Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Poison Pen Press

Would you like to learn how to brew beer like a Trappist monk? Have you ever wanted to prepare a dinner based on ancient Roman recipes? Are you fascinated by ancient Chinese tea culture? Do you want to know about medieval cheese making?

If so, you can find information on these topics and many similar ones if you know where to look. Let me point you to one valuable resource, the Poison Pen Press, a book seller which carries many unique titles, a fair share that deal with historical food, wine and beer and which many contain recipes. They also sell books dealing with such topics as costuming, gardening, blacksmithing, weaponry and even juvenile fantasy.

Though their books can be ordered online, Poison Pen Press also attends a number of science-fiction conventions, including Arisia in Cambridge, and that is where I first encountered them. Over the years, I have bought many books from them, most dealing with historical foods and drinks. I have found the books to generally be very intriguing and interesting. Some of the books are a bit pricey, but these are usually the rarer books which are hard to find anywhere.

I recently purchased a couple books from them. Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods by Meredith Dreiss and Sharon Greenhill is a historical look at the place of chocolate within ancient Mesoamerican civilization, including its place in myth, ritual and daily life. Cooking in Ancient Civilizations by Cathy Kaufman contains information and recipes on cooking in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. You can learn about such items as Sumerian beer, Athenian wine, Roman garum sauce, Egyptian Matzoh and much more.

Check out their website and see what they have to offer. I am sure you will find something to peak your interest. The unique books also make great gifts for the foodie who seems to have everything.

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