Vodka: A Global History (Edible)
Patricia Herlihy was an American historian and author who focused on Russian and Soviet history. Vodka can be made from just about anything fermented - grains, potatoes, root vegetables and anything else that can ferment. Its devotees drink it straight, on the rocks, and mixed with ust about anything including jellow. Vodka: A Global History is a fascinating look at modern global marketing and advertising. Lacking a distinctive taste, Vodka is a post modern drink sold on brand image rather than any internal qualities. It is differentiated based on bottle design and celebrity connections. Consumers define themselves by the brand of vodka they choose. In this book Herlihy explores why we like Vodka and how it is made and where it originated. She provides a long and fascinating list of the uses of vodka. Russian and Polish monksprobably originally dispensed as a sedative, anesthetic, liniment and disinfectant. It could cure a number of ills and the Soviets believed that it protected against the effects of radiation. Herlihy's chapter on Vodka and the Russian Tsars is especially fascinating and I especially liked learnign about Peter the Great's Drunken Council of Fools and Jesters which commanded its members to never go to bed sober. Herlihy finishes up with a chapter on recipes and her Penne with Vodka Sauce and Sausage is a must. The book is insightful, entertaining, well written and attractively illustrated.