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Butter: A Rich History (Paperback)

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“Edifying from every point of view--historical, cultural, and culinary.” —David Tanis, author of A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes

It’s a culinary catalyst, an agent of change, a gastronomic rock star. Ubiquitous in the world’s most fabulous cuisines, butter is boss. Here, it finally gets its due.

After traveling across three continents to stalk the modern story of butter, award-winning food writer and former pastry chef Elaine Khosrova serves up a story as rich, textured, and culturally relevant as butter itself.

From its humble agrarian origins to its present-day artisanal glory, butter has a fascinating story to tell, and Khosrova is the perfect person to tell it. With tales about the ancient butter bogs of Ireland, the pleasure dairies of France, and the sacred butter sculptures of Tibet, Khosrova details butter’s role in history, politics, economics, nutrition, and even spirituality and art. Readers will also find the essential collection of core butter recipes, including beurre manié, croissants, pâte brisée, and the only buttercream frosting anyone will ever need, as well as practical how-tos for making various types of butter at home--or shopping for the best.

“A fascinating, tasty read . . . And what a bonus to have a collection of essential classic butter recipes included.” —David Tanis, author of A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes

“Following the path blazed by Margaret Visser in Much Depends on Dinner, Elaine Khosrova makes much of butter and the ruminants whose milk man churns. You will revel in dairy physics. And you may never eat margarine again.” —John T.  Edge, author of The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South

Butter proves that close study can reveal rich history, lore, and practical information. All that and charm too.” —Mimi Sheraton, author of 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die

“Irresistible and fascinating . . . This is one of those definitive books on a subject that every cook should have.” —Elisabeth Prueitt, co-owner of Tartine Bakery

“The history of one of the most delectable ingredients throughout our many cultures and geography over time is wonderfully churned and emulsified in Khosrova’s Butter . . . Delightful storytelling.” —Elizabeth Falkner, author of Demolition Desserts: Recipes from Citizen Cake

About the Author


Elaine Khosrova is an independent writer who specializes in stories about food history and gastronomic culture. A former pastry chef and fellowship student at the Culinary Institute of America, Elaine holds a BS in food and nutrition. She began her career in food publishing as a test kitchen editor at Country Living magazine, followed by staff positions at Healthy Living, Classic American Home, and Santé Magazine. In 2007, she received a Gold Folio journalism award, and in 2008 she became the founding editor of culture, a national consumer magazine about specialty cheese that continues to serve cheese enthusiasts. She’s contributed to numerous national food and lifestyle publications, as well as the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Cheese. After many excursions into the world of dairy for the sake of cheese lit, Elaine left culture magazine in 2013 to begin research on her book about butter--the first and only publication (thus far) to chronicle the life and times of this beloved fat. Her butter chase took Elaine throughout the United States and to France, Ireland, India, Bhutan, and Canada. She’s never been the same. An avid cook, baker, traveler, camper, cyclist, and musician, Elaine lives with her family in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Praise For…


“Khosrova takes readers on an amazing journey in the history of butter, tracing butter’s creation through time and geography . . . An ambitious and interesting look at one of the world’s most beloved dairy products.” —Booklist

“Khosrova takes readers through the fascinating story of what was once a humble food, now celebrated by chefs and home cooks alike for its ability to elevate any dish. Plenty of history and science, but she doesn’t skimp on the recipes either.” —Lexington Herald-Leader

“You will believe in butter by the time you finish this educational and entertaining book.” —Birmingham Magazine
 
“Khosrova’s ambitious project is a successful, fascinating account of a common dairy product.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“This enjoyable work packs plenty of fascinating history and science. For fans of food histories such as Dan Koeppel’s Banana or Reaktion Books’s 'Edible' series.” —Library Journal

“A tasty chronicle of the indispensable dairy product . . . Khosrova’s richly textured history melts in your mouth.” —BookPage

“A fascinating, tasty read . . . And what a bonus to have a collection of essential classic butter recipes included.” —David Tanis, author of A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes

“Following the path blazed by Margaret Visser in Much Depends on Dinner, Elaine Khosrova makes much of butter and the ruminants whose milk man churns. You will revel in dairy physics. And you may never eat margarine again.” —John T.  Edge, author of The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South

“Butter proves that close study can reveal rich history, lore, and practical information. All that and charm too.” —Mimi Sheraton, author of 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die
 
“Irresistible and fascinating. As a pastry chef, I am elbow-deep in butter every day; it is in nearly every pastry, cake, and cookie, and slathered on our toasted bread, yet reading this I realize how much history there is behind this ingredient that we take for granted. For the history, use around the world, and modern recipes and techniques (smoked butter!) this is one of those definitive books on a subject that every cook should have."Liz Prueitt, Tartine Bakery 
 
"The history of one of the most delectable ingredients throughout our many cultures and geography over time is wonderfully churned and emulsified in Elaine Khosrova’s ‘Butter’. I don’t think it gets much better than the smell and taste of browned butter and lemon juice as a sauce for a pan seared fish or butternut squash ravioli with sage. Or a buttery and flaky croissant wafting it’s seduction straight to your nose. Or a cold smear of butter on a baguette with a few sliced radishes and some caviar. Or chicken makhani (similar to tikka masala) with it’s spiced ghee tomato sauce! I’ve experienced a few butter tastings over years and after reading this book, ran out and bought several imported and domestic butters to compare again. Delightful storytelling around this beautiful treasure we call butter.”Elizabeth Falkner, author of Demolition Desserts
Product Details
ISBN: 9781616207397
ISBN-10: 1616207396
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: October 17th, 2017
Pages: 368
Language: English