Drinks for the Spirit
Seemingly ordinary beer, wine, tea and coffee have their roots in religion because the mysterious alchemy of bacteria makes seemingly ordinary things like wheat, grapes and camellia leaves morph magically into something far more heavenly.
So even in our age of supersonic jets and supercharged electronics, the ancient art of fermentation remains the universal symbol of transcendence. We wanted the alcohol or caffeine created by their ferment to transform us into something heavenly too.
Sandra Garson is the author of Veggiyana, the Dharma of Cooking and How to Fix a Leek and Other Food From Your Farmers’ Market. As a longtime student of Tibetan Buddhism and well-known cook for Dharma centers from Maine to Mongolia, she became the first food historian to explore the Buddha’s influence on how the world now eats. This led to exploration of more religious beliefs about food.