Ever read a book and just go nuts because the author didn't know what they were talking about?

I read a lot. Around 200+ books a year. Sometimes lots more. In January 2018 alone I read 86. (No consulting work last and this month. typical this time of year unless I want to work in Asia.) I constantly get really annoyed when food/beverages are discussed in a novel and it is just total bull. No research done, just assumptions.

Today I was re-reading a series of sci fi books and the science was actually pretty solid until making liquor was discussed. The author was totally clueless. He was talking about making ethanol and aging it into whiskey, using charcoal. Not charred wood, but charcoal. I remember being pissed off the first time I read the book, but this time I was livid. I actually went to the authors website and wrote him TWO emails. And gave my email to use as a future resource on foods and beverages.

Anyone else get annoyed at stuff like this?

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How did you manage to get more upset?

Well, why can’t you age ethanol using charcoal? Why not? It won’t taste like our whiskey.

Well… if human swinging lightsabers (which is pretty much impossible), and Batman beating up Superman (I like Batman, but that is not possible)… there are plenty unrealistic things going on.

Charcoal adds no flavor to alcohol, it just removes it. With a starting base of pure alcohol, charcoal does nothing.

As for the rest. The food/drink wasn’t part of the fiction, in terms of being fiction.

It’s hard to be a scientist and read anything without loosing your mind these days …

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Maybe the author drinks Jack Daniel’s.

Jack Daniels is still aged on charred wood. the charcoal filtering is before it goes into the barrel. (It strips a bit of the flavor away up front.)

Does the mystery series called “The Gourmet Detective” by Peter King fall into this category?

Does it? Never read it. So don’t know. But the author “Peter King (b. 1922) is an English author of mystery fiction, a Cordon Bleu–trained chef, and a retired metallurgist. He has operated a tungsten mine, overseen the establishment of South America’s first steel processing plant, and prospected for minerals around the globe. His work carried him from continent to continent before he finally settled in Florida, where he led the design team for the rocket engines that carried the Apollo astronauts to the moon.” seems like a pretty serious dude.

Have you read it?

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Read most of the series so long ago that I can’t opine – the reason for my question.

Pet peeve of mine and maybe spell check is to blame but lose your mind reading, loose your ideas on the world.

The author just responded and wants to use me as a regular resource on food, beverage, and several other areas.


Ha - point well made. Sorry.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

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