As an artist looks to culture, books and music for inspiration, the culinary expert must do the same. He or she must not only have an insatiable palate, but a fierce appetite for knowledge as well. If you have a career in the food and beverage industry as a sommelier, chef, mixologist, manager or any other role, you've likely perused the food section of well-respected publications like The New York Times and The Boston Globe. However, you may not have looked beyond these sources which means you don't know what you're missing.
There's a stream of endless knowledge on everything from cheese to barrel-aged brews, you just have to know where to find it. Here's a taste of some of the best niche publications that appeal to those in the food and beverage industry and beyond.
Stay abreast of current events and how politics and economies around the world continue to influence the food that you serve at your establishment by reading Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. Since the outset of the publication in 2001, it has earned a solid reputation.
In 2008, Saveur – a gourmet food and wine magazine – described Gastronmica as "At the top of our bedside reading pile since its inception in 2001." Perhaps the publication's only downfall is that it doesn't come out often enough, but it's known that you can't rush genius and good story telling.
Subscriptions to the quarterly academic journal are $60. You can also get tidbits of the full publication by visiting its website.
Culture: The Word on Cheese
Get an in-depth education on all things cheese by skimming Culture Cheese magazine. The Boston-based, self-dubbed "curd herd" is constantly churning out fun and quirky pieces that not only include exhaustive explorations of particular types of cheeses and their histories, but updates on cheese games, party pointers, recipes and jokes.
"Restaurateurs can look forward to a wealth of punny headlines and the answers to common questions."
Restaurateurs can look forward to a wealth of punny headlines and the answers to common questions. For example, one story on the site was titled "Why are some cheeses stinky?" Additionally, the website has its own cheese library and dictionary, both of which can efficiently narrow down your search. If you're in a hurry, skip the extensive pieces and plug in straightforward questions, such as "What is brie?" or "How is gouda made?" After you've had your fill of cheese wisdom, head to the next publication to get a sense of how to pair wines with foods.
The Art of Eating: An authority on food, wine and taste
Get a well-rounded dose of food information by picking up a copy of the Art of Eating magazine. Each issue includes diligent research on a specific theme. Issue No. 94 Bagna Caoda turned its lens to Piedmont to tell the story of the country's cold-weather sauce, according to the publication. You'll have to read the story to find out what exactly that entails – no spoilers!
Aside from the bigger picture articles, each issue includes wine reviews from renowned somms and like-minded vino lovers, as well as restaurant book reviews. If you're interested to see if any of the vintages and varietals on your wine list are trending right now, be sure to check out the website. Then, it's time to learn more about your establishment's beer collection – by perusing this next site.
All About Beer magazine
This publication's name leaves no room for misinterpretations. It's literally everything you've ever wanted to know about beer and so much more. Aside from posting crowd-sourced reviews on new and older brews, the website is a stockpile of unique and interesting angles – for example, best outdoor spaces across the U.S. where you can enjoy your beverages.
This particular travel feature written in May of 2014 pointed out a truth that can be easy to forget – that many beers pair well with the great outdoors. All About Beer's wide scope of topics appeal to everyone from globe-traversing beer guzzlers to bartenders who need a refresher on the hoppy, malty and yeasty canned and draft drinks.
These niche publications can be fantastic resources for just about anyone who works in the food and beverage industry. Use them to reinforce any pre-existing knowledge that you had about a particular bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or to learn something new.
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