The next thing I thought was "oh, my... cider porn." Never encountered cider porn before but, then again, never met an atlas of cider before either. Which is what this is. Think of all those beer books with the same "what beer is section," the longer "all sorts of beer section categorized one way or another section" and the "food and beer" section. Then take away the beer, cut the food section and add fermented apple juice. That is what this is. Except... there isn't another. Is there?
New knowledge about tasty drinks. That is what we are wanting more of, right? Well, it's here. I first went looking for the ciders I knew and was happy to see that I had had a few well regarded ones, a couple of ice ciders from Quebec and a farmhouse cider from Lebanon, NH. Drove by there a month ago. Unthinking. Never again now now that I have this. Not that it's a glove compartment edition. Coffee book table object. Buy Grannie one for Christmas! You could, you know, because cider is one step from jam or pie.
But what have I really learned from 24 hours with this? First, calvados is in here and legitimately so. Lovely stuff, real Normandy apple brandy. [Norman must have been a hell of a guy. What doesn't taste better with that adjective added?] The history is explained along with lots of makers' bios, cultural context and specific examples. The pattern follows geographically for English scrumpy, Quebecoise ice cider as well as the sidrerias of Spain. All sorts of reasonable information about often and reasonable accessible stuff. Excellent.
I may add more later but to my mind this is the drinky book of the year for 2013. Or at least until the Alan and Max Book hits Kindle. OK. Maybe not. Maybe it's this.