Lifestyle and Culture: Food and Wine

Uncorked

A Corkscrew Collection

By

A splendid (and giftable) visual guide to the beautifully convoluted world of corkscrews

Ever since the standardized wine bottle came into use in the eighteenth century, thirsty people have sought a convenient means of removing its cork stopper. At first they employed whatever was at hand―including the helical gun screws used to clean out firearms―but the patent corkscrew emerged by 1795 and soon multiplied into more permutations than the proverbial better mousetrap. In Uncorked, Marilynn Gelfman Karp uses her own collection of corkscrews―carefully chosen both for their inventiveness and for their decorative qualities―to trace the history and evolution of this curious tool. She establishes a taxonomy of the corkscrew, based on the fundamental characteristics of handle, shaft, and screw, and then presents more than 650 individual specimens by category. They range from the simplest “basic T” models to the most whimsical flights of fancy (a folding pair of legs, a seahorse) and the most elaborate mechanical contrivances. Each example is illustrated with superb color photography and fully described.

Uncorked is at once a serious contribution to the history of material culture, and a delight to page through. It will be an essential reference for helixophiles (as collectors of these gadgets are called) and an agreeable gift for any corkscrew-wielding wine lover.

Read more

Classic Cocktails

By

With this colorful, portable guide, aspiring mixologists and veteran barkeeps alike have a handy resource that satisfies all their needs. This Tiny FolioTM presents one hundred easy-to-follow recipes for the most essential mixed drinks, from all-time favorites like the Martini and Manhattan to modern classics like the Cosmopolitan. Illustrated throughout with color photographs and full of bartending advice and historical tidbits, this book will be an indispensable companion behind the bar or at your next cocktail party.

Read more

Wine from Grape to Glass

Fourth Edition

By

A masterful new edition of the classic guide to the wines of the world—and how they are made
 
Wine from Grape to Glass is the essential guidebook for wine lovers who want to understand how their favorite wines are grown, how they are produced, and how best to savor them. The first half of the book is devoted to the process of winemaking and wine appreciation. The mysteries of the vineyard and terroir, the grape harvest, fermentation, and aging are all explained in full, as are the intricacies of serving, tasting, and storing wine. The second half of the book examines the best wines of the world, country by country, in a level of detail that is satisfying without being overwhelming. More than one thousand color illustrations, including numerous maps, make this a visual as well as a textual guide.
 
This fourth edition of Wine from Grape to Glass is revised and updated throughout. It includes new sections on recent trends in winemaking—including rosés and natural wines—and expanded coverage of many winemaking regions, including Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South America, China, and Japan.

Read more

Tea Sommelier

A Step-by-Step Guide

By

 

A fun and simple approach to becoming a tea expert, from the founders of the international tea brand Palais de Thés.

Tea, in all its varieties, offers just as much subtlety and complexity as fine wine. In many countries, the tea service is one of the highest expressions of culture, and in the U.S., the tea shop is taking its place alongside the coffee shop. Tea Sommelier will provide the knowledge and practical tips you need to feel at home in the world of tea, in 160 easy lessons.

No matter how much time you have—ten minutes or an hour—this book will always teach you something new and interesting about tea. Topics include the varieties of tea and where they are grown, how to select and prepare tea, how to taste and serve it, how to pair tea with food, and how to cook with tea. Stylish illustrations on every page add extra enjoyment to the process of becoming a true tea sommelier.

François-Xavier Delmas and Mathias Minet are partners in Le Palais des Thés, an international chain of tea boutiques. In 1999, they founded L’École du Thé in Paris to share their knowledge of tea with the public; a second location of the school opened in New York in 2016.

Read more

Oysters

A Celebration in the Raw

By

Winner of the 2017 Readable Feast People's Choice Cookbook of the Year

A comprehensive visual celebration of one of the sea’s most delicious and fascinating creatures, featuring lush original photography, practical guidelines, and historical anecdotes

For centuries, oysters have had the power to sustain and delight, inspiring writers and artists, lowly cooks and four-star chefs, laborers and gourmands, and everyone in between. A feast for the eyes and the palate, oysters also are rich in history and lore. In Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw, Marion Lear Swaybill presents a wide-ranging visual exploration of this iconic shellfish, including stunning portraits of more than fifty oyster varietals, the latest photographs from some of the country’s most renowned and beautiful oyster farms, and notable illustrations of oysters in art and culture, all alongside a lively and informative text. Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Jeremy Sewall provides personal insights, drawing on his New England lineage and his place in the forefront of the oyster revival.

Overflowing with gorgeous original photography and fascinating anecdotes, Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw is the perfect book for oyster aficionados and newbies, foodies and chefs of all stripes, lovers of photography and art, the environment, history, and the sea.

