Recipes tagged posts

On Food and Cooking – The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

OnFood&Cooking

I have been debating for long time if I should really write about this book. From one side it is the most classic book on science and cooking (as you can tell by the title); it is like a religious blog reviewing the bible. From the other side I think that it is such an important book that even if there is only one aspiring cook out there that does not know about it I should tell him/her. Harold McGee is the person who connected food and cooking with science for the open audience. Until then science of cooking was just for the food engineers and the people that worked in the food industry. And by that I do mean industry, like commercial and branded food. In his book Harold McGee gives a very comprehensive linkage between the science of food, its history and its modern form. Reading that book is like opening a whole new dimension of food that was invisible to us.

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The World of Spirits & Cocktails: The Ultimate Bar Book

Ulitmate

Alcoholic beverages have been a passion of mine. And so are books. I have already reviewed a book before by David A. Embury entitled “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks”. Embury describes in great detail the various spirits and many of the cocktails that were popular that era. And although that is a great book it is not up to date. And that's not really a problem regarding the material that is already included in the book; that is still the same. It is a problem because the number the spirits you can now access has grown a lot. I am not only talking about the varieties of whiskey for example, but the variety of the distilled spirits you can find. Back then spirits from Argentina and Brazil were not even heard. Now they are sold next to the rum.

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The Vegetable Bible

VegetableBible

If you look the recipes in this blog, or any other blog for that matter, the vegetables are one of the most commonly used ingredients. And I don't mean as a side dish, I mean as the star of the dish. From pies to roasts. Growing up, in Greece, when I thought of vegetables I thought of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, green peppers, onion, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and the very seasonal green beans and ocra. Little I new that with the technical term, more than half of them are not vegetables at all. Botanically speaking as vegetables are classified only these plants that we consume as whole. So tomatoes, eggplant peppers and zucchini are fruits, in the family of berries, potatoes are tubers and green beans are pods. Still however al of them are included in the vegetables section, mostly because as opposed to fruits to consume them we need to prepare them with heat. In addition the modern mega-mart includes them in the veggies section. A section, that the last two decades has expanded and included exotic new varieties, result of painstaking crossbreeding, and rare vegetables, results of the amazing innovation in food transportation. So many actually that you need a guide to find your way around.

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The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks

faomd

... and a fine art it is indeed! Cocktails appeared suddenly at some point in history. Their story is lost in a plethora of myths and legends. We will never know where or when they originated. But we know that their appearance to the former literature started in 1806. The first definition of cocktail appeared in the May 13, 1806, edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, in which an answer was provided to the question, "What is a cocktail?". It replied: "Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else."... and a fine art it is indeed! Cocktails appeared suddenly at some point in history. Their story is lost in a plethora of myths and legends. We will never know where or when they originated. But we know that their appearance to the former literature started in 1806. The first definition of cocktail appeared in the May 13, 1806, edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, in which an answer was provided to the question, "What is a cocktail?". It replied: "Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else."

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