A Rich History
Algonquin Books, 9781616203641, 368pp.
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Other Editions of This Title:
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
Praise For Butter: A Rich History…
“Elaine Khosrova’s ode to butter . . . covers three continents in pursuit of the rich stuff’s backstory, which ranges from the butter-filled bogs of ancient Ireland to the sacred butter sculptures of Tibet. You get plenty of butter-swathed recipes to boot. Fair warning: Don’t read this book while on a diet.”
—Smithsonian Magazine, Best Books About Food 2016
“I was raised on margarine, but once I tasted butter, there was no turning back. Elaine Khosrova is obviously a butter lover, too. Her book, Butter: A Rich History, is a fascinating, tasty read, edifying from every point of view—historical, cultural, and culinary. 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, Eliane Khosrova makes much of butter and the ruminants whose milk man churns. You will meet dairymaids "ripe with fertile innuendo" and Bhutanese yak herders. You will revel in dairy physics. And you may never eat margarine again.”
—John T. Edge, author of the The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South
“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
“This may be more about butter than seems possible but proves that close study can reveal rich history, lore and practical information. All that and charm too, along with explicit recipes that classically depend upon butter.”
—Mimi Sheraton, author of 1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die
“Khosrova takes readers on an amazing journey in the history of butter, tracing butter’s creation through time and geography, from the clarified butter known as ghee, which is able to be preserved for longer in the intense heat of India, to the cold fingers of Sami women from the Far North stirring high-fat reindeer milk into a unique and delicious butter found nowhere else . . . An ambitious and interesting look at one of the world’s most beloved dairy products.”
“Khosrova’s ambitious project is a successful, fascinating account of a common dairy product.”
“Although a short read, 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.”
“Butter is a book that traverses the globe, and Khosrova writes with authority—and keen cultural respect.”
“A tasty chronicle of the indispensable dairy product . . .Khosrova’s richly textured history melts in your mouth.”
“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.”
“You will believe in butter by the time you finish this educational and entertaining book.”