Read more

Distilled Knowledge

The Science Behind Drinking’s Greatest Myths, Legends, and Unanswered Questions

By

A charming, uproarious exploration of the scientific answers to our most timeless questions about drinks and drinking

The world is full of questions, myths, and half-truths about drinking. Beer before liquor, never sicker? Should you drink the hair of the dog that bit you?

These questions usually have hilarious answers, but more often than not, the old wives’ tales and wild guesses of bartenders (and –goers alike) drown them out. For the first time in one volume, Distilled Knowledge compiles all the major points of discussion and disputation—with the science to either back them up or knock them down.

Cocktail historian and instructor Brian D. Hoefling’s pithy, conversational text is divided into two parts. The first, “What Hits the Glass,” discusses the ins and outs of fermentation, distillation, aging, and mixing—even solving the age-old conundrum between “shaken” and “stirred.” The second section, “What Hits the Body,” deals with the after-effects of alcohol on the human body, answering a wide range of questions on intoxication, social lubrication, and hangovers.

Readers will receive a complete and comical education through this attractive volume, which features clear, cheeky illustrations throughout. Complete with cross-references, scientific appendices, and a full index, the easily digestible entries are robust enough to put an end to any barroom dispute. A compulsively readable book, Distilled Knowledge is as funny as it is factual and will delight cocktail enthusiasts, beer aficionados, and those who love a good bit of trivia.

Read more

Gusto

The Very Best of Italian Food and Cuisine

By

The first encyclopedia of Italian cuisine. Illustrated with 4,000 stunning photographs and featuring more than 140 recipes.

Italian cooking now has a book worthy of its place at the head of the culinary table. A gorgeous and comprehensive reference guide and cookbook dedicated to Italian food and drink, Gusto beautifully illustrates the ingredients and cooking methods used in kitchens from Parma to Tuscany and beyond. The dazzling photos of ingredients, cooking methods, and recipes form a breathtaking array of the components that make up dishes from the classic to the unfamiliar. Imagine every cut of beef, all varieties of mushrooms, fourteen different species of crustacean, twelve kinds of prosciutto, all vividly displayed and carefully explained in ravishing detail.

Each chapter--on pasta, rice, fish, meat, bread, and yes, pizza, cheese, salami, vegetables, fruit and nuts, herbs and condiments, desserts, cookies and pastry, gelato, chocolate, coffee, and, of course, wine--describes essential ingredients and food preparation methods as well as presenting superb recipes from Italian kitchens.

Equally at home on the coffee table or on the countertop, Gusto will surprise the sophisticated connoisseur and amaze the lover of all things Italian.

Read more

Six Spices

A Simple Concept of Indian Cooking

By

The art of Indian cuisine at your fingertips.

Neeta Saluja simplifies Indian cooking with a unique approach to its preparation. She focuses on the fundamentals—the special ingredients and techniques every cook can use to create fragrant, delicious, and well balanced dishes. Six Spices demystifies the exotic and complex flavors of Indian cuisine by explaining the characteristics of its essential ingredients—hot chili powder, aromatic coriander, sweet cumin, roasted nutty mustard seeds, bold asafetida, and hearty turmeric. But here is the twist: the book also reveals the methods used to incorporate them into exquisite, authentic recipes.

Keeping clarity and simplicity in mind, Saluja has created recipes easy enough for beginners, yet inspirational enough to encourage inventiveness in the more seasoned cook. Readers will discover that seasoning with chounk is one of the basic techniques used to enhance the flavor of beans and legumes. A dish of red lentils will become memorable when infused with aromatic seasoning of hot ghee, fresh herbs, and spices; and cooking with masala, or curry paste, can turn a humble dish into the essence of Indian cuisine. Saluja has taken the fear out of approaching unfamiliar culinary fare.

Her recipe collection has been tasted and tested throughout her more than twenty years of teaching and cooking Indian food.

Read more

The Tea Drinker's Handbook

By

A tasteful guide that explores the pleasures of tea through word and image.

In a skinny-no-whip-mocha-latte world, The Tea Drinker’s Handbook is a refreshing return to America’s roots in tea-drinking. Though tea is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world, second only to water, it is far from mundane. For both the lifelong tea drinker and the recent convert, The Tea Drinker’s Handbook is an indispensable reference for anyone interested in all things tea. The founders of Le Palais des Thés, a retail chain known for the high quality of its selection of teas, have traveled for over twenty years to plantations all over the world in search of the rarest teas, and the result is this handsome and enlightening book. This is the first guide written under the Le Palais des Thés brand.

