Main Course by Derek Willson, epub, B07K7P1B1K

  • Full Title : Main Course: The Heart of Dinner
  • Autor: Derek Willson
  • Print Length: 
  • Publisher: 
  • Publication Date: November 5, 2018
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B07K7P1B1K
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format: epub


The Main Course is the Heart of Dinner.
Dinner is the time spent with your family . A warm ,cozy time of the day.
Do you love dinners like i do ?
This book will allow you to show all your love in a plate for any type of dinner.




how to make sushi, cooking vegetables, beer bread, mexican food recipes, i am bread,
growing vegetables, buy cake, paleo diet weight loss, zinfandel wine, best cake, had closed on

my watch.

Still, it was not until the book tour ended that I fully grasped how much my life had changed. Home

again, I stared at an empty calendar. My husband, son, and family were immensely supportive, and I

was surrounded by close friends. Compared to those of many others, my problems were small. I was

in good health. I was not about to starve. But I was sixty-one years old, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever get another job. I had no idea what to do with the rest of my life and no notion how we’d pay the bills.

And so I did what I always do when I’m confused, lonely, or frightened: I disappeared into the


It had been so long since I’d had time to really cook. For years I’d been sticking to familiar foods,

rushing home from work to throw quick meals together for my family. Now I began roaming New

York, exploring ethnic neighborhoods. On weekends I went upstate to our country house and haunted

farmers’ markets, coming home laden with unfamiliar ingredients.

Looking back, I see that I was repeating what I’d done when I graduated from college. Back then I

was working in a job I hated, and I had no clue about the direction my life should take. Miserable, I

began rambling the city, discovering new neighborhoods and collecting recipes from butchers,

cheesemongers, and ethnic shopkeepers. I wrote a cookbook trying to explain how much cooking

meant to me. I was twenty-two, and Mmmmm: A Feastiary is a document of its time, a rollicking

period piece that reflects what was happening in 1970, when we were just beginning to discover that

there was more to “American food” than hamburgers and hot dogs. I was not a trained chef; I’d never

taken a culinary course, and my knife skills were pathetic. But I was an omnivorous eater, a question

asker, and a very curious cook.

Fast-forward forty years. In the intervening time I’ve worked in restaurants, written about food,

been a restaurant critic and the food editor of a major newspaper. I’ve spent time in kitchens all over the world. I’ve watched food become an important part of popular culture. But two things haven’t

changed. My knife skills are still pathetic. And I still believe, to the core of my being, that when you pay attention, cooking becomes a kind of meditation.

And so I take my time, admiring the color that’s hidden until you peel a peach. I open the oven

door, leaning in to savor the fine yeasty scent of bread as it begins its slow rise. Making pie crust, I cut the shortening in by hand, eager to feel it becoming one with the flour. And I never fail to listen for the sizzle of sliced onions as they hit hot butter in a pan.

For me, the shopping is as much a part of cooking as the peeling and the chopping, and I linger in

the butcher shop, the farmers’ market, and the cheese store. Food people are eager to share their

knowledge, and the small exchanges that take place across the counter are precious to me. It’s not

about the recipes; these daily conversations ground me in the world, anchoring me in time and place.

The physical act of cooking gives me enormous pleasure, but I also like watching what it does for

others. Even the angriest person is soothed by the scent of soup simmering on the stove. The aroma of

flour, sugar, and butter mingling in the oven is a better tonic than any alcohol. And the best recipe for a good evening is a dish so fragrant that it makes the tongue-tied start to talk. The formula is simple: when you cook for people, they feel cared for.

That hasn’t changed. What’s different is that forty years ago my interest in food felt like a very

solitary passion. Today everybody’s interested, and cooks connect in ways we didn’t dream of before

computers came into our lives. Now, thanks to Twitter I have friends I’ve never met all around the

world. These friendships may be virtual, but to me they are real; I’m no longer alone when I cook.

My kitchen year started in a time of trouble, but it taught me a great deal. When I went back to

cooking I rediscovered simple pleasures, and as I began to appreciate the world around me, I learned

that the secret to life is finding joy in ordinary things.

A Note on the Recipes

“9 pound of flour, 3 pound of sugar, 3 pound of butter, 1 quart emptins, 1 quart milk, 9 eggs, 1

ounce of spice, 1 gill of rose water, 1 gill of wine.”

That, in its entirety, is Amelia Simmons’s recipe for Plain Cake. It appears in America’s

first cookbook, which was published in 1796.

As you can see, it required a fair amount of knowledge—and not a little guesswork—on the

part of the cook. (“Emptins” are the dregs—or emptying—from making ale or cider, and they

served as leavening for the cake.)

Recipe writing is a direct reflection of culture, which means that it changes along with the

times. One hundred years after Amelia Simmons, Fannie Merritt Farmer introduced the notion

of “scientific cooking” in her Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Her radical idea was to

standardize measurements, then begin each recipe with a list of ingredients followed by a

strict step-by-step series of instructions. In 1961, Julia Child took that notion even further,

guiding her readers through a carefully choreographed map of each recipe—with no

deviations allowed.

I’ve never been completely comfortable with that. To me recipes are conversations, not

lectures; they are a beginning, not an end. I hope you’ll add a bit more of this, a little less of

that, perhaps introduce new spices or different herbs. What I really want is for my recipes to

become your own. I love each of the dishes in this book, but if I were at your house I’d expect

every one to taste a bit different than they would when you’re at mine.

And so I’ve tried to write these recipes in a relaxed tone, as if we were standing in the

kitchen, cooking together. Rather than a standard list of ingredients, you’ll find a shopping list

of items you’ll likely have to buy—and staples that you probably have on hand. Which means

you’ll want to know what I consider staples. If you were in my kitchen right now, this is what

you’d find:

Refrigerator Staples



butter ( salted and unsalted)







Parmesan cheese

sour cream

Pantry Staples

baking powder

baking soda

brown sugar

chocolate ( good quality)


flour ( all-purpose)

oils: olive, grapeseed, peanut

pasta ( dry)


rice ( both long grain and basmati)

salts—a few different sorts

soy sauce

spices ( with some exceptions, noted in recipes)


tomatoes ( canned)


vinegars: apple cider, balsamic, red wine, rice, sherry, white

Worcestershire sauce

Vegetable Staples





potatoes ( both russet and waxy)


Unusual Staples

Asian fish sauce

black beans ( fermented)


cream sherry


miso ( brown)

rice wine ( Chinese)


Freezer Staples

bread crumbs and croutons ( homemade)

extra butter ( you never know when you’ll need it)

chicken stock ( homemade)

At times I’ve moved staples to the shopping list, but there’s always a reason: if you need

only a splash of cream it’s a staple, but if a recipe requires an entire quart, you’ll want to

remember to buy extra. All-purpose flour is a staple; most cooks keep it in the pantry. Pastry

flour is less common. And what I call “Unusual Staples” will always be on the shopping list;

they may be staples in my house, but that does not necessarily mean that they are in yours.

