It took me a full day to recover from this Monday’s Whisky Live event, and rightfully so. A whisk(e)y neophyte (in addition to a wine virgin), I endeavored to milk this ambrosial fest for all its worth. Scottish men abounded unabashed in kilts, I myself doned a plaid jacket. The mood was nothing if not jovial and the bottles plentiful; whiskies ranged from the British Isles to Canada, Japan and, yes, the United States. I realized quickly enough that I was not a “peat” girl (the mossy earthy mess that gives Scotch its heady smoke), and my delicate palate preferred blends to single malts, but that’s not to say I didn’t like them. Some of my favorites overall: Four Roses Small Batch (worlds away from what my grandmother used to quaff), BlackBull (very intense but not overpowering), Highland Park 30 Years Old (4 years my senior!), Macallan Fine Oak 15 Years Old (unparalleled), and The Glenlivet Nadura (a different take on whisky altogether, lighter more nuanced). The Brandy Library’s private label rye was nothing to scoff at either.
Surprisingly enough, it was some non-whiskies that particularly got my attention. I am apparently one of the last people to taste Zacapa Rum but my eyes have now been opened. It’s a dark rum, smooth and balanced. It would be wasted in a drink; all Zacapa needs is itself. Second, Anchor Distilling Company’s Genever and Junípero gins. The former is of the old school Dutch variety, the latter London dry. Well-crafted and fine-tuned they likewise shine with little help.
And the goodies, oh boy! Makers Mark was giving out shot glasses whose bottoms were drenched in its signature scarlet wax, and Bulleit (how I love thee) was handing out glasses of its own. The copious water coolers were also appreciated, especially upon waking the next morning.
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The ethical battle over foie gras has been a subject of debate for centuries, and recent legislative action in the United States and beyond has thrown the subject back to the public forum with vengeance. The Chicago ban of foie gras in 2006, following the statewide ban in California in 2004, sparked a national war, with top chefs, public officials and film stars all throwing their hats in the ring. “The Foie Gras Wars” by Mark Caro documents the nature of the delicacy as inherently controversial, and the author struggles to determine what side he’s really on.
gras is produced by the methodical engorgement of either duck or goose
liver. After about 12-14 weeks of grazing, the animals are ready for
“gavage,” or force-feeding. A long metal tube is inserted into the
esophagus, pumping corn-based feed directly into the stomach. This
occurs three times daily for two to four weeks until the liver reaches
an optimal weight, from one to two pounds. Now for the moral
questions: Does the animal suffer during gavage, or is the bird
physiologically adaptable? Because the liver is the primary suppository
of fowl fat, and gorging practices preceding migration are necessary to
survival, is force-feeding just a slight exaggeration of the norm?
Last week we explored the exciting world of potatoes and now
this week we’re moving on to well, the equally exciting world of onions.
Some quick facts:
Onions are one of the oldest vegetables known to
man, with traces of onions dating back to 5000 BCE
- To prevent crying when eating onions, cut the
onions under running water or rinse the onion and leave it wet while chopping
- China produces the most onions in the world
Usually when a menu is presented without prices, it means
that the restaurant is pretty darn expensive. That’s far from the case in
Arlington, Texas in which Potager, a 2-month-old restaurant, is allowing diners
to pay want they want. Diners are given envelopes to place cash in, and presumably
they pay what they think the food is worth. Customers are instructed to have as
much as they want but not more than what they can eat.
The menu changes daily with dishes that include Guinness-glazed
organic chicken, smoked salmon quiche and pan-fried tempeh with beet risotto.
Unfortunately, Potager is not currently breaking even. On
average, people have been leaving about $7 per person while food costs run
about $8 per person. Alas, so apparently the old adage is true: there really is
no such thing as a [semi] free lunch.
Via Dallas News