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Archive for August 1, 2013

FOOD HOLIDAY: National IPA Day

In the 19th century, the British living in India drank ale from England—largely because the Indian water supply had microbes that caused digestive problems to foreigners not raised on it.

But not all beer could withstand the long journey to India in a hot ship’s hold. A style evolved—India Pale Ale or IPA—that had higher levels of alcohol (7%-8% ABV, alcohol by volume) and hops, both of which act as preservatives to help the beer withstand the voyage of up to six months.

The two components created an assertive beer, strong from the alcohol and both bitter and aromatic from the hops. The style paired well with robust food—the red meat and strong cheeses that were popular British fare.

Today, there’s fast transportation to the Pacific Rim, and plenty of bottled water and Coca-Cola for travelers. The IPA style has evolved (or devolved, in the case of British IPAs) to 5.5% ABV, but are still highly hopped. American IPAs tend to stick with the old style, higher alcohol.

Whenever we’re handed a craft beer list, we look for the IPA. But you can do well in supermarkets, too. Boston Beer Company, brewers of Samuel Adams, has embraced the IPA style, with eight different IPAs.

 

Some of the IPAs from Boston Beer Company, brewers of the Samuel Adams brand. Grumpy Monk is a Belgian-style IPA. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

 

Check your local retailer for the limited edition Samuel Adams IPA Hopology Variety Pack: two bottles each of six very different, bold and flavorful IPAs, including innovative twists on traditional styles.

The Samuel Adams IPAs below differ in different styles, ABV and IBUs, International Bitterness Units, reflecting the bitterness from the hops.

 

Dark Depths, a Baltic-style IPA from the
Samuel Adams brand. Photo by Elvira
Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

 

Samuel Adams Dark Depths (Baltic IPA, 7.6% ABV, 60 IBUs) is a dark and fierce bottling. The brewers reimagined Baltic porter as an IPA, combining the big and contrasting flavors of dark roasted malts and six varieties of bold citrussy hops with the smoothness of a lager. Dark Depths is available year-round, nationwide.

Samuel Adams Grumpy Monk (Belgian IPA, 6.5% ABV, 55 IBUs) is a spirited reinvention of the traditional Belgian ales brewed by monks, reimagined as a complex IPA. The brew combines six hop varieties with the traditional spicy clove and fruit flavors of Belgian ale yeast. It’s a bold new twist that might make a conventionally-minded monk a bit, well, grumpy. Grumpy Monk is available on draft year-round, nationwide.

Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA (IPA, 6.0% ABV, 60 IBUs) is brewed with five different hops from the 48th latitude—the prime hop-growing territory in the Northern Hemisphere, also known as the “hop belt.” The result is a distinctive, layered IPA hop character. The 2013 batch is inspired by the new Mosaic hop variety from Washington, which imparts a bright, citrusy flavor. Latitude 48 is available year-round, nationwide.

 

Samuel Adams Tasman Red (Red IPA, 7.0 % ABV, 60 IBUs) is a bold and lively red IPA that combines the grapefruit, piney and earthy character of Topaz and Galaxy hops grown around the Tasmanian Sea. Smooth and roasty malts and hints of coffee also shine in this balanced and smooth brew, which has a dry, citrussy hop finish. Tasman Red is available year-round, nationwide.

Samuel Adams Third Voyage (Double IPA, 8.0% ABV, 85 IBUs) is a bright and intense double IPA with a vivid hop punch. Inspired by Captain James Cook, whose third voyage made him the first to navigate a treacherous route from England to New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest, this brew combines hops from three growing regions, uniting for a citrussy, earthy and bold character. Here’s an example of the hop profile that the brewers have chosen:

  • Cascade hops, bred at Oregon State University—the most widely used hops by American craft breweries, imparting a citrus/grapefruit aroma.
  • Simcoe hops, bred in Washington by Yakima Chief Ranches, which yield different aromas including citrus, earthy, passion fruit and pine.
  • Zeus hops, developed by Yakima Chief Ranches: citrussy, slightly woody and sometimes resiny.
  • Summer Saaz hops, with aromas of passion fruit, citrus and melon, from Hop Products Australia.
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    Here’s a list of all the different types of hops.

    Third Voyage is available year-round, nationwide.

    Samuel Adams Whitewater IPA (White IPA, 5.8% ABV, 61 IBUs) draws inspiration from the crisp wheat character of a white ale and the intense hop flavor of an American IPA. Fusing these two styles together, American and Australian hop varieties impart bold grapefruit notes balanced by a crisp wheat malt while the subtle addition of apricots and orange peel provides a slight sweetness and zest to round out the brew. Whitewater IPA is available year-round, nationwide.

    CHECK OUT ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEER IN OUR GLOSSARY.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Try A New Sandwich For National Sandwich Month

    While the Earl of Sandwich is credited with “inventing” the sandwich in 1762, he actually only introduced the concept to western Europe.

    The principle of bread and a filling likely dates back to around 9000 B.C.E., when man first harvested grain and created unleavened flatbreads. Flatbread rolled with a filling became common to early cultures worldwide.

    The first recorded sandwich in history was made by Rabbi Hillel (Hillel the Elder), who lived in Jerusalem in the first century B.C.E., at the time of King Herod.

