By Nicholas Ermochkine
Synopsis: Vodka is having fun with exceptional recognition within the West this present day. specialized vodka bars are starting all over the place Continental Europe and the USA. it really is changing into more and more stylish to drink vodka neat. the pinnacle eating places in manhattan, Paris and London now not have misgivings approximately serving caliber iced vodka with positive gourmand dishes. top class vodkas are frequently came upon at the cabinets of retail wine shops reserved for cognac, euax-de-vie and whiskey. yet sarcastically, in Poland and to a lesser measure in Russia, vodka's attractiveness is waning because the center type detect wines and spirits imported from the West. what's occurring the following? This neat publication explodes the myths surrounding vodka, unravels its historical past and describes its creation. the fashion and tradition of vodka consuming are articulated in spellbinding type. this can be actually one for the line.
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Extra info for 40 Degrees East: an anatomy of vodka
Smoked Sturgeon and Salmon For Russians, smoked sturgeon is an obvious choice to accompany vodka just as much as caviar. If Russian blinis and sturgeon is a marriage made in heaven, then a shot of vodka with blinis and smoked wild Pacific salmon (called red fish in Russian) and sour cream is a more affordable delight. In Poland, the more common option is smoked Baltic salmon (yellowish in color) or eel. Smoked sturgeon (in Russian dubbed white fish), readily available in Russia, may turn out to be harder to find in the West.
The Russians were quite taken aback but undeterred, and launched a counterattack against the characteristically defiant Poles, relying on the scholarly research of a certain Mr. Pokhlebkin, hitherto renowned essentially as an author of cookery manuals. This time the miracle of David vs. Goliath did not happen. In 1982 the case was put to an international arbitration and the Russians won thanks largely to the sterling efforts of Mr. Pokhlebkin2 His research, which was published later (in 1991) in a lively if controversial book, was the basis of the Russians’ case.
Vodka, along with aqua vitae, akvavit, whisky and eau-de-vie, probably originally meant «water of life» or «magic elixir», which the early alchemists revered as a divine potion with miraculous curing powers. Early use of the Polish word vodka can be found in a sixteenth century poem Wodka albo Gorzalka by a minor poet Jurek Potanski and in the library of the university in Krakow there is a reference to vodka in the work of a certain scholar S Falimir, entitled «On herbs and their qualities. On burning vodkas from herbs», dated 1533.
40 Degrees East: an anatomy of vodka by Nicholas Ermochkine