How Marsala Wine Became an Italian Typical Product: "It is not by chance that, when in the 1960s a “Protected Denomination of Origin” system was established, Marsala was the first Italian product to obtain such recognition. The history of this wine and the role that it plays in the international commerce since the end of the 19th c., is however strongly reliant on merchants and entrepreneurs that were not Italian, but English."
"The idea that Medieval people drank beer or wine to avoid drinking bad water is so established that even some very serious scholars see no reason to document or defend it; they simply repeat it as a settled truth. In fact, if no one ever documents the idea, it is for a very simple reason: it's not true."
Archie's Recipes - When my grandparents passed away my family rediscovered an old family recipe book that my great grandfather wrote by hand in an old ledger. [via mefi projects]
Keith Floyd, the original Celebrity chef and the most flamboyant of gastronauts, has passed away from a heart attack at the age of 65. Floyd was known not just for enjoying a drink while he cooked, but also for making TV real. [more inside]
The first female White House chef, a naturalized Philippina named Cristeta Comerford, was appointed by George W. Bush - who told Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, "I am reminded of the great talent of our Philippine Americans when I eat dinner at the White House." Despite the urging of American food icon Alice Waters, President Obama has left Comerford in charge of the White House kitchens - though he's keeping quiet about it. But on the basis of the wines served at Obama's Inauguration Day lunch, oenophiles are still hoping for change. (more First Food posts here and here )
Wine jelly. Yes, wine jelly. It isn't bacon flavored, but you can make it yourself and its damn good. Distilled beverages can also be made into jellies, though they tend to be mixed with fruit juice.
Do You Taste What I Taste? - The first of Slate's 3-part series on the physiology of taste [parts 2, 3]
Ben and Nate do Asia...or does Asia do them? Ben and Nate are a couple of food and wine freaks on a mission from God: to find the best bowl of noodles in Asia...if they survive to tell about it.
Ted Allen interview! The food and wine expert on Queer Eye has a new cookbook out, and he talks to Slashfood about...well, everything: favorite foods, music, books, beer, birds, and other things.
Free Online Wine Course from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). We’ll give you a sample of our in-depth, on-site courses by taking you on a virtual journey through three of the world’s top grape varieties.
Tonight is Silvesterabend, the last night of the year. While some feel that champagne and huge, rollicking parties are in order, others feel that quieter times with family and friends are the way to go. Of course, you must also have your pork and sauerkraut for good luck (my mother always asks to make sure I have) and a little Bleigiessen, or fortune telling by pouring molten lead into a liquid, for entertainment. Personally I think champagne tastes like ass so I'll be drinking bottled Gluhwein from my friend's winery.