Most of all, though, I hope these recipes will give you as much pleasure as they have given

me. And if you want to continue the conversation—just send me a tweet.

Coffee. Toast. Eggs. Purring cats. Air sparkling, pulling me outside.

Wish I could spend the day wandering the city.

Be careful what you wish for: two weeks from the late September day I tweeted the wish on the

previous page, my wandering days arrived.

But on this day, oblivious to the clouds gathering over Gourmet, I happily made an opulent little breakfast for my family and blithely set off for work. The meal was its own omen, a recipe I would

repeat many times in the year to come, because this is the world’s most comforting dish.

Potatoes and eggs have had a very long love affair, but their romance has never been more exciting

than here, where they embrace with astonishing fervor. When you want to be really, really good to

yourself, take the time to make this soft egg, gently cooked on a pillow of butter-rich potatoes. Then eat it very slowly, with a spoon. Each bite reminds you why you’re glad to be alive.



4–5 young Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound)

¾ cup cream




4 tablespoons butter

4 eggs

Serves 4

Peel the potatoes and cut them into half-inch slices. Put them in a pot, cover them with an inch of cold water, and add a teaspoon of sea salt. Bring the water to a boil, reduce it to a mere burble, and cook for 20 minutes, until the flesh offers no resistance when you pierce it with a fork.

Drain the potatoes and put them through a ricer. Or mash them really well with a potato masher. In

a pinch, use a fork. Season with a light shower of freshly ground pepper.

Melt the butter and stir in half a cup of the cream. Now comes the fun part. Whisk the cream

mixture into the potatoes and watch them turn into a smooth, seductive puree. Season to taste, doing

your best to keep from simply gobbling everything up.

Heat an oven to 375 degrees and put a kettle of water on to boil.

Butter 4 little ramekins and put about an inch of the potato puree into each one. Now gently crack

an egg on top of each, being careful not to break the yolks. Set the ramekins in a deep baking dish,

pour boiling water around them (be careful not to splash either yourself or the contents of the

ramekins), and set the dish in the oven for about 8 minutes, until the whites of the eggs have just begun to set.

Spoon a tablespoon of heavy cream over the egg in each ramekin and bake for another 5 minutes or

so, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Garnish with flakes of salt, bits of

chopped chive, or, if you’re inclined to true indulgence, crisp crumbles of bacon.

Thank you all SO much for this outpouring of support. It means a lot.

Sorry not to be posting now, but I’m packing. We’re all stunned, sad.

The Gourmet conference room, a cold, glass-enclosed space, was barely large enough to hold the entire staff, and we stood, packed shoulder to shoulder, as Si Newhouse, the owner of Condé Nast,

told us that the magazine was closing. Had in fact already closed.

“What about the December issue?” I asked. It was already at the printer.

“The November issue will be our last.” Si didn’t look at me as he said it, and I caught the eye of

Richard Ferretti, our creative director, who seemed as stunned as I was. The cookie issue, the one

that had five covers, one on top of the other, was never going to appear?

Si said something bland about Human Resources, and then he and his entourage left. Nobody

moved. We were still too shocked to comprehend what was happening. I blinked, trying not to cry.

Boxes had appeared, as if by magic, and one by one people straggled out of the conference room,

picked them up, and went off to start packing their possessions. Many had spent their entire working

lives at Gourmet. At last only executive editor Doc Willoughby and I were left, and I finally allowed the tears to fall. He put his arms around me, and we stood for a long while, trying to comfort each


I went back into my huge office overlooking Times Square. Every phone was ringing. Reporters

wanted to talk to me, and I could hear my secretary, Robin, telling them to call the corporate offices.

She is the friendliest person on earth, but her voice was cold, clipped. She had been at Condé Nast

for almost thirty years.

When the noise level in the hall rose perceptibly, I went out to see what was going on. James

Rodewald, our drinks editor, was standing in the conference room opening the hundreds of bottles of

wine he had collected. “Drink up,” he kept saying, “no point in leaving it here.”

By dusk we were all drunk, exhausted, and feeling very fragile. Not one of us was ready to go

home. We were beginning to understand how unlikely it was that we’d all be together again in one

place. Impulsively I said, “Come to my house!” and we trooped off, carrying bottles of wine and

whatever we could salvage from the test kitchen.

It was curiously comforting, spending the night together. The cooks cleaned out their kitchens, each

contributing something to the feast. Am I remembering this correctly? I think Gina Marie Miraglia

Eriquez, the star baker of the food editors, brought one of her spectacular birthday cakes, which sat

incongruously in the middle of the table. Paul Grimes, our ace food stylist, brought the hors d’oeuvres he’d been working on for the May issue, and food editor Ian Knauer packed up some of his brilliant

bacon-and-prune-laced meatloaf. Food editor Maggie Ruggiero found some shrimp and scallion

dumplings in her freezer and brought those along. My own offering was a few little pots of chicken

liver pâté. I always make extra so I’ll have some in the freezer should an emergency arise.

It had arisen.



1 pound chicken livers

1 apple (grated)

3 tablespoons calvados or cognac


8–12 tablespoons (1–1½ sticks) unsalted butter

2 shallots (minced)

salt and pepper


Serves 8 to 10

The most important part of this recipe is the shopping. If you begin with a pound of pretty livers from free-range chickens, the rest is easy. Start with the bedraggled bits you often find in supermarkets,

however, and you’re likely to have trouble. So beg your butcher for the best, take your livers home

and cut off the gnarly parts (they’re bitter), dry the livers well, and sprinkle them with salt and


Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large pan, and cook the minced shallots over medium heat until

they soften. Toss them into a food processor to wait while you melt a bit more butter and briefly sauté the apple. (Any apple will do, but I prefer a firm, tart variety like Granny Smith.) Add the apple to the food processor and melt a couple more tablespoons butter in the same pan. Turn the heat up high and

quickly sauté the livers, shaking the pan, until the outsides have just begun to go from brown to gray (they should still glow pink within).

Remove the pan from the heat, pour the calvados or cognac into it, return to the heat, light the pan

with a match, and enjoy the whoosh. When the flames have died and the alcohol has burned off, add

the contents of the pan to the food processor and blend until very smooth.

Cut ¾ of a stick (6 tablespoons) of cold butter into chunks and slowly add them to the livers, as you

continue to blend. If you have some heavy cream, add a teaspoon or so, although it’s not necessary.

