Join me this week and meet one of my most interesting former guests. Darra Goldstein is Professor of Russian at Williams College and founding editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, named the 2012 Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. She has many other award winning books to her credit and her latest “The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets” will certainly garner even more awards!
A sweet tooth is a powerful thing. Babies everywhere seem to smile when tasting sweetness for the first time, a trait inherited, perhaps, from our ancestors who foraged for sweet foods that were generally safer to eat than their bitter counterparts. But the “science of sweet” is only the beginning of a fascinating story, because it is not basic human need or simple biological impulse that prompts us to decorate elaborate wedding cakes, scoop ice cream into a cone, or drop sugar cubes into coffee. These are matters of culture and aesthetics, of history and society, and we might ask many other questions. Why do sweets feature so prominently in children’s literature? When was sugar called a spice? And how did chocolate evolve from an ancient drink to a modern candy bar?
The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets explores these questions and more through the collective knowledge of 265 expert contributors, from food historians to chemists, restaurateurs to cookbook writers, neuroscientists to pastry chefs. The Companion takes readers around the globe and throughout time, affording glimpses deep into the brain as well as stratospheric flights into the world of sugar-crafted fantasies. More than just a compendium of pastries, candies, ices, preserves, and confections, this reference work reveals how the human proclivity for sweet has brought richness to our language, our art, and, of course, our gastronomy. Learn more about Darra here.
A book of Epic proportions filled with interesting history, lore and more about sugar and sweets, truly a delicious encyclopedia! Get a copy NOW
Good Life Guy’s Wine of the Week: 2013 Cedrus Le Blanc
Cedrus Le Blanc is made about 60 miles away from Cahors in the Armagnac region. This area and its grapes are the source of the finest brandy in France, but there’s also a little ‘country wine’ made under the Cotes de Gascogne appellation. If you like Loire Sauvignon Blanc, you will love this crisp 60/40 blend of Colombard and Ugni Blanc. The nose presents superb aromatics of exotic fruits and white flowers. Served chilled, its fine texture and clear fresh fruit character will combine beautifully with seafood or just by itself.