Archives for Food

This is Not Tequila

Categories: Beer, Wine and Spirits and Mexico.

I ran by the liquor store this evening, in search of a bottle of tequila. To my dismay, I found they were out of my usual, El Tosoro Anejo–and it was too late to make it to another store before closing time.

So I figured I would salvage the situation by trying something new. I googled for some ratings, and ran across Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Anejo. It was highly rated, and they had a bottle that was cheap by highly rated anejo tequila standards.

I got it home and cracked it open, and immediately realized this was something different. A bit of googling turned up the fact that Sotol is a completely different spirit. (I remember thinking Chihuahua was not usually associated with mezcal.)

This stuff is extremely smooth for its price, or any other price for that matter. It has sort of an oaky butter-pecan and leather flavor, with floral, spice, and herbal notes in the finish. I’m still deciding what I think of it, as I was in a tequila mood tonight, and this is not tequila. But it’s interesting enough that I recommend the adventurous of taste to try it and tell me what you think.

Buddhacello, intermission

Categories: Beer, Wine and Spirits.

Yes, there will be a part 2 to the Buddhacello post, as soon as I have time to do so. I believe I have a free weekend sometime in May. :)

For the curious, the everclear/Buddha zest mixture smells incredible at this stage, like an overpowering mix of lemons and flowers.

Buddhacello, part 1

Categories: Beer, Wine and Spirits and Food.

After I mentioned to Phil my success in making Limoncello using Persian limes (would that be limettacello?), he kindly offered up a Buddha’s Hand for me to try the same thing with. Buddha’s Hands are truly odd beasts — they’re a citrus fruit, but they have no pulp. It’s all zest and pith. And they look like an elder god. They smell somewhat lemony, but with strong floral notes — similar to the smell of some roses.

After a bit of research, I discovered that the pith of the Buddha’s Hand isn’t bitter, which means I didn’t need to be anywhere near as careful in removing zest as you do with lemons and limes.

So, for the first set of steps, I needed to get as much zest as practical off the Buddha’s Hand, and get it soaking in 190 proof grain alcohol. Here’s the basic setup:

Buddhacello Setup

The strange looking thing is the fruit itself. The knife is to get at the hidden surfaces on the fruit; the white scrub brush is to remove any wax, dirt, or other undesirable stuff from the fruit; and the tool on the right is a microplane, which is one of the best ways to zest a lot of citrus.

Here, you can see the inside of the fruit:
inside-buddha

Yep, it’s pith all the way through. Here, you can see the stem sticking down into the pith:
buddha-stem

After about 30 minutes of chopping and zesting, the entire Buddha’s Hand is reduced to a pile of chunks and about half a cup of zest:

chunks

Finally, we add about half a liter of Everclear. This is just a few seconds after I poured the alcohol in; you’ll notice that the liquid has already taken on a distinct yellow hue:

yellow

So, now we let it sit for a week — I’ll report back on the final product when it’s done.

Rotten Brains

Categories: Food, General, Health, neither-camelids-nor-goats, and United States of America.

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on times past.

Back in September of 1997, when the media found out about the various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies that can arise from eating neural material of infected animals, CNN ran a story specifically about the eating of squirrel brains as a delicacy in certain southern US states.

The best part is the graphic they ran along with the story, which helpfully points out what part of the squirrel one should avoid eating:

squirrelbrains

Have a pleasant new year, and watch out for those squirrels.