Taste for seasoning and put into ramekins, custard cups, or small bowls. Cover tightly with plastic

wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the mousse. Allow the pâté to mellow in the refrigerator for at

least 2 hours before serving.

This freezes very well.

At Newark airport. Stop to buy a sandwich and the woman behind the

counter says, “I’m so sorry about Gourmet; this one’s on me.”

Still slightly hungover from the party the night before, I threw some clothes into a suitcase and dashed to the airport. Kansas City was the last place I wanted to be, but the chef at Starker’s Restaurant had called, begging me not to cancel the first stop on the book tour. “I’ve had farmers raising special

chickens for this dinner for months,” he pleaded. “We have more than a hundred people coming to see

you. Please don’t let us down.”

My husband, Michael, thought I was crazy. “What do you care if the book sells or not? It belongs to

Condé Nast,” he said. “You need to take a few days off.”

“The chef sounded so desperate,” I said. “I just couldn’t tell him no.”

Michael shook his head as he carried my suitcases to the door. His parting words were “Promise

me you’ll eat something at the airport.”

But by the time I got there I had lost my appetite. This trip was a mistake. I felt hollow, miserable, and utterly alone. I was staring blindly at the sandwiches when I realized the woman behind the

counter was trying to get my attention. “I loved that magazine,” she said, offering a sympathetic smile.

“I could hardly wait for it to arrive each month. Please take anything you like.”

She was so kind, and her generosity so unexpected, that my mood instantly lifted. I looked through

the refrigerated case, pulled out a steak sandwich, and ate it with as much pleasure as if it had been a Peter Luger porterhouse.

I know the gift was a tribute to the magazine, not to me, but it was a lovely gesture at a terrible

time. To this day a steak sandwich can turn me right around. One bite always reminds me of the

power of random acts of kindness.



1 pound skirt steak

4 crusty rolls



vegetable oil


Serves 4

If you love steak sandwiches, you need to make friends with skirt steak. It’s a fantastically flavorful cut that doesn’t cost much. It does, however, demand a bit of coddling.

The skirt is a bundle of abdominal muscles that have worked very hard, lending them great flavor

and a tendency to be tough. Long and thin (a friend calls it “steak by the yard”), skirt steak has many aliases. In Texas it’s called “beef for fajitas,” and in the Jewish restaurants of New York’s Lower

East Side it goes by “Romanian tenderloin.” But in my house it’s sandwich steak because the skinny

slices can stand up to salsa, chimichurri, pesto—or simply mustard and a bit of butter.

If you buy your meat from an artisana
dough recipe, icetea, pork chow mein, types of alcoholic drinks, cookies internet, earman, PA to Raymond Blanc; Tracie Davies, Assistant PA to Raymond Blanc and Rosemary Scoular at United Agents.

At Lion TV: Richard Bradley, Managing Director; Donna Clark, Executive Producer, Giulia Clark, Series Producer; Stuart Elliott, Series Director; Emma Randle-Caprez and Georgina Stewart, Assistant Producers; Claire Smith, Production Manager; Laura Rawlinson, photographer; Susan Cooke, Director of Legal; and Julian Alexander at LAW Agency.

At the BBC: Alison Kirkham, Janice Hadlow, Tanya Shaw and Kim Shillinglaw.

Susanne Groom, former curator at Historic Royal Palaces; and Janet Oldroyd-Hulme, Yorkshire Rhubarb specialist.

Jean Cazals, David Eldridge at Two Associates, Sheila Keating and Imogen Fortes.

The best dish on Raymond’s menu, according to Raymond, is the ‘one that’s in season’.

In this unique TV series and book, Raymond Blanc and Kew Gardens have created a stunning Kitchen Garden at Kew to showcase the heritage and botany of our favourite plants as well as uncover their growing and cooking secrets.

We’ll explore how these plants arrived in the UK, brought back by intrepid plant hunters, how they flourished and how they spread to become part of our everyday meals.

The Kew gardeners offer their tips and expertise in growing this produce, from carrots to potatoes, rhubarb and gooseberries, apples and peas.

And interwoven with these stories will be Raymond’s Blanc’s detailed tasting notes and 40 mouth-watering recipes. Raymond’s unparalleled expertise is drawn from three decades of experience in his own restaurant kitchen garden. He brings with him a lifetime’s passion about fruit and veg, knowing exactly which apple is the perfect variety for his Tarte Tartin and which potato makes the perfect Sunday roast.

With a wealth of stunning historical illustrations, woodcuts and images as well as beautiful recipe photography, this will be a book to treasure for life.

IN A UNIQUE COLLABORATION between the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and double Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc, a corner of the historic 300-acre site has been transformed into a stunning walled kitchen garden, the like of which has not been seen at Kew since Georgian times. Planted with heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables, many with their own evocative histories, the garden has provided a sumptuous source of inspiration for Raymond’s collection of seasonal recipes, bursting with colour and flavour.

‘Just getting back in touch with the natural cycles of the year, getting your hands into the dirt and growing something that you can cook for your family and friends to enjoy is immensely good for the spirit and the soul,’ says Kew’s Director of Horticulture, Richard Barley.

‘The creation of the garden with Raymond and his team has been a wonderful opportunity to remind us all of the joys of growing and cooking our own food, and to show how aesthetically beautiful fruit and vegetable gardens can be’, says Richard Barley, Kew’s Director of Horticulture. ‘In many ways we are repeating Kew’s history on this patch of ground, which was once an extensive, productive kitchen garden for the Royal Palaces. Several of King George II and Queen Caroline’s family lived in the Palaces, including eldest son and heir Frederick Prince of Wales and his wife Princess Augusta (who founded the botanic garden). King George III, who spent much of his childhood at Kew, later returned with Queen Charlotte and their extensive family. Melons were grown in an area that is still known as the Melon Yard – along with newly fashionable pineapples and other exotic fruits. At the same time, Sir Joseph Banks, the adventurer, botanist and unofficial director of Kew, who sailed with Captain Cook on his epic voyage to the south Pacific and Australia, was creating an international centre of plant study, collecting samples of fruits and vegetables from all over the world. These were meticulously studied, logged and preserved, and cuttings and seeds were freely given to market gardeners to popularise.

The kitchen garden project has also reinforced the very real link between Kew’s research into plant diversity, chemistry and genetics, and the day to day hands-on growing of food, whether that is in a plot in the back garden, on an allotment or smallholding or on a global agricultural scale. It is a connection that is becoming increasingly important as we seek to understand and manage the world’s ecosystems and feed the expanding population while our climate is changing. There are potentially 50,000 edible plants in the world, yet we know that around half of the global food intake is based on just four crops: rice, wheat, soy beans and maize. What would happen if one of these four key crops were to fail completely?

