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Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Ben Schott
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Nov 2003
From the mind that brought you Schott's Original Miscellany comes a collection of vital irrelevance and uncommon knowledge surrounding the worlds of food and drink. Schott's Food And Drink Miscellany is a snapper up of unconsidered trifles (in both senses of the word) - from food history to cooking terms; cocktail recipes to dining etiquette; grace before meals to after-dinner toasts. What other book can tell you the accepted procedure when drinking from a Loving Cup; which potatoes are best for mashing; how to fold your napkins into a variety of pleasing shapes; the correct technique for lighting a cigar, or a Christmas pudding; or how to make the legendary 'Monster Egg'? Schott's Food And Drink Miscellany offers all this - and more. It will inform you of the King who served foie gras to his dog; the feast where guests ate in fear of their lives; the socialite who spiked his punch with benzedrine; and the dining club whose members ate their meals in reverse. An 'olla podrida' of all that is pertinent to wining, dining and socialising, Schott's Food And Drink Miscellany offers everything for the food-lover, wine-drinker, gastronome and glutton.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; illustrated edition edition (3 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747566542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747566540
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 18.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ben Schott is the author of SCHOTT'S ORIGINAL MISCELLANY. A photographer, designer and miscellanist he lives in London, and divides his time between Highgate and the British Library.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

C19th servants were expected to serve meals according to these rules:

Announced time Actual Time
6 o'clock...............................7 o'clock
6 o'clock precisely.....................6.30 o'clock
No later than 6 o'clock.................6 o'clock

I truly have tried ... and we had a microwave to heat things in [during] the filming - but actually, we mainly used it to keep the ashtrays in. I think it takes the soul out of food. - The Times, 1990

Norway's 'Oslo Breakfast' was an attempt in 1929 to improve the health of schoolchildren, who were given the following free meal each morning:
1/2 pint milk. wholemeal bread. cheese. 1/2 orange. 1/2 apple
a dose of cod-liver oil (September-March)

Montgomery 'Monty' Burns, wizened plutocratic owner of Springfield's nuclear plant, gives Homer Simpson his antiquarian luncheon order:
'...a single pillow of Shredded Wheat, some steamed toast, and a dodo egg.'

It should also be remembered that an ill-tempered man can never succeed as a master in the culinary art, since the derangement of his gastric juices destroys the peculiar excellence which should govern his palate: it leaves it vitiated and tasteless.
- Charles Pierce, The Household Manager 1862

RUDYARD KIPLING ... a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a Smoke

COLETTE When a wife can purchase her husband the right cigars, their relationship is blessed.

SHERLOCK HOLMES It is quite a three-pipe problem...

