From lore to cooking tips to this fun fact: French pharmacists have been trained in mushroom identification. Listen to this great interview with Cynthia Bertelsen, author of Mushroom: A Global History, at WVTF radio: http://wvtf.org/post/mushroom-global-history
If you like vodka and books and are located somewhere within driving distance of Barrington, RI, then you need to head over to Barrington Books tomorrow night to hear from Vodka: A Global History author Patricia Herlihy!
Fittingly, July is National Hot Dog Month. Most foods only get a day, but hot dogs are special. With the Fourth of July, afternoons at the ballpark, and summer evening cookouts (let’s ignore that it’s sixty degrees today), ye olde frankfurters are a staple of the season. As Bruce Kraig reports in Hot Dog: A Global History, nearly two billion hot dogs are consumed by Americans annually in this month alone.
Here in Chicago, we will hit you with evil eyes if you get ketchup anywhere near your hot dog—what a perverse thing to do! Mustard and neon green relish are the only acceptable spreads. Kraig discusses our superior version, along with other regional varieties—like New York’s mustard and sauerkraut combo—and provides a lot of info about the origins of this all-American food. Pick up this “clever and entertaining” book (thanks, HuffPo!) and impress your friends/parents/date at your cookout tomorrow.
Have a safe and happy 4th!
If you’re planning to celebrate Scotland’s national bard tomorrow eve, then you’ll have to do it without traditional haggis—sheep’s lung has been banned in the US since 1971. The BBC has some ideas of what Americans can do instead, but apparently none of these create the same texture (“‘It lacks the lightness the lungs help create.’”).
Even without the USDA ban, a lot of Americans probably aren’t used to eating lungs, which fall under the catch-all umbrella of offal—an animal’s glands, essential organs, skin, muscle, guts, and every unmentionable in between. Yum, right? But as Nina Edward explains in the upcoming Offal: A Global History, many of these dishes are given pretty names to veil their origins (nice try, “sweetbreads”). And offal seems to be becoming more and more trendy at American restaurants.
If you want to know more about this offal subject, snag a copy Edward’s book!
You didn’t think we’d leave you without a picture of haggis, did you? Feast your eyes on Haggis, Neeps and Tatties!
Hey kids, it’s National Pie Day! (Not to be confused with National Pi Day, which is March 14). Can we celebrate the fact that we live in a world with not one, but TWO days dedicated to the consumption of pie?
And if you haven’t yet, you should take some time out today to dive into Janet Clarkson’s Pie: A Global History. Learn some things, kiddies. It’s good for the soul. As is pie.
And you still have time to get your Edible six-pack for that special cocktail-and-wine lover in your life! You can get Champagne, Gin, Rum, Whiskey, Vodka, and Cocktails at 25% off until 12/31. These short, colorful histories will make the perfect holiday gift!
Be sure you’re keeping your bar AND your bookshelf stocked this holiday season! Reaktion Books is offering a “six-pack” of titles from the Edible series: Champagne, Cocktails, Gin, Rum, Vodka, andWhiskey.
It’s NATIONAL VODKA DAY, everyone!
Grab a bloody mary (it’s morning, after all—save the martinis for later) and celebrate. And try every different flavor! Let us know how that salmon one goes…
Don’t know anything about vodka? Need some drink recipes? We’ve got you covered! Patricia Herlihy’s Vodka: A Global History is at your service.
Side note: It is also National Taco Day. Tacos and vodka may or may not go together—that depends on your taste buds, or possibly your sense of adventure. And we don’t have a book on tacos (yet). But we like tacos, so we wanted to pass along this information. We’re awesome like that.
Who says alcohol can’t help you learn? The Edible Series proves you can have your cocktail and drink it too, as this review from the Inquisitive Eater reveals.
We love Clueless. We also love herbs. Probably not together. Anyway, it’s summer and those of us who haven’t already killed our potted plants (ahem) are enjoying fresh herbs! Listen to Gary Allen, author of Herbs: A Global History discuss these plants.
Researchers have determined that booze makes life better. Well, moderate amounts of it, anyway. But hey, we’ll take it!
Don’t know Tanqueray from Captain Morgan? Two of the spirit experts from the Edible series are offering up some of their knowledge. Gin author Lesley Jacobs Solmonson discusses her favorite gins in this post on Good Food. And Alcohol Reviews interviews Richard Foss of Rum: A Global History fame.
That’s right, today we celebrate bourbon. Yes, we think this should be a national holiday that we all get off work, too, and yes, we fully support you celebrating atwork since it isn’t and you have to be there. The Awl has some tips for how to drink it, which you’re sure to find extremely useful.
For more on this delectably potent potable, see Kevin R. Kosar’s book, Whiskey: A Global History.Cheers!