    At a seder, Hillel observed the Passover ritual of eating bitter herbs or maror (grated horseradish) on matzoh. Inspired, he placed another Passover food, charoset—a sweet paste of fruits and nuts seasoned with cinnamon—on a slice of matzoh alongside the maror, and topped it with a second slice of matzoh. The practice, continued today, is known as the Hillel sandwich.

    Take a bite of the history of the sandwich.

     

    A shrimp po’ boy sandwich. Photo by Jason Perlow | Wikimedia.

     

    August is National Sandwich Month, so honor the sandwich by trying something new. Beyond the BLT, grilled cheese and tuna on whole wheat is a world of super sandwiches.

  • Consider bánh mì (pronounced bon-mee), a fusion of French and Vietnamese cuisines created during the French colonization of Indochina. It combines French ingredients such as baguettes, pâté and mayonnaise with native Vietnamese ingredients such as coriander, hot peppers, fish sauce, pickled daikon and carrots. If there’s a Vietnamese community in your area, head there; or make this bánh mì recipe.
  • Trade the everyday ham and cheese for a Cuban sandwich: ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on lightly buttered Cuban (or French or Italian) loaf. The ingredients are toasted on a plancha, a sandwich press similar to a panini press but without the ridges.
  • Elvis fan? Elvis’ favorite sandwich was a fried peanut butter sandwich with sliced bananas and bacon.
  • Fried seafood lover? The po’ boy, or poor boy sandwich, is a Louisiana classic, a submarine-style sandwich loaded with fried seafood—oysters, crawfish, shrimp, soft-shell crab or catfish. Dress your Po’ Boy with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions and mayo.
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    STILL LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT CELEBRATORY SANDWICH?

    Check out the different sandwich types in our Sandwich Glossary. Or invent your own sandwich. What better way to celebrate?
     

    SEE ALL THE FOOD HOLIDAYS!

      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: CapaBunga Wine Bottle Cap

    CapaBunga is an airtight cap for open wine bottles. No leaks ever again! Photo courtesy CapaBunga.

     

    Cowabunga dudes: We just love the Capabunga.

    We get lots of pitches for gadgets that are also-rans. But every so often, we find something that’s simply superb. That’s how we feel about CapaBunga.

    And most of us can use a few of these inexpensive wine bottle resealers, so consider your stocking stuffers and small house gifts taken care of.

    CapaBunga is a reusable silicone cap that reseals a bottle of wine—no need to jam the cork back in, grab the Vacu-Vin, or other technique. It fits any wine bottle. And it just slips on, like a silicone sock.

    Once you remove the cork and re-seal the bottle with a CapaBunga, it creates a vacuum in the bottle and is liquid-tight. The bottle can be stored upside down without leaking (or more realistically, on its side in the fridge).

    At $7.95 for two, it’s a no-brainer gift for anyone who drinks wine.

    Read the full review.

     

      

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    PRODUCT: Lindt HELLO Chocolate Collection

    Have you ever thought about chocolate with a personality?

    Lindt’s new HELLO Assortment actually reaches out to you: “HELLO, here I am! Nice to sweet you!…Let me sweeten your day with yummy chocolates.”

    “Take me. taste me. Love me!” it beckons.

    It’s hard to say no to an offer like that. Lindt is the world’s largest producer of premium chocolates, and this collection of chocolate bars, sticks (thin rods of chocolate) and boxed bonbons is a delight.

    The Lindt HELLO collection is hitting shelves exclusively at Target, with select products available in Lindt Chocolate Shops and on LindtUSA.com.

    We spent all Sunday—July 28th, National Milk Chocolate Day—eating everything Lindt sent us. Yes, this is a tough job.

    Inspired by classic desserts and confections, the HELLO collection includes:

     

    HELLO bonbons and chocolate sticks. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

  • HELLO Chocolate Bars. Not your ordinary candy bars, HELLO bars are part of the trend to filled chocolate squares. Ten scored squares make up each bar, and make it easy to break off just a piece (photo below). In Caramel Brownie, Cookies & Cream, Crunchy Nougat and Strawberry Cheesecake, the SRP is $2.79 for 3.5 ounces/100 grams. There are three limited edition flavors available through October: Berry Affair, Coconut Love and Coffee Blast. Stock up for Halloween!
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    HELLO filled chocolate bars: Yum! Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     
  • HELLO Chocolate Sticks and Mini Sticks. A new format in chocolate (photo above), these six-inch by five-eighths inch chocolate “sticks” are divided into six segments that you can snap and savor, one by one. A fun format, the SRP is $0.99 got 1.4 ounces/33 grams. The flavors are the same as the bars, plus three limited edition flavors: Berry Affair, Coconut Love and Lime Splash. You can also purchase bags of individually-wrapped mini sticks in the four year-round flavors, SRP: $3.99.
  • HELLO Boxed Chocolates. Colorful boxes contain nine melt-in-your-mouth bonbons in different assortments We tried the Chocolate Bits gift box (Caramel Brownie, Cookies & Cream and Crunchy Nougat), in fun shapes that include hearts and speech bubbles (photo above). The SRP is $5.99 for 3.5 ounces/100 grams. The larger Chocolate Delights gift box is $9.99.
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    Learn more at LindtUSA.com/HELLO, where you can enter a sweepstakes to win your own cache of HELLO chocolate.

      

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