Beer HistoryThe word beer comes from the Middle English ber(e), and from the Latin bibere meaning "to drink." Ancient Babylonian records indicate beer as being used in sacrificial rituals. All of the ancient cultures, including those of Egypt, China, India, and the Incas of Peru, made beer.
Teuton brides drank honey-beer for a month after their wedding ceremony as an aphrodisiac. The custom of honey-beer for a month, poetically referred to as a moon, led to the current term of honeymoon.
Physicians and holistic practitioners of old used beer liberally in their cures. One important reason is that due to the brewing process, beer was actually safer to drink than the water or milk (which was usually preserved as cheese). Thus, beer was often used to mix medicines and was also used as the liquid in recipes in lieu of unpotable water.
An old folk remedy to rid the face of freckles was to wash the face with warm beer. Desperate early American colonists with a shortage of barley and hops in the new world made beer from corn, molasses, wheat bran, pumpkins, and even persimmons!
What is beer?Beer is brewed from some very healthy ingredients, primarily hops, yeast, barley, and barley malt. Is it any wonder that beer was often referred to as liquid bread? Many Europeans have adopted hops sprouts as a substitute for asparagus and use them for pickling, in spite of their higher cost.
Beer varieties are virtually endless, especially with the current popularity of homebrewing. Homebrewers have more control over the flavor and alcohol-content which is dependent upon the grains, malts, and brewing methods.
Pilsener, ale, stout, porter, lager and bock beer are all good candidates for addition to your recipes.
Light or lite beers now being brewed primarily in the U.S. are lower in alcohol content and calories. However, be aware that in Europe, the term light generally distinguishes between pale and dark lagers.
More About Cooking with Beer:• Beer Cooking Tips
• Does the alcohol cook out? Beer and Health
• Beer History
• Alcohol Substitution Chart
• Beer Recipes
Cooking with Beer Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
|•||Stephen Beaumont's Brewpub Cookbook|
|•||Jay Harlow's Beer Cuisine: A Cookbook for Beer Lovers|
|•||The Complete Joy of Home Brewing|
|•||The Brewmaster's Table|