My food heroes are those who can generalize food concepts for me. I’ve mentioned Ruhlman’s book Ratio about a hundred times on this site. Some other examples. I love the flavour of preserved lemons and I’ve made them a few times, but then I saw Mojojo Pickles makes preserved lime. This completely changed how I saw my preserved lemon recipe. Instead of one recipe that can preserve one ingredient, I now see it as a generalized process for preserving citrus. Or Kevin recognizing that blanching is not just for endives, but a great agricultural technique to use on other bitter greens like our local dandelions. This type of thinking drives so much of modern food, whether it’s David Chang … Continue reading.
It’s been almost two years since I combined some Onoway honey with crushed, frozen u-pick raspberries and added a bit of yeast to the mix. (The photo at left shows a label reading “Rasp. Melomel 2009”. That’s a mistake in my cellar bookkeeping: it’s definitely from 2010.) This raspberry mead was one of the first fermented drinks I made that wasn’t based on a kit of grape must or malt wort.
I had no idea what I was doing.
I was using a recipe from The Winemaker’s Recipe Handbook by Raymond Massaccesi, a book that I have not used since. Most of the recipes in the book are a syrup of water and refined sugar, flavoured with fresh fruit, pH-adjusted … Continue reading.
I really want to like mead.
When I was a kid, before I knew exactly what mead was, I associated it with vikings and long wooden tables and serving-wenches. Even then, I wanted to like it.
My associations were correct in that mead has been a popular drink in northern Europe since antiquity. The epic poem Beowulf, for instance, is about a dragon (Grendel) that terrorizes the mead-hall of a Danish king (Hrothgar) and that dragon’s subsequent ass-kicking at the hands of a young warrior (Beowulf). So yes, vikings and mead go hand in hand, but the drink is part of cultures far beyond Scandinavia, in Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America.
These days I’m trying to like mead … Continue reading.