In addition to ten shops in France, there are stores in Brussels, Oslo, Tokyo, and Beverly Hills, and their products are sold at Bergdorf Goodman. In this impressive and comprehensive guide, we rediscover tea, its cultivation, and all of its richness and complexity. In addition to being an informative resource, this book is also a true tasting guide for tea lovers. The authors open our eyes (and introduce our palates) to tea-tasting, as they list the top fifty teas of the world—complete with tasting sheets—and include comments and advice for each. And with 200 illustrations, The Tea Drinker’s Handbook informs and instructs with both fascinating text and alluring images.

Read more

Jancis Robinson's Wine Course

A Guide to the World of Wine

By

In this completely updated and expanded edition of her international bestseller, Jancis Robinson, one of the world’s most respected wine authorities, offers an engaging introduction to the enjoyment of wine.

"She has an encyclopedic grasp of her subject and doesn’t put a foot wrong...a splendid introduction to the world of wine." -- Decanter Magazine

"Accurate but unstuffy" -- Jan Moir, Guardian

"Witty, brilliant, authoritative" -- Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate

"As elegant and posh as a posh wine shop..." -- Publishers Weekly

The enormous variety of wines available today can be baffling even to an experienced buyer. Anyone who enters a wine store is immediately confronted by rows and rows of racks filled with a myriad of choices. Where do you begin when all you want is a reasonably priced quality wine to serve with dinner? Jancis Robinson can make anyone an expert, or at least an informed buyer, in short order. In this comprehensive guide to the wine-producing countries of the world, she captures the flavor of each region’s wines and presents her personal recommendations on the best names from around the world, with thirty-two completely new pages covering the latest developments in South America, South Africa, and Eastern Europe. Robinson also describes the distinctive characteristics of hundreds of different grape varieties and studies the traditional and innovative methods employed in the creation of great wines. A fully updated vintage guide makes selection even easier.

Dedicated to ensuring that you get the most out of every glass, Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course explains how to taste and store wine, what to serve on special occasions at home, and how to order the best value from a restaurant wine list. Full of infectious enthusiasm and heaps of personal tips, this book will soon have you reaching for the corkscrew.

 

Read more

Tequila

Revised and Updated Edition

By

An appreciation of one of the most popular liquors in the world, including ratings of more than 100 brands.

Long considered a lowbrow liquor, tequila today is one of the fastest-growing beverages in the world, and the growth is decidedly upscale. An entire tequila culture has developed not only throughout Mexico but in sophisticated restaurants and bars all over the world, from New York to Los Angeles, London to Tokyo.

Despite this trend, little has been published about tequila and its origins, varieties, and method of production—until now. In this delightfully visual book, author Enrique Martínez Limón takes the reader on a fascinating anecdotal journey through the history of tequila, complete with information about how it is grown and produced, and descriptions of its legends, heroes, songs, and artistic manifestations. The lively text is enhanced by Michael Calderwood’s beautiful photography and the specially commissioned artwork. This revised edition includes a new chapter on mezcal, a “first cousin” of tequila that has been attracting a great deal of attention in recent years with high-end and single-village bottlings coming onto the market.

The final chapters provide recipes for tequila-based cocktails and for dishes using tequila, as well as professional ratings of more than a hundred brands, extensively updated for this edition.

Read more

RUM

By

The only full-color, illustrated guide to the history, subtle varieties of style and flavor, and the culture surrounding one of the world's favorite beverages.

The world has fallen in love all over again with rum. Now among the world's top four spirits, rum sales continue to increase steadily. Its popularity notwithstanding, this is the first full-color reference book to detail the history, various production processes, and manifestations of rum.

Prolific spirits expert Dave Broom explores the complex and colorful history of rum from its beginnings among slaves in the Caribbean. He probes the intricacies of pure rum by the island or country in which each variety was first made, illuminating the role of microclimate and slightly distinct production techniques in determining style and flavor.

After a section examining the multitude of blended and spiced rums on the market, Broom offers the reader detailed instructions on achieving the greatest possible appreciation of the rum-drinking experience. The book also includes a complete A-Z directory of rum distilleries and societies worldwide. Illustrated with specially commissioned art shot on site in the Caribbean, Rum is the ultimate resource for the professional or armchair connoisseur of any strain of this fascinating product.

Read more

Wine

A Practical Guide to Enjoying Your Selection

By

In this essential guide for wine lovers, internationally acclaimed expert Jens Priewe fully describes, in a lively text and striking photographs, the correct way to handle wine, from uncorking and tasting to serving and storing.

Following the success of the author's Wine: From Grape to Glass, this new book offers a treasury of invaluable information for the contemporary wine consumer who would like to know more about caring for wine and serving it properly. It answers such questions as, How do you store wine? What sorts of glasses allow you to enjoy it most? How long can you keep it? In addition to covering all the basics, this book provides numerous tips and tricks on such subjects as how to prevent the cork from breaking when opening a bottle; what the experts have to say about chilling and warming wines; how to hold a Champagne bottle to prevent spillage; how to store wine even if you live in a small apartment, and much more.

