behind the early establishment of global trade. Packed with entertaining cheese facts, anecdotes, and images, Cheese also features a selection of historic recipes. For those who crave a pungent stilton, a creamy brie, or a salty pecorino, Cheese is the perfect snack of a book.

A History of the World in Six Glasses

Author: Tom Standage
Publisher: Anchor Canada
ISBN: 0307375110
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Whatever your favourite tipple, when you pour yourself a drink, you have the past in a glass. You can likely find them all in your own kitchen — beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, cola. Line them up on the counter, and there you have it: thousands of years of human history in six drinks. Tom Standage opens a window onto the past in this tour of six beverages that remain essentials today. En route he makes fascinating forays into the byways of western culture: Why were ancient Egyptians buried with beer? Why was wine considered a “classier” drink than beer by the Romans? How did rum grog help the British navy defeat Napoleon? What is the relationship between coffee and revolution? And how did Coca-Cola become the number one poster-product for globalization decades before the term was even coined? From the Hardcover edition.

Whiskey

Author: Kevin R. Kosar
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1861898940
Format: PDF
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A Manhattan or a Sazerac; neat, on the rocks, or with a splash of soda—no matter how it’s served up, whiskey is synonymous with the poet’s inspiration and the devil’s spirit. Be it bourbon, rye, corn, Irish, or Scotch, whiskey has an infamous and celebrated history from a sometimes lethal, herb-infused concoction to a high-quality, meticulously crafted liquor. In Whiskey, Kevin R. Kosardelivers an informative, concise narrative of the drink’s history, from its obscure medieval origins to the globally traded product that it is today. Focusing on three nations—Scotland, Ireland, and America—Kosarcharts how the technique of distillation moved from ancient Egypt to the British Isles. Contrary to popular claims, there were no good old days of whiskey: before the twentieth century, consumers could never be sure just what was being poured in their cup—unscrupulous profiteers could distill anything into booze and pawn it off as whiskey. Eventually, government and industry established legal definitions of what whiskey is and how it could be made, allowing for the distinctive styles of whiskey known today. Whiskey explains what whiskey is, how it is made, and how the types of whiskey differ. With a list of suggested brands and classic cocktail recipes for the thirsty reader, this book is perfect for drink and food enthusiasts and history lovers alike.

Substituting Ingredients

Author: Becky Sue Epstein
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
ISBN: 1402239254
Format: PDF
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With more than 1,000 healthy, easy-to-find, and cheap substitutions, no cook will ever abandon an appetizing dish for the lack of a particular ingredient.

Cognac

Author: Kyle Jarrard
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"Rich in history and admirable scholarship. . . . It's a fine grande champagne of a book, to be savored over and over." -Patricia Wells, author of The Provence Cookbook Called the "brandy of the gods" by Victor Hugo, Cognac is a universal symbol of refinement and quality. In the first comprehensive history of this celebrated drink, Kyle Jarrard charts Cognac's birth in the 1500s and its transformation into the world's most coveted brandy. Along the way, he reveals how Cognac distillers weathered vineyard die-offs, the German occupation, and other challenges over the years-and offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Hennessy, Remy-Martin, Courvoisier, Martell, and other legendary brands. For any Cognac lover, this fascinating book will make the perfect gift. Kyle Jarrard (Paris, France) is a senior editor at the International Herald Tribune and author of the highly acclaimed novels Over There and Rolling the Bones.