Cake: A Slice of History

Pegasus Books
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Cake can evoke thoughts of home, comfort someone at a time of grief or celebrate a birth or new love.  It is a maker of memories, a marker of identities, and delicious!

It was the year 878 A.D., and a man claims sanctuary in a small village home in Wessex.  To the surprise of the villager, the man is not a passing vagabond but Alfred, King of the Anglo-Saxons.  The village homemaker is happy to hide him from the marauding Danes, provided he keeps an eye on the cake she has baking in the oven.  Preoccupied with how to re-take his kingdom, Alfred lets the cakes burn, and the incident passed in to folklore forever.

From these seemingly ignoble beginnings, not only was Alfred able to reclaim his spot in history, but the humble villagers' cake has ascended in world culture as well.  Alysa Levene looks at cakes both ancient and modern, from the Fruit Cake, to the Pound Cake, from the ubiquitous birthday cake to the Angel Food Cake, all the way up to competitive baking shows on television and our modern obsession with macaroons and cup cakes. 

Along the way, author Alysa Levene shows how cakes are so much more than just a delicious sugar hit, and reflects on how and why cakes became the food to eat in times of celebration.  Cake reflects cultural differences, whether it is the changing role of women in the home, the expansion of global trade, even advances in technology. Entertaining and delightfully informative, Cake: A Slice of History promises to be a witty and joyous celebration of our cultural heritage.

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About the author

Alysa Levene is a social historian at Oxford Brookes University and an enthusiastic amateur baker. Visit her website at www.sliceofcakeandapocketofpins.wordpress.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Pegasus Books
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Published on
Mar 15, 2016
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781681771083
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Language
English
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Genres
Cooking / Courses & Dishes / Cakes
Cooking / History
History / Social History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Michael Pollan
**Now a docu-series streaming on Netflix, starring Pollan as he explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney exectuve produces the four-part series based on Pollan's book, and each episode will focus on a different natural element: fire, water, air, and earth. **

In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.

Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan’s effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse–trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius “fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us.

The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Chelsea Monroe-Cassel
Ever wonder what it’s like to attend a feast at Winterfell? Wish you could split a lemon cake with Sansa Stark, scarf down a pork pie with the Night’s Watch, or indulge in honeyfingers with Daenerys Targaryen? George R. R. Martin’s bestselling saga A Song of Ice and Fire and the runaway hit HBO series Game of Thrones are renowned for bringing Westeros’s sights and sounds to vivid life. But one important ingredient has always been missing: the mouthwatering dishes that form the backdrop of this extraordinary world. Now, fresh out of the series that redefined fantasy, comes the cookbook that may just redefine dinner . . . and lunch, and breakfast.
 
A passion project from superfans and amateur chefs Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer—and endorsed by George R. R. Martin himself—A Feast of Ice and Fire lovingly replicates a stunning range of cuisines from across the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. From the sumptuous delicacies enjoyed in the halls of power at King’s Landing, to the warm and smoky comfort foods of the frozen North, to the rich, exotic fare of the mysterious lands east of Westeros, there’s a flavor for every palate, and a treat for every chef.
 
These easy-to-follow recipes have been refined for modern cooking techniques, but adventurous eaters can also attempt the authentic medieval meals that inspired them. The authors have also suggested substitutions for some of the more fantastical ingredients, so you won’t have to stock your kitchen with camel, live doves, or dragon eggs to create meals fit for a king (or a khaleesi). In all, A Feast of Ice and Fire contains more than 100 recipes, divided by region:
 
• The Wall: Rack of Lamb and Herbs; Pork Pie; Mutton in Onion-Ale Broth; Mulled Wine; Pease Porridge
• The North: Beef and Bacon Pie; Honeyed Chicken; Aurochs with Roasted Leeks; Baked Apples
• The South: Cream Swans; Trout Wrapped in Bacon; Stewed Rabbit; Sister’s Stew; Blueberry Tarts
• King’s Landing: Lemon Cakes; Quails Drowned in Butter; Almond Crusted Trout; Bowls of Brown; Iced Milk with Honey
• Dorne: Stuffed Grape Leaves; Duck with Lemons; Chickpea Paste
• Across the Narrow Sea: Biscuits and Bacon; Tyroshi Honeyfingers; Wintercakes; Honey-Spiced Locusts
 
There’s even a guide to dining and entertaining in the style of the Seven Kingdoms. Exhaustively researched and reverently detailed, accompanied by passages from all five books in the series and full-color photographs guaranteed to whet your appetite, this is the companion to the blockbuster phenomenon that millions of stomachs have been growling for. And remember, winter is coming—so don’t be afraid to put on a few pounds.

Includes a Foreword by George R. R. Martin


From the Hardcover edition.
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