WINSTON CHURCHILL I always carry Cuba in my mouth.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
114 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Miscellaneous Triumph 4 Nov 2003
If you liked Schott's Original Miscellany, and I loved it, then you are sure to like the sequel.
I was a little sceptical as to how Schott would write a Miscellany on a narrow subject like food and drink - but on opening the book I realised that it was not that narrow after all! He has everything from how to sharpen a carving knife to a list of slaves at a Roman feast (there was even a slave to fan the guests with peacock feathers....). In between are famous lasts meals, poisonous mushrooms, how to mix the perfect Martini (and a host of other cocktails) - and, of course, how to cure a hangover. He's got some useful stuff (cooking times, freezer temperatures) - but he doesn't get carried away with making the book to useful... there are wonderful pages on absinthe, gout, vitamins in beer, curry types, cigar measurement... and on and on!
Moreover, the whole book has the same lovely, elegant feel as the first - and it looks just wonderful on my shelf next to the Original. Don't think, however, it will transform you into a chef overnight... I spend far too much time flicking through the book to actually go and cook anything!
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have your cake and eat it. 3 Nov 2003
By gjb
Buy, borrow, or steal a copy. This little gem of a book is packed full of information relating to all things edible.From Absinthe to Zoo Eating, by way of Dining Times for Monks, it is all here.
Neatly packaged with a useful index, this book is designed for the itinerant reader and will appeal to anyone with an enquiring mind or love of the abstract.
A great deal of genuinely useful information is presented together with an entertaining mix of irreverent and sometimes bizarre material, which is guaranteed to provoke and comfort.
Much delightful detail is provided on the demon drink and the book is probably best enjoyed with a strengthening tincture.
I cannot recommend the book too highly {it would prove an excellent Christmas gift} nor find fault except that now hooked I will be compelled to buy the others in the series.
P.S. Should it all prove too much the Heimlich manoeuvre can be found on page 92.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Obscure trivia at it's best 9 Jan 2004
This is one of the most facinating books on food I have read in a long while. It is full of interesting pieces of information from one end to the other. It's great for just dipping in and out of or reading from one end to the other, whatever you fancy. If you are a lover of food then this book really is compulsive reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful little pocket food and drink bible! 22 Dec 2003
By Jason Barber VINE VOICE
Bought as a present, this book will have something for everyone, no matter how much food and drink knowledge they possess!
Packed full of facts/figures and trivia, you can amuse/bore family members and friends with information stuffed into this little gem.
Excellent price for a well presented book too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great idea for a book & he does it so well 15 Nov 2005
All the facts you never thought you wanted to know about food and drink. Not only do you now want to know them but you crave to know more. Ben Schott fills the books in this series with fantastic facts that lets face it you're never going to need to know, unless you just love pub quizes and if you do, get this book and next time there's a food and drink round, amaze others with your knowledge.
From this book you can learn how to wash decanters, how to make cocktails and how to make a baked alaska.
It really is a fantastic book that will amaze and keep you occupied until you've finished it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional trivia 2 Jan 2004
By A. S. Garton VINE VOICE
I own a copy of Schott's Original Miscellany and love it so much I bought a copy of the the Food and Drink version - truly exceptional trivia. The book contains all manner of wonderful information that you simply will not find in the most comprehensive of modern encyclopedia.
This book contains everything from a servants wages during the 1800's, to the correct formulation of the worlds most popular cocktails (inlcuding the Long Island Ice Tea, my personal favourite!!). It has a breakdown of all E-numbers, a height-to-weight ratio table and any number of interesting quotes and endless trivia.
If you enjoy trivia of any kind, or if you have any interest in food and drink, Schott's book is certainly for your bookshelf. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Marvellous! 24 Nov 2004
I was given a copy of Schott's Food & Drink Miscellany last year. Even though the book contains a large wad of useless trivia, it is far more useful than any of my other cookery books. I'm an ex chef, so recipies aren't the be all & end all. all you really need is this book & some imagination. Buy it now. The best stocking filler!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly pointless, yet very interesting 17 May 2006
Following on from Scotts miscellany (a book full of a huge variety of irrelevant information) this is the slightly more topical and restricted version based on food and drink.

As the origonal its an eclectic mix of information from useful facts like a small diagram showing roughly how much spaghetti to boil for x amount of people, the flavours of Ben & Jerrys ice cream, quotes on smoking, Burns full address to the haggis and much more, both obscure and informative and more usefull and known.

The book is classily done in a hardback cover (I haven't seen any paperback version yet at least) with very nicely presented information that is enjoyable to read, its interesting just flicking through odd pages to see what tidbits you can learn about.

Maybe not particularly a useful book for the household cook, but to someone with an interest in food and drink or just any normal person looking for some interesting facts and a nice read on the loo it is a fantastic book to flick through
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but a bit of samey to the other one
There is a lot of stuff in here which is also in the original miscellany, and there are a lot of "oh,OK" snippets and not so many "wow" ones. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Willgoagogo
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing trivia
Yet again another wonderful book & once again Ben Schott has come up with an excellent compendium of all things trivial about food & drink, but in no means are these dull nor... Read more
Published on 27 April 2011 by Ian McGlennon
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous reference book, and also fun to drip or read trough!
Bought this as a gift then got my own. Love Schott's Miscellanies and have his Sporting, as well as Original. All fabulous, quirky but more than encompassing! Read more
Published on 4 May 2007 by Mr. DAVID Geer
1.0 out of 5 stars Would be good if it was right
The trouble with books like this one, is that sometimes they are badly researched. Unfortunately I have found at least two jarring errors in this book that make me unable to... Read more
Published on 3 Jan 2007 by Wild Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing!!!
This is such a good book that every foodie on this planet should buy!! i had it for last christmas and the only word to describe it would be random! Read more
Published on 22 Jan 2005 by David Scott
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and rather superficial
I did read it all so it can't be that bad, but this book is written by a trivia fetishist and not a real foodie. Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2004 by Gus
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic gift
A great little book of useless (and some useful) facts - from how to make 21 different cocktails, how to say cheers in 32 languages and the history of Captain Birdseye.
Published on 6 Feb 2004
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