In past centuries, people knew better how to live locally off the land; they had a keener sense of seasonality and a diet that varied according to whatever was available. Now, we expect to be able to buy anything at any time of the year, but the large scale, intensive production of food and its transportation around the world which has made that possible have also brought with them problems: pollution, degradation of the soil, water shortages and the destruction of ecosystems. These are all serious challenges for modern society, and our scientists are now working to find ways to secure the future of our food supply.

Particularly important is Kew’s Crop Wild Relatives programme. In partnership with around 50 similar organisations around the world, our scientists are involved in finding, collecting, studying and conserving the seeds of the wild cousins of 29 of our commonly cultivated crops. These wild relatives are so much more genetically diverse and hardy than today’s more nurtured, cultivated crops, and many have specific traits that enable them to be grown in difficult conditions. They can be used to develop new varieties which can be grown by local communities, which will be much more suited to particular microclimates and resilient to pests and diseases.

All of this links directly to the need to get back to producing more of our food locally, and even better, growing some of it ourselves. The fruit and vegetable garden at Kew is testimony to the pleasures of fresh, seasonal food, which, of course, is the hallmark of Raymond’s brilliant recipes. It is doing something very valuable in focusing on selected heritage varieties that have often been edged out in commercial growing by modern hybrids, but that can sometimes deliver much more characterful flavours. By helping to perpetuate these varieties we are contributing to conserving the all-important biodiversity.

What we hope is that the new garden will not only help visitors to think about the bigger picture, but at a local level inspire them to rediscover the simple pleasure of planting, growing and harvesting, in however small a way. You don’t need an acre of ground; it is amazing what you can produce in a few square feet, or in pots on a balcony or patio. Just getting back in touch with the natural cycles of the year, getting your hands into the dirt and growing something that you can cook for your family and friends to enjoy is immensely good for the spirit and the soul.’

‘I absolutely love gardens,’ says Raymond Blanc. ‘After all these years I am still in awe of their mysteries and complexities. I marvel at the life cycle of a seed as it grows and responds to the iciness of winter and the heat of the sun; the deep understanding of the gardener, waging constant battle against winged insects, caterpillars, furry creatures, blight or mildew; and the extraordinary rhythm of the seasons, which mirrors and defines our own lives and has always been at the heart of my cooking.

The rhythm of the kitchen garden, with its seasonal changes, has always been at the heart of Raymond Blanc’s cooking.

As human beings have done for millions of years, we long for the first pale sunlight of spring, warming the earth, encouraging the first shoots to come through, giving us beautiful, delicate flavours, colours and blossoms and the first asparagus, radish or pea shoots. Next, the ripeness of summer with its triumph of full-flavoured abundance, so that the cook is totally spoilt. Then autumn, rude and ripe with the big, rich colours of plums and apples and pumpkins. And afterwards comes the slow decay and collapse into winter with its black earth, seemingly barren, but in reality full of the seeds of new life, while through the frosts and snow the cabbages and leeks and Brussels sprouts come surging defiantly through the soil.

I gained a deep affinity with the seasons, the garden and of terroir from my father, and a love, care and understanding of cooking and preserving food from my mother. We lived in the most rugged, wooded part of France with mountains, rivers and lakes; warm in summer but freezing in winter. It is a terrain where intensive farming cannot thrive, so there is still purity in the fruits and vegetables that are grown, and the organic values I have always embraced were instilled in me early on in life. My father created a huge garden where we grew enough food for our family of seven. While my friends were playing football, me and my two sisters and two brothers were digging the soil and turning the compost, watering and harvesting food for my mother to cook, bottle or pickle to store for the winter. So although I cannot say I am a gardener, I certainly served my apprenticeship.

When I arrived at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the first thing I did was to create the vegetable garden, even before I worried about the house, the foundations, the roof or the decor – and now we have 11 different gardens and orchards, inspired by my travels, my own terroir, books I have read and marvellous people I have met. So why did I want to make another garden at Kew? Well, of course I relished the idea of a French Republican laying a new garden of 250-strong varieties over a former royal plot! But seriously, what is beautiful is that after a gap of more than 150 years since the last royal kitchen garden was given up in Victorian times, vegetables are being grown again in this part of Kew. It has been an amazing chance to show that there is a real connection between rediscovering, valuing and growing traditional varieties of fruits and vegetables on a local scale and the much bigger, complex and challenging question of what the world is going to eat tomorrow. This is where the great work that is being done by the scientists at Kew, the pinnacle of plant research, is so very important.

When we talk about heritage or ‘heirloom’ varieties we mean plants that have been grown and their seeds saved and replanted for centuries. Each has its own individuality of flavour and character and over time the plants have naturally adapted themselves to local conditions. Modern hybrid seeds, which are known as F1, on the other hand, have usually been developed for their enormous yield, resistance to disease, shelf life and perfect colour, shape and uniformity. Many certainly grow bigger, but they have less and less taste. And they are designed to be used once only. If you were to try to harvest their seeds and grow them the next year, the crop wouldn’t be the same, so you will always have to buy more. And if an entire crop should fail, what are you left with when these hybrids have replaced so many alternative heritage varieties? I am not saying that heritage varieties are necessarily best, but many are, and it is vital that we don’t lose them – not only for their flavour and character, but for the biodiversity they bring, which is so important to our future food security. We believe that plenty is going to be forever, but our world is so vulnerable and our food supplies so fragile.

‘I am not saying that heritage varieties are necessarily the best’, says Raymond, ‘but many are, and it is vital that we don’t lose them – not only for their flavour and character, but for the biodiversity they bring, which is so important to our future food security.’

I have a deep respect for science, especially as a self-taught and curious cook; I always wanted the mysteries of the kitchen explained to me. I needed to know why my soufflés rose beautifully or why colours, textures and flavours denatured through the appliance of heat. I had to understand the whole chemistry of the fermentation of yeast in bread. And I truly believe that scientists, gardeners, cooks and consumers have to come together to connect our history, tradition and the knowledge of food and seasonality that has been handed down through generations, with the right kind of research and technology. Only then can we tackle all the challenges we have to face, from desertification and water security to the acidification of the seas, and all the health problems we have brought upon ourselves by shamelessly reducing food to a mere cheap commodity.

I believe that people are demanding individuality and flavour again, and plant breeders and supermarkets are responding to that. At East Malling Research station for example, scientists are now developing some extraordinary varieties of fruit and vegetables, especially strawberries that, yes, have shelf life, and yes, have resistance to disease, but also have wonderful, complex flavours.

