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Book Review: The Art of Mead Tasting & Food Pairing

I emailed the author and asked her for a copy of this book. She was kind enough to send me one.

I also have a video review of this book, a recipe, and a recommended mead. That video is at the bottom of the page.

 

Right from the start: Should you get this book?

If you are a lover of mead and want to learn more about it, the culture and growth of it, what meaderies and meads there are, and well, all about various aspects of mead then yes. Most definitely. This is probably the most comprehensive book on mead ever written. Really quite that simple.

If that has convinced you and you are excited to get it here is a link to it on Amazon:

The Art of Mead Tasting & Food Pairing

Want an autographed copy? You can also buy this book directly from the authors website here (includes free shippng): Mead and Food

 

On to Will's review and thoughts

The title of the book is "The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing". And it is all about that. There are recipes, guidelines, advice, and a lot about what kinds and types of meads you could pair up with a whole lot of foods. It is all about appreciation of mead. And one of the best ways to appreciate mead is to enjoy it with food.

The book is also full of recipes you can make. And it gives you specific recommendations for meads that would pair well with each recipe. So I thought it would be fun to do just that. I picked a recipe and I ordered one of the meads suggested as a pairing. You can see that whole process and get my thoughts on the meal, the recipe, and the mead pairing by watching the video at the bottom of the page. The recipe is for Mustard Pork Tenderloin and the Mead is a Heritage Mead from Helderberg Meadworks.

But before watching the video let's delve a little further into the book . I will give you an overview of what it is all about.

Let me start off with a question that can be answered two different ways.

"What is Mead?"

And here is the first answer, the standard answer:

"Mead is an alcoholic beverage fermented from honey, water, yeast and sometimes added fruits or spices."

But let's take a look at another answer that can be had:

"Mead is an alcoholic beverage with a long history dating back to ancient times. It has a long tradition of being used for celebrations, honeymoons, gatherings, meals, events and more. It also has a tradition of the types of containers it was drunk from. It is a beverage, while mostly composed of honey and water, comes in an unlimited variation of flavors, tastes, subtleties, and alcohol levels. Simply put: Mead is another gift that the honeybee has given us."

Ok! That second definition is what this book is all about. The rich variety that is mead... and how best to experience it. The subtitle of the book really says it all: "The Modern Guide for Enjoying the Original Craft Beverage".

So, to repeat what I earlier said. If you are interested in mead and learning more about it this book is a great choice for you. It is unique among mead books. For the most part mead books are about making mead. This one is about experiencing and appreciating mead.

Let me give you some examples of what you will find in the book:

- Lots of advice on what meads to try, what foods to try them with and why. A good example of this is the author's two strategies of pairing mead with food - Mirroring and Contrasting. You can probably get a sense for what these two approaches are about.

- The book also has dozens of profiles of meaderies and their meads. This is particularly nice because one of the great things about mead is that it is now experiencing a renaissance. Meaderies are springing up everywhere. These profiles are fun if you would like to try meads from various meaderies. It is also critical information because very few of them are nationally known.

-There are lots of recipes you can make. Actual recipes and in a broad spectrum.

There are lots of ideas and advice on how to pair various types of meads including braggots, melomels, traditional meads, sparkling meads and more.

There is even a a gallery of Mead drinking vessels both ancient and modern.

The book thoroughly covers meads made here in the US. But mead has been, since ancient times, a world-wide drink. And the book does cover this too. It has chapters on foods, and meads, from around the world including Asia, Poland, Scandinavia, the Meditteranean and more.

Ok, you get the idea. It is a great book and it covers many aspects of mead. Let me finish off this review where I started.. with some thoughts about the books approach to mead and food pairing....

Want to know what kind of mead would be great with spicy food? How about grilled food? Chocolate based food? Or how about this... Have a great dessert dish with ice cream on it? What kind of mead would be a great pairing for that? Let me share that tip with you. A vanilla mead! Yes! See what I mean? Let's see you find a grape wine that can do that :)

I love the book. It is a top notch addition to my library of mead books. Here is the book and a link to amazon where you can buy it. My video review is below.

The Art of Mead Tasting & Food Pairing

RESOURCES:

Watch Wills' Video here:



Notes on the recipe and the mead in the video:

Page 222 in the book. Mustard Pork Tenderloin - Paired with Heritage mead from Helderberg Meadworks.

Need for the recipe:

  • 1 box of spätzle 10.5 ounces ( or we can do mashed potatoes, or egg noodles)
  • 1/2 cup peeled and sliced carrots (About 2 large carrots)
  • 1 pork tenderloin - about a pound
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper - divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen/cut greenbeans
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 8 ounce container of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 cup milk or beef broth
  • 3 tbsp snipped fresh dill or 1 tbsp dry

Alternatively the author suggests to serve it over mashed potatoes or egg noodles which is a great idea.