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One Little Bite

Readers' Cafe

Cork Dork
My Beer Year Adventures with Hop Farmers, Craft Brewers, Chefs, Beer Sommeliers, and Fanatical Drinkers as a Beer Master in Training
Chocolate Wars The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers
Baking Powder Wars
Tangled Vines Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California
Sweet Spot An Ice Cream Binge Across America
Coffee Gives Me Superpowers An Illustrated Book about the Most Awesome Beverage on Earth
Milk A 10,000-Year Food Fracas
Bitter A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes
Bourbon Empire The Past and Future of America's Whiskey
The Telling Room A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese
A History of the World in 6 Glasses
Acid Trip Travels in the World of Vinegar
Money, Taste, and Wine It's Complicated
The Billionaire's Vinegar
Cork Dork / Bianca Bosker

Professional journalist and amateur drinker Bianca Bosker didn't know much about wine-until she discovered an alternate universe where taste reigns supreme, a world of elite sommeliers who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of flavor. Astounded by their fervor and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, she set out to uncover what drove their obsession, and whether she, too, could become a "cork dork."

My Beer Year: Adventures with Hop Farmers, Craft Brewers, Chefs, Beer Sommeliers, and Fanatical Drinkers as a Beer Master in Training / Lucy Burningham

As a journalist spurred by curiosity and thirst, Lucy Burningham made it her career to write about craft beer, traveling to hop farms, attending rare beer tasting parties, and visiting as many taprooms, breweries, and festivals as possible. With this as her introduction, Lucy decided to take her relationship with beer to the next level: to become a certified beer expert. As Lucy studies and sips her way to becoming a Certified Cicerone, she meets an eclectic cast of characters, including brewers, hop farmers, beer sommeliers, pub owners, and fanatical beer drinkers. Her journey into the world of beer is by turns educational, social, and personal - just as enjoying a good beer should be.

Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers / Deborah Cadbury

With a cast of characters that wouldn?t be out of place in a Victorian novel, Chocolate Wars tells the story of the great chocolatier dynasties, through the prism of the Cadburys. Chocolate was consumed unrefined and unprocessed as a rather bitter, fatty drink for the wealthy elite until the late 19th century, when the Swiss discovered a way to blend it with milk and unleashed a product that would conquer every market in the world.

Thereafter, one of the great global business rivalries unfolded as each chocolate maker attempted to dominate its domestic market and innovate new recipes for chocolate that would set it apart from its rivals. The contest was full of dramatic contradictions: The Cadburys were austere Quakers who found themselves making millions from an indulgent product; Kitty Hershey could hardly have been more flamboyant yet her husband was moved by the Cadburys tradition of philanthropy.

Baking Powder Wars / Linda Civitello

First patented in 1856, baking powder sparked a classic American struggle for business supremacy. For nearly a century, brands battled to win loyal consumers for the new leavening miracle, transforming American commerce and advertising even as they touched off a chemical revolution in the world's kitchens. Linda Civitello chronicles the titanic struggle that reshaped America's diet and rewrote its recipes. Presidents and robber barons, bare-knuckle litigation and bold-faced bribery, competing formulas and ruthless pricing--Civitello shows how hundreds of companies sought market control, focusing on the big four of Rumford, Calumet, Clabber Girl, and the once-popular brand Royal. She also tells the war's untold stories, from Royal's claims that its competitors sold poison, to the Ku Klux Klan's campaign against Clabber Girl and its German Catholic owners. Exhaustively researched and rich with detail, Baking Powder Wars is the forgotten story of how a dawning industry raised Cain--and cakes, cookies, muffins, pancakes, donuts, and biscuits.

Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California / Frances Dinkelspiel

On October 12, 2005, a massive fire broke out in the Wines Central wine warehouse in Vallejo, California. Within hours, the flames had destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California's finest wine worth more than $250 million, making it the largest destruction of wine in history. The fire had been deliberately set by a passionate oenophile named Mark Anderson, a skilled con man and thief with storage space at the warehouse who needed to cover his tracks. With a propane torch and a bucket of gasoline-soaked rags, Anderson annihilated entire California vineyard libraries as well as bottles of some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Among the priceless bottles destroyed were 175 bottles of Port and Angelica from one of the oldest vineyards in California made by Frances Dinkelspiel's great-great grandfather, Isaias Hellman, in 1875.

Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America / Amy Ettinger

For Amy Ettinger, ice cream is not just a delicious snack but a circumstance and a time of year - frozen forever in memory. As the youngest child and only girl, ice cream embodied unstructured summers, freedom from the tyranny of her classmates, and a comforting escape from her chaotic, demanding family.

Now as an adult and journalist, her love of ice cream has led to a fascinating journey to understand ice cream's evolution and enduring power, complete with insight into the surprising history behind America's early obsession with ice cream and her experience in an immersive ice-cream boot camp to learn from the masters. From a visit to the one place in the United States that makes real frozen custard in a mammoth machine known as the Iron Lung, to the vicious competition among small ice-cream makers and the turf wars among ice-cream trucks, to extreme flavors like foie gras and oyster, Ettinger encounters larger-than-life characters and uncovers what's really behind America's favorite frozen treats.
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Coffee Gives Me Superpowers: An Illustrated Book about the Most Awesome Beverage on Earth / Ryoko Iwata

For coffee lovers and those who love them, Coffee Gives Me Superpowers is a fun, graphic design-centered book focused on one of the world's most addictive and beloved substances--coffee.If coffee is the foundation of your food pyramid, then this is your book.?

The book includes the most popular pieces on the site, such as "Your Brain on Beer vs. Coffee," "10 Coffee Myths," "The Best Time of Day to Drink Coffee (According to Science)," and "10 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Caffeine," plus 25 percent new, original material that is available only in this book.

Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas / Mark Kurlansky

Mark Kurlansky's first global food history since the bestselling Cod and Salt; the fascinating cultural, economic, and culinary story of milk and all things dairy--with recipes throughout. According to the Greek creation myth, we are so much spilt milk; a splatter of the goddess Hera's breast milk became our galaxy, the Milky Way. But while mother's milk may be the essence of nourishment, it is the milk of other mammals that humans have cultivated ever since the domestication of animals more than 10, 000 years ago, originally as a source of cheese, yogurt, kefir, and all manner of edible innovations that rendered lactose digestible, and then, when genetic mutation made some of us lactose-tolerant, milk itself. Before the industrial revolution, it was common for families to keep dairy cows and produce their own milk. But during the nineteenth century mass production and urbanization made milk safety a leading issue of the day, with milk-borne illnesses a common cause of death. Pasteurization slowly became a legislative matter. And today milk is a test case in the most pressing issues in food politics, from industrial farming and animal rights to GMOs, the locavore movement, and advocates for raw milk, who controversially reject pasteurization.

Profoundly intertwined with human civilization, milk has a compelling and a surprisingly global story to tell, and historian Mark Kurlansky is the perfect person to tell it. Tracing the liquid's diverse history from antiquity to the present, he details its curious and crucial role in cultural evolution, religion, nutrition, politics, and economics.

Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes / Jennifer McLagan

The champion of uncelebrated foods including fat, offal, and bones, Jennifer McLagan turns her attention to a fascinating, underappreciated, and trending topic: bitterness. What do coffee, IPA beer, dark chocolate, and radicchio all have in common? They're bitter. While some culinary cultures, such as in Italy and parts of Asia, have an inherent appreciation for bitter flavors (think Campari and Chinese bitter melon), little attention has been given to bitterness in North America: we're much more likely to reach for salty or sweet. However, with a surge in the popularity of craft beers; dark chocolate; coffee; greens like arugula, dandelion, radicchio, and fris?e; high-quality olive oil; and cocktails made with Campari and absinthe - all foods and drinks with elements of bitterness - bitter is finally getting its due.

Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey / Reid Mitenbuler

How bourbon came to be, and why it's experiencing such a revival today Unraveling the many myths and misconceptions surrounding America's most iconic spirit, Bourbon Empire traces a history that spans frontier rebellion, Gilded Age corruption, and the magic of Madison Avenue. Whiskey has profoundly influenced America's political, economic, and cultural destiny, just as those same factors have inspired the evolution and unique flavor of the whiskey itself. Taking readers behind the curtain of an enchanting - and sometimes exasperating - industry, the work of writer Reid Mitenbuler crackles with attitude and commentary about taste, choice, and history. Few products better embody the United States, or American business, than bourbon. A tale of innovation, success, downfall, and resurrection, Bourbon Empire is an exploration of the spirit in all its unique forms, creating an indelible portrait of both bourbon and the people who make it.