I am only a tiny firefly briefly passing by – but I am proud to be a part of this amazing team that is building something that will go beyond me, inviting people to think, and involving and exciting children to see what is possible. We are the generation who ate everything without asking a single question, but I believe that our children will be the ones who will reconnect with the true nourishment of food and where it comes from, embrace sustainable values and harness science in a good way so that they can create their own food revolution.

It was such a joy for me to work with Kate Humble who co-presented the TV series – we share a love of growing, of food, and we have similar ideologies and a great respect for the history, botanical knowledge and research that we were privileged to be a part of at Kew. Of course we didn’t take ourselves too seriously; we had a lot of fun with our amazing film crew from Lion TV, and I hope we told our big, big story in an entertaining way. Most of all I owe a huge debt to our wonderful gardeners: the serene Alice Lumb and inquisitive Joe Archer, who nurtured our lovely produce day by day. And my two angels: Anne-Marie Owens, who has been with me for 29 years; and the gentle Anna Greenland, who looks after the vegetable garden and carries old wisdom and a deep understanding of the seasons in her young soul, which is beautiful to see. What a team. Between them they have researched and sowed the seeds and nurtured them. Together we have reaped the harvest, and with Adam and Ben, my trusty lieutenants in the kitchen, I have created completely new recipes to celebrate the purity and nobility of fruit and vegetables.

No more can we sustain the impact on our environment of eating so much meat. Vegetables, especially, are going to find their proper place in our diet – and I have to thank my partner Natalia Traxel for all her nutritional expertise on that subject! Hopefully we will all recognise the power of fruits and vegetables to affect our well-being, above all when they are fresh from the earth – which means growing more produce locally or in our own gardens.

You are what you eat. The first time I heard that expression I was 19 and deciding I wanted to be a chef. I was reading everything I could about food and health and it seemed like a complete over-statement. But the more I discovered about food and nutrition, the more I totally agreed with it. From seed to plate we have grown, organically, a magnificent garden at Kew, which embraces British heritage, soil and local varietals. Maybe I am a foolish romantic, but I believe this project will go some way to show that food is not a mere commodity; it connects with every part of our lives, and I hope this book will inspire people with these exciting ideas. Why not sow some seeds tomorrow, water them and watch them grow, then cook something wonderful for your loved ones. Please, do it. Because if we begin to reconnect our food with the garden, with seasonality, community, cooking, nutrition, science and the environment, then maybe we can help change the world… just a little.’

Raymond, Kate and gardeners Alice and Joe enjoy the fruits of their labours.

AS LADY EVE BALFOUR, the first president of the Soil Association, famously pronounced, ‘the health of soil, plant, animal and man is one and indivisible.’ Everything in the garden begins with the soil, and that means careful preparation before you begin planting.

Most gardens will benefit from digging in some well-rotted manure or garden compost, either in the autumn before spring sowing or planting, or a few weeks in advance if you are putting in seeds or seedlings at other times of the year.

However, Anna, who is in charge of Raymond’s vegetable gardens at Le Manoir and worked with the team at Kew to prepare the beds for planting, advises that the key is to tailor your plan for enriching the soil to what is possible, given the size of your garden, and the area where you live. ‘You may have a lot of kitchen waste and a reasonable sized vegetable plot which will give you leafy and woody cuttings, in which case you should be able to get a good compost heap going’, she says. ‘Or, if you live in a village with stables just down the road, you might have a great supply of well-rotted manure, which you could mix with your compost (the best possible scenario) or use on its own. If you have space to fill empty beds with a green manure crop (see here) you can make good use of that as a manure on its own or in addition to the compost heap; or alternatively, if you are surrounded by trees, you can rot down the fallen autumn leaves to make a fantastic mulch. If you live in a city with a small garden, then just buy a good non-peat all-purpose compost. It might be that you use compost one year and well-rotted manure the next. The thing to remember is that any bare ground should be covered over winter, so put down some form of enrichment – whatever is easiest – that will be absorbed into the soil and will feed it.’


For a seasoned gardener a well-ripened compost heap is almost as exciting as growing fruits and vegetables. ‘Soil is an incredible living entity,’ says Alice, who with fellow gardener Joe has tended the fruit and vegetable garden at Kew from its inception. ‘When you add organic matter to it, this is gradually broken down by micro-organisms, earthworms, beetles, ants, etc. Bacteria and fungi living in the soil then work on the organic compounds, making nutrients available for the plant roots to take up.

‘An extra benefit of adding compost to a free-draining, light sandy soil such as ours at Kew, is that it works like a sponge, helping to hold moisture in the soil and slow down the leaching of nutrients through it,’ she says. ‘We incorporate compost into all the beds and sometimes also use a thin layer as a top dressing during the growing season. Provided the soil has been well prepared in this way that is all that is needed, although I also like to sprinkle some Soil Association-certified organic chicken manure pellets around the base of fruit trees and bushes and some young vegetables. They will get absorbed into the soil when it rains and provide a good slow-release fertiliser.

‘Once we have harvested a crop, it is always good
easy tiramisu recipe, best vegetarian recipes, french restaurant, healthy chicken recipes, list of veggies, sammelten Getreide erst ein Brei und dann Bier, was als Wink der Götter gedeutet wurde. Aber auch der frühe Mensch war kein Idiot und experimentierte ein wenig mit dem Himmelsgeschenk herum. Gerste und Weizen wurden kultiviert und alsbald zur perfekten Grundlage für das neue Getränk, das sich steigender Beliebtheit erfreute. So zumindest die Vermutung der Forscher, doch da zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch niemand die Schrift erfunden hatte, gibt es hierfür leider keine Beweise.

Die tauchen rund 3.400 Jahre vor Christus erstmals auf, bei den Sumerern, Ägyptern und Babyloniern, die allesamt im Fruchtbaren Halbmond abhängen und sich einen hinter die Binde schmettern. In diesem Gebiet sind Hieroglyphen und Überreste längst untergegangener Stammtische enthalten, aus denen sich erste Rezepturen und sogar Schankordnungen ablesen lassen. Und es gibt sogar eine Göttin des Suffs: Ninkasi, aus dem sprudelnden Wasser geboren und die Mutter aller Brauer. Sie brachte uns Menschen das Geheimnis des göttlichen Trunks, weshalb bis heute diverse Biere, Brauereien und Gaststätten nach ihr benannt sind. Doch zurück zum Fruchtbaren Halbmond: Dort, wo einem aus religiösen Gründen heute unter Umständen Peitschenhiebe oder gar die Todesstrafe erwarten, wenn man sich betrinkt, wurde das Zechen also erfunden und diesem wunderbaren Hobby sogar eine eigene Gottheit gewidmet. Ironie der Geschichte.