The wonderfully knowledgeable text is illustrated with more than 200 illustrations, including inspiring images specially commissioned for the book and step-by-step photos and drawings. Rounding out the information are a glossary of wine terms and a guide to Web sites. With so much to offer, this book enables both beginners and more knowledgeable wine lovers to fully appreciate the pleasures of wine.

Read more

Grappa

A Guide to the Best

By

An essential guide for beginners and enthusiasts alike to the tasty world of grappa, with an A-Z of small growers and larger distillers.

This Italian pomace brandy has taken the world by storm over the last several years, as those who appreciate other brandies and whiskeys have come to appreciate the subtleties of this drink and the high-quality grappas now handcrafted by a select few distillers.

Despite grappa's favored place today in the most exclusive bars, its origins are humble. It was created primarily to avoid wasting the pomace-the skins, pips, stems, and pulp left over from the wine-making process. The pomace was then distilled, yielding a clear brandy often considered too fiery and inelegant for sophisticated palates. But as boutique bourbons and single-malt Scotches became trendy, and as high-quality vintners and distillers began to handcraft new brands of grappa, it was ready for a revival.

Winner of a Gold Medal from the Gastronomical Academy of Germany, Grappa chronicles the history of this distillate-which by law can be called grappa only when made in Italy-followed by a discussion of what distinguishes it from other pomace brandies made elsewhere. The authors carefully explain each step of making grappa, from the vine to the often beautifully handblown bottle, and explore production on every scale, from the man who cooks his small-batch pomace over last year's leftovers to the largest producers in the country. Along the way they also impart a great deal of useful information about the Italian grapes, vineyards, and wines that are an integral part of the grappa-making process.At the heart of the book are two A to Z listings: one of the vintners who make grappa, usually on a small scale, and the other of distillers. These sections encompass an impressive variety and number of grappas, with tasting notes that are both informative and evocative. Concluding the guide are useful explanations of how best to serve and even cook with grappa, followed by a concise glossary and a helpful selection of internet sources for additional information.

Read more

Curried Favors

Family Recipes from South India

By

This engaging cookbook, the first to feature the tropical dishes of South India, demystifies the cuisine and offers more than 100 recipes with light, tropical flavors and simple preparations, along with sumptuous photographs of the food and the region.

WINNER of the Julia Child First Book Award, 1997

Challenging the stereotypes that Indian curries are rich and heavy, difficult to prepare, and made with hard-to-find ingredients, this book introduces the light, tropical tastes of south India with accessible ingredients and simple methods. Adapting these south Indian recipes for the average kitchen, the author familiarizes the home cook with this lesser-known cuisine.

An abundance of coconut and seafood, along with a host of exotic fruits and vegetables, including fresh hot chilies, distinguishes the curries of south India from those of north India. The focus is the traditional southern fare-dishes such as Rava Masala Dosa (wheat crepes stuffed with potato curry), Sambar (spicy stew of legumes and vegetables), and fish Aviyal (chunks of fish in an aromatic sauce of coconut and tamarind)-which is harder to find in restaurants outside of India. North Indian classics, also family favorites, like Lamb Korma, Tandoori Chicken, and Spinach Paneer are included.

With everything from appetizers to desserts, this is an excellent introduction to Indian cooking. The author has an extraordinary talent for explaining unfamiliar cooking techniques, and specially commissioned full-color photographs provide helpful visual cues for preparing a wide variety of dishes.

The inspired recipes, purposeful photographs, extensive notes on ingredients, practical menu ideas, and useful source list make it a primer on Indian cooking as well as a significant exploration of regional specialties.

Read more

American Bar

The Artistry of Mixing Drinks

By

This "bar bible" provides recipes for mixing the perfect drink, classical or exotic, and offers tips on serving it correctly.

-- WINNER of the New York Book Show Award

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just relaxing with a cocktail, let world-renowned bartender Charles Schumann be your guide to mixing masterful libations. American Bar—the most authoritative cocktail book ever published—provides all the information the cocktail lover or professional bartender needs to serve up the perfect drink.

Inside American Bar you'll find

  • Recipes for more than 500 drinks, listed alphabetically
  • An easy-to-use drink index arranged by drink categories
  • The fascinating history and names of leading brands of all the major cocktail components
  • A handy guide to bartending equipment
  • A glossary of international bar terms and measurements

Illustrated with hundreds of delightful 1930s-style line drawings by Günter Mattei, this exceptionally handsome book is an indispensable companion to home or professional entertaining.

Read more