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Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world – perhaps because it’s so versatile. From simple coffees like espresso and filter coffee, to more complex recipes like cappuccino, coffee can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, as anyone who has placed an order in a coffee shop recently can attest.

Coffee Is One Of The Most Popular Drinks In The World

People’s motives for drinking coffee vary widely. Some just want the caffeine to keep them going, and are happy with espresso ‘coffee shots’ – nasty tasting, but they give you a burst of energy. More and more people, though, are drinking coffee not for the energy rush, but for the taste.

So how do you make the best-tasting coffee? A very large part of the answer is freshness. In general, the fresher the coffee, the nicer it will be. Instant coffee is the least fresh of all, as it is coffee that was made a long time ago and then had the water drained from it. This is the reason why so many people go to coffee shops: freshly-ground coffee is simply so much nicer.

Grinding coffee at home by hand is very difficult, which is why it is much better to get a coffee machine. There is generally little difference between the mechanisms in home coffee machines and the ones used in coffee shops, meaning that you can achieve the same freshly-ground taste. All you need to do is buy your favourite variety of beans, put them in, and press the button. You wouldn’t expect it, but even the cheapest fresh beans will taste miles better than the most luxurious instant coffee. Just try it and see.

For the real coffee connoisseur, though, the beans you use in the machine will matter. Good coffee beans are surprisingly hard to come by in a supermarket – you will probably have more luck buying them from coffee shops that sell their own beans, or from small independent specialist shops and street markets. Be careful, though, as this can get expensive very fast – make sure you try making coffee from a small sample of any beans before you buy a larger supply.

The role of the Church in the production and marketing of wine declined with the Reformation, particularly in northern Europe, but this did not convulse the wine world half as much as the discovery of the usefulness of corks about a century later. For the first time since the Roman empire, wine could now be stored and aged in bottles. Throughout the Middle Ages wine had been kept in casks which  had presented a dual handicap: first, too long kept in wood could rob a wine of all its fruit; second, once the cask was opened the wine inevitably deteriorated unless drunk within a few days. The bottle, with its smaller capacity, solved the former problem by providing a neutral, non-porous material which allowed wine to age in a different subtler way and removed the latter problem by providing  sealed containers of a manageable size for a single session’s drinking.

However, the cork and bottle revolution was not an instant success; bottles were then so bulbous they would only stand upright which meant the corks eventually dried out and as a consequence let in air. But, by the mid 18th century, longer, flat-sided bottles were designed which would lie down, their corks kept moist by contact with the wine. As a result wine making now took on a new dimension. It became worthwhile for a winemaker to try and excel, wines from particular plots of land could be compared for their qualities, and the most exciting could be classified and separated from the more mundane plot wines. As a result today’s great names of Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhine first began to be noticed.

In the early 19th century, Europe seemed one massive vineyard. In Italy 80% of people were earning their living from wine and in France there were vast plantings rolling southwards from Paris. Also the vine had moved abroad thanks to explorers, colonists and missionaries. It went to Latin America with the Spaniards, South Africa with French Huguenots, and to Australia with the British. Could anything stop this tide of wine expansion?

Wine History - When The Cork Met The BottleWell, yes and it came in the form of an aphid called phylloxera, that fed on and destroyed vine roots. It came from America in the 1860’s, and by the early 20th century, had destroyed all Europe’s vineyards and most of the rest of the world’s as well. The solution was to graft the vulnerable European vine, vitis vinifera, onto the phylloxera-resistant American rootstock, vitis riparia, naturally a very expensive effort. The most immediate effect in Europe was that only the best sites were replanted and the total area under vines shrank drastically as a result. Elsewhere the havoc wrought was comparable and vineyard acreage is only now expanding to old original sites destroyed over a century ago.

The 20th century brought further change as science and technology revolutionised viticulture and wine making. But despite the chemical formulae and computerised wineries, the grape retains its magic and allure that attracts wine enthusiasts from all over the world.

When it comes to household decorating, a new crop of do-it-yourselfers has emerged, eager to spackle, paint, measure, hammer, and hang. To keep pace, manufacturers of household products work diligently to provide the weekend warrior a bevy of projects. For wine enthusiasts who like to display their wine as well as drink it, a wine rack kit offers the perfect opportunity to build your own dynamic showcase.

A wine rack kit contains the essential parts for building your own wine rack. Just like a wine rack that you would purchase completely assembled, a wine rack kit comes in a variety of materials, styles, and sizes. So prior to choosing your wine rack kit you must first decide your preferences regarding its overall look.

Build Your Own Wine Rack With A Wine Rack KitFirst and foremost, you must consider your home’s décor. If you prefer contemporary décor then clearly you should choose a wine rack kit that blends with this style; the same holds true for a home decorated in any other style such as country or eclectic. The materials that make up the wine rack kit range from solid wood of all varieties, to metal and wrought iron. While a wood wine rack would complement a home with country flair, a wrought iron wine rack may look better in a more eclectic home.

When considering a wine rack kit it is important to evaluate the space with which you have to work. For someone living in a smaller environment, a hanging wine rack may be best suited for this space; this particular model hangs from the ceiling in any area of your home, keeping wine bottles out of the way while making a beautiful showcase for your collection. If you have a larger living space, then you may want to consider a standing wine rack that fits into a corner or against a wall. Either design is available for assembly with a wine rack kit.

Also consider your wine collection when purchasing a wine rack kit. If you prefer to only display a few nice bottles of wine, then a smaller wine rack kit that offers a smaller space for bottles will make the most sense. For a larger collection, or for the ability to also store or display stemware and barware, then a larger, more comprehensive wine rack kit may be in order.

Find your wine rack kit at any home good store – including the larger retail outlets. Or shop online to find some great deals. Either way, the wine rack kit is an inexpensive design feature and an enjoyable do-it-yourself project.

If you are just as interested in travel as you are in food, then the history of French foods is one in particular that you are going to want to become more familiar with. The history of French foods is one which actually begins as far back as 1400 A.D., when the first French cookbooks imitated Moorish cuisine and sugar, which was still considered very much as being a luxury, was what was used to sweeten the various dishes.

1600

During the 1600s it was Royal patronage which truly promoted French cooking, with various dishes of fish and fruit being the most popular. There are many examples, particularly from this time that go to show just how important food has always been in France. For instance a butler once killed himself because his lobsters arrived late.

It was also during this time in French history that Dom Perignon invented the art of making champagne, as he began storing his wine in bottles that were strong enough to contain the petulance of secondary fermentation. Coffee was also introduced around the same time, in 1644, while in 1686 the development of the croissant celebrated a true Christian victory in Austria over the crescent banners of the Turks.

 

1700

The 18th century also played a great role in the history of French foods, and it was really during this time in particular that the appeal of French food began to grow with the prestige of French culture. The restaurant movement also began around this time and there was a new journalistic breed coming about, namely including food critics and restaurant reviewers.

A Guide To The History Of French Foods

2000

Although the 19th and 20th centuries also had their influences on the history of French foods, it has been the 21st century more than either of those which have played a role. French cuisine is now renowned around the world more than ever before and held high in regard and respect. There is really no other country in the world that takes its cuisine as seriously and significantly as the French,< and French cooking is really not a monolith, but rather it ranges from the olives and seafood of Provence to the butter and roasts of Tours.

There is so much variety with French cuisine, and this is actually one of the most valuable aspects of all that people need to understand and recognize when it comes to the history of French foods.