Kein halbes Jahrhundert nach dem großen Schützenfest von Babylon werden auch in Europa, unter anderem in Dänemark, erste Brauexperimente unternommen. Sollte da vielleicht ein findiger Geschäftsmann aus dem arabischen Raum per Schnellboot gen EU gedüst sein, um sein Patent an den Brüsseler Bürokraten vorbei an den Westen zu verhökern? Nein, ganz so weit war man damals glücklicherweise noch nicht. Vielmehr wird vermutet, dass die Entdeckung auch in unseren Breitengraden zufälliger Natur war. So kompliziert ist der Vorgang ja nicht, ein blödes Brot und ein bisschen Wasser. Das kommt in den besten Haushalten mal vor, wie man in Landsberg, Stadelheim oder Santa Fu sicher gerne bestätigen wird.

Die arroganten Römer hingegen malträtierten ihre Leber lieber mit Wein und glaubten, das Bier der weiter nördlich angesiedelten Germanen sei lediglich der kümmerliche Versuch, den Rebensaft der edlen Herren zu kopieren. Dreimal laut gelacht, Cäsaren-Pack! Erstickt doch an eurem vergorenen Traubensaft!

Auch die Kultivierung des Hopfens im 8. Jahrhundert nach Christus hatte Einfluss auf die Verbreitung des Bieres, allerdings dauerte es lange, bis sich das Hanfgewächs (Ach, tun Sie doch nicht so!) als Bierzutat durchsetzen konnte. Vorher wurde häufig Gagel (auch als Noppenkraut oder Waschbaum bekannt) verwendet, in anderen Gebieten waren die sogenannten Grutbiere beliebt. Dabei wurden und werden regionale Kräutermischungen zur Würzung des Bieres verwendet, wobei auch Gagelbier Grutbier genannt werden kann.

Ganz schön kompliziert. So weit trieben es die ersten »Braumeister« nicht. Die gossen sich einen frischen Schluck Quellwasser übers Fladenbrot, prosteten Ninkasi zu und waren glücklich. Geht doch!

Grund 2

Weil es Schimmel und Kriegen trotzt

Die Lebensweisen der Menschen im Spätmittelalter, während der Renaissance, der Reformation und im Barock sind hinreichend erforscht, in jeder piefigen Kleinstadt findet im Wochentakt eine Ausstellung zum Thema statt. Egal, ob Wohnraum, Waffen, Essen oder Liebesgewohnheiten, wir wissen alles von unseren Urahnen. Sogar welche Biere sie getrunken haben. Zum Beispiel diese hier:

Grundsätzlich ist festzuhalten, dass die meisten mittelalterlichen Biere bis in das 15. Jahrhundert sogenannte Grutbiere waren. Wie erwähnt war Hopfen noch nicht so weit verbreitet, deshalb wurden Pflanzen wie der Grutstrauch oder der Sumpfporst zum Würzen verwendet. Besonders letztgenannte Pflanze war nicht ohne, denn sie rief bei zu hoher Dosierung Wutanfälle bis zur totalen Raserei hervor. Auch besaßen diese Pflanzen nicht die antimikrobiellen Eigenschaften des Hopfens, weshalb die Biere schneller verdarben. Dies ist auch der Grund, warum sich der Hopfen schließlich durchsetzte.

Das Werdersche Bier aus dem Umfeld von Berlin wurde bereits mit Hopfen hergestellt und tauchte erstmals im frühen 17. Jahrhundert auf, wurde anfangs aber nur in kleinen Mengen gebraut. Später machte das Getränk eine kurze Karriere als Arznei, es wurde aufgrund seiner Bekömmlichkeit vor allem Wöchnerinnen und Rekonvaleszenten empfohlen. Wahrscheinlich nicht die beste Idee. Noch bekannter war das Lichtenhainer Bier aus der Sächsischen Schweiz, dessen Ruf bis heute nicht kleinzukriegen ist. Das Bier soll eine deutlich saure und rauchige Note gehabt und eher dünn geschmeckt haben, war allerdings sehr beliebt. Erstaunlich, denn zusätzlich besaß das Lichtenhainer eine starke Trübung und man konnte sich nie ganz sicher sein, wie weit der Gärprozess eigentlich schon fortgeschritten war. Deshalb wurde es bevorzugt auch in hölzernen Krügen ausgeschenkt. Nicht, dass sich jemand von der Optik abgestoßen fühlte.

Ebenfalls noch recht bekannt ist das Danziger Jopenbier, wobei die meisten Biere von vor einigen Hundert Jahren Jopenbiere waren. Jope bedeutet so viel wie Schöpfkelle. Und tatsächlich wurden Biere in früheren Jahrhunderten gerne in riesige Bottiche gefüllt und schöpfkellenweise für den Hausgebrauch verkauft. Mit einem Extraktgehalt von bis zu über 50 Prozent war die Danziger Variante etwas ganz Besonderes und erinnerte vermutlich eher an die Braunschweiger Mumme. Pur war der Sud jedenfalls kaum zu genießen, es wurde häufig zum Verfeinern von Soßen oder Suppen verwendet und bis ins 19. Jahrhundert hinein exportiert. Die Herstellung dürfte nicht jedermanns Sache gewesen sein, denn das Bier wurde in besonderen Gärschuppen zum Gären gebracht. Diese waren von der Decke bis zum Boden mit Schimmel überzogen, der für das richtige Aroma (soll an Portwein erinnert haben) sorgte. Diplom-Braumeister Jens Hofmann beschreibt es so: »In der ersten Phase überzog sich die Würze, in die keine Hefegabe erfolgte, mit einer weißen Schimmelschicht, die innerhalb von zwei bis drei Wochen in Grün/Blau überging. Dann entwickelten sich Gärblasen, die begannen, die Schimmeldecke zu heben. Jetzt wurde die Decke abgehoben, und die Gärung verstärkte sich. Der Bottich wurde dann mit einem Deckel, in dessen Mitte ein Loch war und der mit einer umlaufenden Rinne versehen war, verschlossen. Die nur halb gefüllten Bottiche schäumten während circa 14 Tagen stark über und das überlaufende Bier wurde in Wannen gesammelt und zurückgeschüttet. Die Nachgärung im Bottich dauerte weitere zwei bis vier Wochen, dann kam die Gärung zum Stillstand und das Bier überzog sich wieder mit einer grünlichen Schimmeldecke. In diesem Zustand blieb das Bier nun, je nach Absatzentwicklung, bis zu einem Jahr liegen. Vor dem Verkauf wurde es durch Säcke filtriert und üblicherweise auf 13-Liter-Fässer abgefüllt.«1

