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.

Brandy

Author: Becky Sue Epstein
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1780233485
Format: PDF
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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.

An Edible History of Humanity

Author: Tom Standage
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 0802719910
Format: PDF
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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.

Truffle

Author: Zachary Nowak
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1780234821
Format: PDF, Mobi
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What is a truffle? Is it the über-shroom, the highest order of fungal foods? Does it arrive, as some cultures feel, in the moment of a thunderclap? One thing is for sure: despite its unappetizing appearance, the truffle is without a doubt one of the most prized ingredients in the world’s pantry. In this book, Zachary Nowak digs deep into the history and fame of this unlikeliest of luxury items, exploring the truffle’s intoxicating hold on our senses how its distinctive flavor has become an instant indication of haute cuisine. Nowak traces the truffle’s journey from the kitchens of East Asia to those of Europe and the Americas. Balancing cultural, historical, and scientific perspectives, he offers a thorough and complete portrait of this many-sided mushroom. By comparing the truffle’s history in the Old World with its growing prominence in the New World, he tells a larger story of the growth and dynamism of modern Western cuisine and food cultures. Featuring many instructive and surprising illustrations, and numerous recipes both historical and contemporary, this unique and fascinating book is a must-read for chefs, food historians, and anyone ever drawn by the truffle’s mysterious, rich, and savory allure.

Whiskey

Author: Kevin R. Kosar
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1861898940
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Caviar

Author: Nichola Fletcher
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1861897316
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

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.

Gin

Author: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 186189936X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Mother’s Milk, Mother’s Ruin, and Ladies’ Delight. Dutch Courage and Cuckold’s Comfort. These evocative nicknames for gin hint that it has a far livelier history than the simple and classic martini would lead you to believe. In this book, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson journeys into gin’s past, revealing that this spirit has played the role of both hero and villain throughout history. Taking us back to gin’s origins as a medicine derived from the aromatic juniper berry, Solmonson describes how the Dutch recognized the berry’s alcoholic possibilities and distilled it into the whiskey-like genever. She then follows the drink to Britain, where cheap imitations laced with turpentine and other caustic fillers made it the drink of choice for poor eighteenth-century Londoners. Eventually replaced by the sweetened Old Tom style and later by London Dry gin, its popularity spread along with the British Empire. As people today once again embrace classic cocktails like the gimlet and the negroni, gin has reclaimed its place in the world of mixology. Featuring many enticing recipes, Gin is the perfect gift for cocktail aficionados and anyone who wants to know whether it should be shaken or stirred.

Cocktails

Author: Joseph M. Carlin
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1780230648
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Gimlet, negroni, manhattan, Long Island ice tea, flirtini, hurricane, screwdriver—cocktails have come a long way from their first incarnation in the seventeenth century, when rum punch was everyone’s go-to drink. Originally made of five ingredients, including a spirit, sugar, and spices, “cocktail” now refers to any drink made of liquor and a mixer. In this book, Joseph M. Carlin uncovers how many of our favorite cocktails were invented and describes how this most American of alcoholic beverages—but most international of drinks—came to influence society around the world. Traveling back to the nineteenth century, Carlin explains that, though England and the American colonies were enjoying rum punch years earlier, the true cocktail was born in America in 1806. Soon after mechanically harvested ice became widely available, Americans were sipping martinis and mint juleps in bars, saloons, and taprooms, and it didn’t take long for these tasty concoctions to spill over into all corners of the globe. The result, Carlin reveals, was the birth of a number of cocktail spinoffs—cocktail parties, cocktail dresses, cocktail wieners, cocktail napkins, and the Molotov cocktail, to name just a few. Featuring many tempting recipes, Cocktail: A Global History is a book to peruse with a mimosa in the morning and a martini at night.

Cake

Author: Nicola Humble
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1861897308
Format: PDF, ePub
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Be it a birthday or a wedding—let them eat cake. Encased in icing, crowned with candles, emblazoned with congratulatory words—cake is the ultimate food of celebration in many cultures around the world. But how did cake come to be the essential food marker of a significant occasion? In Cake: A Global History, Nicola Humble explores the meanings, legends, rituals, and symbolism attached to cake through the ages. Humble describes the many national differences in cake-making techniques, customs, and regional histories—from the French gâteau Paris-Brest, named for a cycle race and designed to imitate the form of a bicycle wheel, to the American Lady Baltimore cake, likely named for a fictional cake in a 1906 novel by Owen Wister. She also details the role of cake in literature, art, and film—including Miss Havisham’s imperishable wedding cake in Great Expectations and Marcel Proust’s madeleine of memory—as well as the art and architecture of cake making itself. Featuring a large selection of mouthwatering images, as well as many examples and recipes for some particularly unusual cakes, Cake will provide many sweet reasons for celebration.