Alcohol and Cooking
It is increasingly common to see alcohol use being promoted in cooking. The use of alcohol is common in food and women's magazines as well as magazines aimed at seniors. For example, a recent edition of Chatelaine magazine provided a recipe for a Chardonnay-cranberry sauce using a half cup of Chardonnay wine and chicken broth, with the notation "Here's a healthful alternative to gravy". An earlier version of the recipe published in October 2000 used 2 1/2 cups of wine.
Toddies in the winter, wine in the gravies or sauces, liqueurs in the desserts and sangrias in the summer have become perceived parts of relaxation and the "good [cooking] life".
It Just Cooks Away Doesn't It?
According to the Food Reference Website "Contrary to what most people believe, and that includes most professionals, when using beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages in recipes, a lot of alcohol is left after cooking". The site lists the percentages of alcohol that will remain, according to cooking time and cooking method. Important for those who abstain for religious reasons, or are uncertain about whether they could handle even small amounts of alcohol because of past problems.
Compared to five years ago, it has become much less common today to view a television cooking show where the cook is not using alcohol in one or more of the recipes or where the cook is not suggesting alcohol with the meal.
Drinking as part of eating is a double edged sword. On one hand, it places drinking in a social context, and in a context of eating where drinking is less likely to cause harm. At the same time, it may be promoting more drinking overall, increasing consumption in some groups of adults.
References and Resources
"More chefs add spirit to cooking". Published 4/10/2002
Page last updated Sunday October 31, 2004
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