Wesentlich weniger ist über das Güstrower Kniesenack bekannt. Die Spezialität aus Mecklenburg-Vorpommern war ein starkes und würziges Bier (die Übersetzung aus dem Slawischen für das Wort »Kniesenack« lautet »Herrenbier«) und wurde wahrscheinlich im frühen 17. Jahrhundert, vielleicht noch früher, erfunden. Es konnte sich mehrere Hundert Jahre lang halten, erst im 19. Jahrhundert wurden lange Braupausen gemacht, bis es schließlich ganz verschwand. Allerdings existiert eine Lobschrift auf das Bier, dem eine magische und mystische Wirkung nachgesagt wurde. Das Büchlein trägt den handlichen Titel Encomium oder Lob-Spruch des weltberühmten/ gesunden/ kräfftigen und wohlschmeckenden Gersten-Biers Kniesenack genannt/ Welches im Mecklenburgischen Lande zu Güstrau seinen Ursprung bekommen und anjetzo daselbst gebrauet wird und stammt aus dem Jahr 1624.2 Das in einem Antiquariat wiederentdeckte Kleinod ist eine Abschrift des Hofmedicus Georg Detharding aus dem Jahr 1706. Deutet man die dort aufgeführten Fakten zum Kniesenack, dürfte es unter heutigen Vorstellungen wohl ein Braunbier gewesen sein.

Ebenfalls in diese Auflistung gehört das Grätzer Bier, ein Bier, das ausschließlich in der gleichnamigen Stadt (Grodzisk Wielkopolski) im Osten des heutigen Polen gebraut wurde. Die Besonderheit hierbei: Es werden verschiedene süßere Malzsorten und Weizenmalz mit Eichenraucharoma verwendet. Das Bier soll eine lange Tradition haben (wahrscheinlich wurde es im späten Mittelalter erfunden), geriet schließlich in Vergessenheit, wird heute aber wieder in Heimbrauereien angesetzt. Die letzte bekannte Variante aus den Neunzigerjahren des letzten Jahrhunderts hatte nur einen Alkoholgehalt von 2,3 Volumenprozent, die früheren Varianten dürften deutlich stärker gewesen sein.

»Den Hunger stillt die Brägenwurst; das Bitterbier es löscht den Durst.« Diese kleine Weise wurde in Zerbst (im Landkreis Anhalt-Bitterfeld) schon im 14. Jahrhundert kundgetan. Im kleinen Städtchen wurden die Fleischereien und Brauereien nämlich häufig zusammengelegt. So war die Gemeinsamkeit zwischen Bier und Wurst Alltag. Trotz ihrer übersichtlichen Größe stand Zerbst häufig im Brennpunkt, denn der Ort lag an der Grenze zwischen deutschen und slawischen Stämmen, die sich in schöner Regelmäßigkeit bekriegten. Die Zerbster ließen sich davon aber nicht aus der Ruhe bringen und erfanden ihr Bitterbier, das tatsächlich zu einem Exportschlager wurde. Wobei die in diesem Zusammenhang gerne verwendete Beschreibung »weltbekannt« im zeitlichen Kontext zu sehen ist. Weltbekannt bedeutete, jemand in der übernächsten größeren Stadt hatte schon mal davon gehört. Trotzdem erlangte das Zerbster Bitterbier einigen Ruhm, es wurde auch unter dem Namen »Zerbster Würze« verkauft. Und das lässt den Bierfreund doch aufhorchen, denn diese beiden Begrifflichkeiten widersprechen sich eigentlich. Entweder ist ein Bier bitter oder es enthält viel Würze, ist also milder, dafür aber vollmundiger. Offenbar hatten die Zerbster Brauer einen guten Mittelweg gefunden. Das Bier wurde bis ins 20. Jahrhundert hinein gebraut, auch nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg wurde die Produktion wieder angeworfen, bis es sich recht plötzlich in nichts auflöste. Wird also mal Zeit für ein Comeback.

Das Breslauer Schöps hingegen scheint schon länger vollständig verschwunden. Warum das Bier diesen Namen bekam, ist nicht mehr belegbar. Vermutet wird, dass die Bezeichnung aus dem österreichischen Sprachraum kommt. »Schöps« oder »Scheps« werden Menschen genannt, die sich seltsam bewegen oder verhalten. Auch im Schwäbischen ist eine ähnliche Bezeichnung geläufig. Vermutlich gingen Menschen, die zu viel vom Breslauer Schöps (ein dunkles Weizenbier) getrunken hatten, nicht mehr ganz so gerade, daher der Name. Das Bier wurde von circa 1500 bis 1850 gebraut, danach verschwand es in der Versenkung. Da das Rezept noch erhalten ist, kann es aber problemlos nachgebraut werden.

Von anderen historischen Bieren sind nur noch die Namen (oder Spitznamen) überliefert. So soll es in Jena ein Bier gegeben haben, das im Volksmund »Menschenfett« hieß, weil das Bächlein, aus dem das Brauwasser entnommen wurde, über einen Friedhof lief. Im hohen Norden der Republik, wo eigentlich lieber Tee getrunken wird, trieb einst der »braune Bernhard« sein Unwesen. Der Legende nach soll der Trunk so herb und/oder stark gewesen sein, dass einem braun im Gesicht wurde. Wobei »Blasser« oder »Grüner« Bernhard dann doch eigentlich besser gepasst hätte. In Eisleben wiederum wurde man ganz deutlich. Das Bier wurde »Krabbel an die Wand« genannt und soll extrem ungesund gewesen sein. Dagegen ist der »Büffel« aus Frankfurt an der Oder fast schon harmlos. Wer zu viel von dem Zeug trank, bekam einen schweren Kopf wie ein Büffel. In Eckernförde soll das »Cacabulle« den Stuhlgang befördert haben (keine Details, bitte), während in Braunschweig ein »Hund« bekannt war. Wer sich daran labte, dessen Bauch machte Geräusche wie dieses Tier. Vermutlich im Endstadium. Keinerlei Fragen lässt ein Bier aus Lauenburg offen, das tatsächlich »Es wird nicht besser« genannt wurde. Dann vielleicht doch lieber eine heiße Milch mit Honig.

