Scientists believe that the first alcoholic beverage ever made was a combination of honey, and perhaps grains, that wild yeast and bacteria fermented spontaneously. Someone along the way decided to drink said beverage and voila!
This honey wine/ beer mashup was nothing akin to our modern understanding of mead or beer, but it was the foundation of some of the greatest beverages known to man. Over many years, the two have become distinct beverages. That’s probably because the official term for such a hybrid of beer and mead is braggot, and anything that rhymes with maggot was clearly not meant to be popular.
At heart, mead, aka honey wine, is a truly simple beverage. It can be carbonated like beer, or kept still like a table wine. I have mostly preferred carbonated meads personally. If you let mead ferment fully, and do not add any additional sugars, which is my preference, you’ll end up with a delicious, champagne-like beverage (especially if you use a champagne yeast for fermentation). If you’ve never tried mead, I’d recommend trying offerings from RedStone and B Nektar – both excellent mead makers. Continue reading Meadventures: Making basic honey wine→
As you may recall, one of my favorite things in life, besides beer of course, is cheese.
I love it bubbling on top of my favorite Porter Onion Soup, mounded on pastas, smothered in sweet and spicy Jezebel dip, or simply sliced and served with bread and honey.
I’ve been making a version of this baked brie for a long time now. It honestly doesn’t get much simpler, but I’ve mastered the folding technique and gotten the bake time down to a science. I just had to share my tips with you, my fellow beer and food lovahs.
‘What exactly is the difference between stout and porter?’ someone recently asked me. As I opened my mouth to explain, I realized that the answer is not as cut and dry as you might think.
While there are many varieties of so-called ‘dark beer’ such as schwarzbier, Scotch ale, dark American lager etc., the broad categories of stout and porter are probably the most well known. Actually, their histories are so intertwined that honestly I still get confused – what came first? The porter or the stout?
I was chatting recently with my friend Scott at Blank Slate Brewing Company about the differences and asked him how he approaches this topic with people. He responded that first, he likes to take a step back. He explains that as you go up the style chain, beers generally increase in flavor, body, and intensity (though there are some exceptions). If you think about the differences between a blonde ale and pale ale, or amber and brown ale this premise fits the bill. Porter and stout are a similar story, but with a lot more overlap.
So far this morning I have eaten a quarter of a watermelon and a whole fresh tomato. Random, but so delicious. As you can tell, we have been eating quite well this summer – noshing away on farm fresh veggies and eggs from our CSA with the Eaton Farm.
But my favorite concoction so far has been this insanely delicious and easy seared scallop spaghetti with a fresh and spicy white wine tomato sauce.