This article, by celebrated chef James Beard (1903 – 1985), walks us through the history of Champagne as only a true lover of food and wine can do:
"Not until around 1670 was a way discovered to imprison those tantalizing bubbles in every bottle, and keep the bottle from exploding. Credit for inventing sparkling Champagne is attributed, inaccurately perhaps, to a Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon...It is said that as an old, blind man, Dom Perignon could sniff a glass of Champagne, sip it, swish it about his mouth, and then unfailingly say from what hillside the grapes had come..."
This summer calls for some thought on that most succulent of all shellfish: lobster.
Attached herein are three easy recipes, not for quick preparation and fast dining, but rather for more leisurely days or evenings following a day on the beach.
Here is an article from GENTRY MAGAZINE on the delightful day and high expectations of a French cognac taster:
"This is how it works: each morning, from about ten o'clock until lunch, at one, the taster receives in his office those farmers and distillers who have come to offer him samples of their cognac. The taster has eaten only a very small breakfast hours before. His stomach is practically empty...The taster never fills the glass with cognac, for that way the bouquet is lost . Instead, he pours in the cognac until the glass is one-third or at most half filled. Then he turns the glass so that the cognac is twirled in the glass and it's vapors mix even more with the air of the glass..."
A fascinating read.
In this admirable effort to briefly tell the history of ice cream, the authors of this three page narrative begin in the year 62 A.D., pointing out that the Roman Emperor Nero had gone on record declaring his fondness for frozen delicacies, but, as you will read, what he was consuming was in actuality something more along the lines of a "snow-cone"; but it is good to know that the market was very much in place at such an early moment in time. Jumping ahead some 1,200 years, we learn that Marco Polo had returned from China with a frozen tasty treat:
"People tried it out, and something like our sherbet was soon served in many parts of Europe, eventually being improved upon by the addition of milk to resemble ice cream."
The trivia truly begins to flow from that point and we learn that George Washington was really quite fond of the stuff, and how ice cream sundaes and Eskimo Pies came into the world.
A refreshing read.
Forty-three years after the bloody end of the American Civil War, this reminiscence by a Southern officer appeared in print recalling the important roll that corn played during those days as it had throughout all American history:
"During the war I commanded the 1st Arkansas Regiment, consisting of twelve hundred men, and during the four years we never saw a piece of bread that contained a grain of wheat flower. We lived entirely on plain corn bread, and my men were strong and kept the best of health...."
Told in this three page article is the story concerning the rise of the global pepper trade and the subsequent spread of that spice throughout the kitchens of the world:
"Although Americans use more than one third of the world's annual supply of nearly 90,000,000 pounds, it has been estimated that the average American family shakes only 7.1 ounces into their food a year. The balance is used by the makers of baked and canned goods, and meat-packing houses."