Noch ungesünder wurde es im 15. Jahrhundert zwischen den beiden Städten Görlitz und Zittau, die fochten gleich einen Bierkrieg aus. Beide Städte waren Mitglieder im Oberlausitzer Sechsstädtebund, und in dem rumorte es kräftig. Denn Görlitz war die wesentlich größere Stadt mit mehr Brauereien, das Bier aus Zittau war aber nachweislich leckerer. Da die wohlhabenden Bürger, die das Braurecht besaßen, auch meist im Stadtrat hockten, wurde schließlich verfügt, dass in Görlitz und den zugehörigen Gemeinden nur Görlitzer Bier ausgeschenkt werden dürfe. Die Zittauer waren allerdings im Besitz einer älteren Urkunde, die ihnen genau das erlaubte. Also führten sie weiter ihr Bier nach Görlitz ein. Bis es den Görlitzern zu bunt wurde und sie ein paar Soldaten entsandten. Gastwirte, die auf Görlitzer Boden Zittauer Bier ausschenkten, wurden verhaftet, das Bier beschlagnahmt und vernichtet. Auch gab es Überfälle auf Bierlieferungen. Die Zittauer überfielen daraufhin ein zu Görlitz gehörendes Dorf und raubten den Bauern das Vieh. In einem Fehdebrief verhöhnten sie ihre Nachbarn. So schaukelte sich die Auseinandersetzung hoch, bis beide Städte tatsächlich Heere aufstellten, um sich gegenseitig zu vernichten. Endlich schlug der damalige Landvogt dazwischen und verbat jegliche kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen im Städtebund.

Die Feindschaft beider Städte hat sich, wenn auch wesentlich humaner, bis heute gehalten. Immer noch würde kein echter Görlitzer ein Zittauer Bier trinken und andersherum. Der Fehdebrief aus Zittau hängt sogar immer noch in der Görlitzer Landskronbrauerei. Aber solange sie sich nicht gegenseitig ihr Vieh stehlen …

Grund 3

Weil es Tote Wunder vollbringen lässt

Die Geschichte der Menschheit hat schon viele bekannte Könige hervorgebracht! Man denke nur an König Artus, der zwar wahrscheinlich nie gelebt, dafür aber eine Menge erlebt hat. Oder den beschränkten König Midas, dessen Gier sogar Bier vergoldete, was ihn aber auch nicht glücklich machte. Oder Johann König, der lustigste aller Könige, der so ulkig sprechen kann, dass er in einer 2-Stunden-Show mit drei Pointen auskommt. Doch sie alle verblassen gegen den König der Könige, Gambrinus! Dieser feine Mann soll nämlich das Bierbrauen erfunden beziehungsweise populär gemacht haben, was geschichtlich betrachtet völliger Mumpitz ist, aber immerhin eine schöne Legende ergibt. Nach dieser ehelichte der germanische König Gambrinus, Sohn des ebenfalls gekrönten Familienoberhauptes Marsus, niemand Geringeren als Isis, die altägyptische Göttin der Fruchtbarkeit. Wie man sich das erste Treffen der beiden genau vorzustellen hat, dazu schweigt die Geschichtsschreibung. Vielleicht war es in einer Kneipe in Casablanca, als Gambrinus mit einem Humpen Wein an der Theke lehnte und ein wenig Süßholz raspelte.

»Hi, ich bin Gambrinus, der Germane.«

»Zisch ab, du bärtiger Barbar. Ich bin eine Göttin.«

»Hab ich gleich gesehen, an deinen Augen. Ich bin König.«

»Na gut, dann komm her.«

So oder so ähnlich muss es passiert sein. Und weil Isis eine feine Dame war/ist, zeigte sie ihrem Göttergatten nicht nur den Weg zur göttlichen Befriedigung, sondern auch gleich noch, wie man Bier braut. Was will Mann mehr? Weil Isis aber nach der Hochzeit keine Lust mehr auf Partys hatte und lieber Serien im Fernsehen schaute, zog Gambrinus alleine durch die bekannte Welt und pries überall das Getränk an, sodass seine Gestalt untrennbar mit Bier verbunden wurde. In jeder größeren Stadt grinst der feine Herr König von Kneipeneingangsportalen, es gibt weltweit mehrere Gambrinus-Brauereien (unter anderem in den USA und Frankreich) oder –Biere, Feste sind nach ihm benannt, und in Deutschland fährt sogar ein Zug unter seinem Namen. Dagegen finden sich so gut wie keine Isis-Gasthäuser und nur eine verschwindend geringe Anzahl von Isis-Bieren auf dem Weltmarkt. Eine Frechheit, liegt die Urheberschaft doch eindeutig in göttlich-ägyptischer Hand. Aber so ist das, trotz aller Bemühungen, die Damenwelt an die Zapfhähne zu bewegen, das Hopfenuniversum ist über weite Strecken in männlicher Hand. Schäbiges Patriarchat, schäbiges! Alice Schwarzer, übernehmen Sie!

PS: Immer wieder wird Gambrinus auch Schutzpatron der Brauer genannt, was inhaltlich falsch ist. Diesen Posten hat nämlich der ehemalige Bischof von Metz, ein gewisser Arnulf (spätes 6./frühes 7. Jahrhundert), inne. Der vollbrachte nicht nur zu Lebzeiten Bierwunder, sondern auch noch als Skelett. Und das ging so: Ein späterer Bischof holte die anderweitig verbuddelten Gebeine von Arnulf lange nach seinem Tod heim nach Metz. Auf dem Weg machte die Prozession halt in einem kleinen Dorf. Der Wirt sah sich mit den 5.000 spontan aufkreuzenden Gästen dezent überfordert. Er hatte noch genau einen Becher Bier vorrätig, an dem sich allerdings der komplette Mob labte. Und das Ding wurde niemals leer. Vielleicht steht es heute noch irgendwo in Frankreich unter einem Tresen und schäumt fröhlich vor sich hin, während Arnulf sich eins grinst. Eindeutig ein passender Schutzpatron!

Grund 4

Weil es Etymologen beschäftigt

»Bier« ist einfach ein schönes Wort. Simpel auszusprechen, schwer zu vergessen, geschmeidig und klangvoll. Dabei ist nicht mal sicher, warum wir heute eigentlich »Bier« sagen.

Manche Sprachforscher sind der Meinung, es könnte sich vom lateinischen »Biber« ableiten, was so viel wie »Trank« bedeutet. Wobei mich persönlich interessieren würde, wovon sich wiederum der deutsche Wort »Biber« ableitet. Ich habe jedenfalls noch keinen Vertreter dieser Nagetiergattung am Kneipentresen erwischt. Aber diese Nachforschung führt wohl zu weit. Als wahrscheinlicher nehmen Sprachforscher eh an, dass das Bier seine Wurzeln im indogermanischen »Bher« hat, was für »sieden« steht. Möglich wäre allerdings auch das ebenfalls indogermanische »Bhreu«, was wiederum auch den Vorgang des Brauens und seine Etymologie erklären würde. Dazu kommen noch rund zehn ähnlich gelagerte Vokabeln, die auf die gleiche Quelle hindeuten.

Das germanische »Äl« konnte sich in Deutschland nicht durchsetzen, wohl aber in Skandinavien, wo es in leichten Abwa


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