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese / Michael Paterniti

In the picturesque village of Guzm??n, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as "the telling room." Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets - usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine.

It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese. An unusual piece of cheese. Made from an old family recipe, Ambrosio's cheese was reputed to be among the finest in the world, and was said to hold mystical qualities. Eating it, some claimed, conjured long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong. . . .

By the time the two men exited the telling room that evening, Paterniti was hooked. Soon he was fully embroiled in village life, relocating his young family to Guzm??n in order to chase the truth about this cheese and explore the fairy tale-like place where the villagers conversed with farm animals, lived by an ancient Castilian code of honor, and made their wine and food by hand, from the grapes growing on a nearby hill and the flocks of sheep floating over the Meseta.
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A History of the World in 6 Glasses / Tom Standage

From beer to Coca-Cola, the six drinks that have helped shape human historyThroughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period. A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola. Beer was first made in the Fertile Crescent and by 3000 B.C.E. was so important to Mesopotamia and Egypt that it was used to pay wages. In ancient Greece wine became the main export of her vast seaborne trade, helping spread Greek culture abroad.

Acid Trip: Travels in the World of Vinegar: / Michael Harlan Turkell

Michael Harlan Turkell takes readers on a fascinating journey through the world of vinegar. An avid maker of vinegars at home, Turkell traveled throughout North America, France, Italy, Austria, and Japan to learn about vinegar-making practices in places where the art has evolved over centuries. This richly narrated cookbook includes recipes from leading chefs including Daniel Boulud, Barbara Lynch, Michael Anthony, April Bloomfield, Massimo Bottura, Sean Brock, and many others. Dishes range from simple to sophisticated and include Fried Eggs with a Spoonful of Vinegar, Sweet & Sour Peppers, Balsamic Barbecued Ribs, Poulet au Vinaigre, Tomato Tarragon Shrub, and even Vinegar Pie. Turkell also details methods for making your own vinegars with bases as varied as wine, rice, apple cider, and honey.

Money, Taste, and Wine: It's Complicated! / Mike Veseth

"It's complicated!" That's a simple way to describe the sort of relationship that seemingly defies simple explanations. Like a love triangle, money, taste, and wine are caught in a complicated relationship affecting every aspect of the wine industry and wine enthusiast experience. As wine economist and best-selling author Mike Veseth peels back the layers of the money-taste-wine story, he discovers the wine buyer's biggest mistake (which is to confuse money and taste) and learns how to avoid it, sips and swirls dump bucket wines and Treasure Island wines, and toasts anything but Champagne. He bulks up with big-bag, big-box wines and realizes that sometimes the best wine is really a beer. Along the way he questions wine's identity crisis, looks down his nose at wine snobs and cheese bores, follows the money, surveys the restaurant war battleground, and imagines wines that even money cannot buy before concluding that money, taste, and wine might have a complicated relationship but sometimes they have the power to change the world.

The Billionaire's Vinegar / Benjamin Wallace

It was the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold.In 1985, at a heated auction by Christie?s of London, a 1787 bottle of Ch?teau Lafite Bordeaux?one of a cache of bottles unearthed in a bricked-up Paris cellar and supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson?went for $156,000 to a member of the Forbes family. The discoverer of the bottle was pop-band manager turned wine collector Hardy Rodenstock, who had a knack for finding extremely old and exquisite wines. But rumors about the bottle soon arose. Why wouldn?t Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret?It would take more than two decades for those questions to be answered and involve a gallery of intriguing players?among them Michael Broadbent, the bicycle-riding British auctioneer who speaks of wines as if they are women and staked his reputation on the record-setting sale; Serena Sutcliffe, Broadbent?s elegant archrival, whose palate is covered by a hefty insurance policy; and Bill Koch, the extravagant Florida tycoon bent on exposing the truth about Rodenstock.

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