Friday, 30 November 2012

Breathless awe

For me Elizabeth David remains one of the most compelling food writers ever (despite the fact that I think her influence might have been detrimental to postwar beer). I read her books constantly and this morning while flicking through An Omelette and a Glass of Wine I started reading this essay about Edouard de Pomaine, a French food writer and scientist. According to David he was not a fan of fancy French cooking and described Homard à l’amércaine as ‘a cacophony…it offends a basic principle of taste.’ However, what really interested me was the rest of the paragraph from David: I rather wish he had gone to work on some of the astonishing things Escoffier and his contemporaries did to fruit. Choice pears masked with chocolate sauce and cream, beautiful fresh peaches smothered in raspberry purée and set around with vanilla ice seem to me offences to nature, let alone art or basic principles. How very rum that people still write of these inventions with breathless awe. My point? If you substitute the word fruit with beer then you might get what I’m driving at. There’s a fine line between innovation and novelty and sometimes I don’t think some brewers get it. 


  1. Well, the truth is that much of innovation starts out as novelty, until someone follows up. What I think there is a bit too much of among "craft" brewers is gimmickry, which at its most basic, it's not that different from macro brewer gimmickry...

  2. I had a brew in vancouver last week that would have been better served in Starbucks. It had a nice enough taste, but it wasn't beer.