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Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> controversy

End of the World BeerAt the BrewDog Micro Brewery, in Fraserburgh, Scotland, the whacked-out brewers have created the strongest and most expensive beer in the world.  In fact, it's called End of the World, and it's packaged in a taxidermied squirrel or stoat (weasel).  It's done through "Extreme ABV Brewing," and they have "frozen, hopped and oak-aged stronger beers than have ever before been made in the history of beer."  "ABV" is "alcohol by volume," and 55% means that the beer is 110 proof.  They only brewed 12 bottles of End of the World, a Belgian blone ale, the price was set at $765 each, and they sold out.

How do you drink it?  In their words: "This 55% beer should be drank in small servings whilst exuding an endearing pseudo vigilance and reverence for Mr Stoat. This is to be enjoyed with a weather eye on the horizon for inflatable alcohol industry Nazis, judgemental washed up neo-prohibitionists or any grandiloquent, ostentatious foxes."

And the significance of this beer? "The impact of The End of History is a perfect conceptual marriage between art, taxidermy, and craft brewing. The bottles are at once beautiful and disturbing – they disrupt conventions and break taboos, just like the beer they hold within them.  This beer is an audacious blend of eccentricity, artistry and rebellion; changing the general perception of beer one stuffed animal at a time."  For more information on BrewDog, go here.

 


shocking peppersLately the Internet has come alive with images of pepper pods that transcend the bounds of common decency.  Some unscrupulous people are actually posting them in their blogs to drive more traffic!  Imagine!  John Perea of Hot Rod Pickles (yes, a real company name) sent me the image to the left of a tumescent pod that I call "Horny Jalapeño."  Then there are the images of the pods that women love the most, the infamous 'Peter Peppers', and they are flushed red with excitement.  Notice that they are in the hands of a person of the male persuasion.  I'm not sure if that's gay or not.  And finally, my very own co-author and close friend, Dr. Paul Boland, a highly decorated Regent's Professor at New Mexico State University, insisted, over my vehement protests, that we publish a photo of an immature--but precocious--'Peter Pepper' in our new tome, The Complete Chile Pepper Book. The world is going to hell in a garden basket!

 


What Do You Believe About Food?

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: science , food trends , controversy , books

Do You Believe Any of the Following Statements? 1. The "locavore" movement (shopping and eating locally) is a good practice. 2. Shortening food miles (the distance your food travels) helps the environment. 3. Organic gardening and farming techniques are superior to traditional methods. 4. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are inherently evil. 5. Eating meat is a perfectly acceptable practice.

If you do believe any of them, you may be totally wrong and all of these statements are completely false, according to James E. McWilliams, author of a new book entitled Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly. This is a shocking book because it rationally explores and deconstructs all the objections to popular ideas about what constitutes a healthy and ethical diet.  McWilliams, an associate professor at Texas State University and the author of A Revolution in Eating, the best food history of U.S. colonial and post-colonial food, goes way, way out on a limb here, and in an email last week I told him to watch his back because of the backlash of true believers in the above statement.  I think he makes excellent arguments and that the other side of the story should be told.  That said, this book is not easy reading--you have to pay close attention, have an open mind, and be something of a skeptic yourself.  I would like to hear comments--but only from people who have actually read the book.  You can buy the book here.


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