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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by TAPrice

  1. Chris: No one particular source. The NYT has a lot of boots on the ground and an interactive map online. Kim Severson, a staffer for the NYT's food section, announced on Twitter that she would be here tomorrow morning. The Times-Picayune, of course, is covering it well. I'm getting a lot of links from local bloggers and Twitters. The most popular Twitter hashtags for this seem to be #oilspill and #gulf, so you could set up a search for those. I've also got friends in the local environmental movement who have given me info. As I run across stories about the impact on the food system, the fishing industry, and the regional restaurants, I'll post them in this thread.
  2. Brett Anderson, the restaurant writer for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, reported on the reaction of local restaurants and seafood supplier: I wrote a short item for the Times Picayune on the comments of Poppy Tooker, a local cooking instructor, about the crisis during her gumbo demo at Jazz Fest:
  3. Yesterday at the farmers market in New Orleans, the line for fresh shrimp was half a block long. Down here, a lot of us are convinced that the oil filling the Gulf will mean no local seafood for at least a year. (As a side note, we're still trying to figure out what to call this catastrophe. It's not exactly a spill, since the oil continues to flow unabated from the ocean floor.) John Besh (August, Domenica), writing for the Atlantic website said supply is good at the moment, but things don't look good: The seafood industry is trying to convince people, particularly tourists, that the current supply of shrimp, oysters and fish is safe to eat. Here is what the New York Times had to say about that: In that same article, Donald Link (Herbsaint, Cochon) offered a little optimism: “For the massive oil spill that it is, I don’t think that we’re looking at catastrophic effects on seafood." At this point, I don't think anyone knows the impact will be. It's a complicated situation. There is the environmental impact on the marine life and its habitat. Fisherman who can't work for a long period may have to leave the business. The oil could spread across the beaches of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and even Florida, which could hurt the tourism industry and the restaurants there. Already, I've heard anecdotal reports of people canceling trips to New Orleans, because they don't want to come if there is no seafood. One scientist I heard of the radio (didn't catch his specialty), suggested that the Gulf disaster could seriously harm the U.S. chicken industry. Most chicken, he said, eat fish meal, which comes from menhaden caught in the Gulf of Mexico. Even if the damage is limited to Louisiana's coast, the fishing and oyster industry is so large here that the effects will be felt nationwide.
  4. Can't imagine professional bartenders are less concerned about spills than home bartenders. Someone has to pay for that alcohol. If the bartenders aren't concerned, I bet their bosses are.
  5. I thought this was the OXO measure many preferred: http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-Liquid-Measuring/dp/B00076Q7K4/ref=pd_sbs_k_4 It's what Robert Hess uses in his videos. Never seen the marked OXO jigger. And personally, I use jiggers because I find them satisfying to handle. The miniature OXO measuring cup gives me no joy. But that's just me.
  6. I use the ProJig frequently, but only for 1/4 ounce measures. I'm strictly a home bartender. No speed pourers. Overpouring has never been a problem. Never could figure out the enthusiasm for the OXO measure. It doesn't have a mark for 1/4 ounces and I find it very hard to use accurately. Maybe I need to add some more lights in the kitchen, but for me it's difficult to eyeball a 1/2 ounce pour of a clear liquid in the OXO cup.
  7. Do you know if the columns will only be available to subscribers?
  8. So that's Mekhong whiskey. Had no idea. Been singing along to that Pogues song since high school ("oh, she gave me Mekhong whiskey, oh she gave me Hong Kong flu, but me on a bus to Kathmandu"). Had no idea he was singing about a particular type of spirit.
  9. I enjoyed the show, although it was a departure. Even a not very well presented demo of basic techniques is worth watching with these instructors. I did get a kick out of Tony's charming cluelessness about home cooking in a show designed to teach home cooks. After noting that few home cooks have ever tried to make those french fries they eat in restaurants, he shows you how to do it by...using a restaurant deep fryer.
  10. That article I wrote for the New Orleans Times-Picayune went online today. It has some tips and includes recipes from Danny Valdez, Kirk Estopinal (Beta Cocktails) and Chris Hannah: Times-Picayune: Flask cocktails Here are the tips I got on flask cocktails from the bartender that I interviewed:
  11. Cocktail Kingdom is selling a 16 oz bottle of "Scrappy's Gomme Syrup" for $16.95. Is that a good price, given the cost of gum Arabic and the trouble to make the syrup? And is this syrup any good?
  12. I like it. Kind of a Sancho Panza to Bourdain's Quijote.
  13. The largest bourbon selection is at Bourbon House. I think they've got 60 or more. D.B.A. always has a good spirits. Clever, the wine bar at Cork and Bottle, also keeps an interesting selection of spirits, especially bourbon. The owner is a big bourbon fan. I honestly can't think of a place with a large Scotch selection.
  14. Jeff said it should be out in early March. I guess that means, more or less, now.
  15. A bartender told me that he creates "flask cocktails" to sneak into our local festivals. Anybody else heard of this practice? Any suggested recipes? What would the secrets be to a good flask cocktails? Full disclosure: I'm writing on an article for the local paper about flask cocktails. If I want to quote anyone, I'll directly ask your permission first.
  16. Is this strictly a California issue? Is there any suggestion, other than speculation, that this is the beginning of an effort by large liquor companies to outlaw infusions nationwide? I've been half-following this issue, and it just seems like another dumb liquor law in a country full of dumb liquor laws. But maybe something bigger is afoot.
  17. This long predates the internet. Here is what William Grimes had to say on p. 41 of Straight Up or On the Rocks: (And while we're ragging on the internet, let's take a moment to praise it. I remembered the phrase "barroom etymology," searched for it on Google Books, grabbed an image of the passage and posted in here. All that took about 5 minutes.)
  18. Never tried Killeptisch, so I can't say.
  19. Got a call from the owner of the local shop (so odd when the virtual work and real world meet) with more info. They have over 30 spirits, but only 6 are distilled by Yahara Bay. For the others, Yahara Bay bottles them. The official government label is on the back, while the front is blank and labeled by each story. They also reminded me that 200 ml bottles are an option.
  20. Got a reply from a Mr. Zsinkó Bálint at Zwack (how great a name is that), which answers a few questions:
  21. Got to cut the Germans some slack, they've been busy with the PIIGS. Is store label liquor a German or European thing, or just idea out of step with the present?
  22. Recently, a Vom Fass store opened down the street from me. This is a German chain with stores around the globe. As I understand, the first corporate store has been open in Madison, WI, for some time. The New Orleans outlet is one of the first franchises. The first room has lots of jars of oils and vinegars. You can sample anything and buy them in reusable bottles of various sizes. So far, so good. Here is where it gets odd. The second room has some wine and lots of spirits. All the liquor is generic bottles, which the store hand labels. It's a bit like that grocery store in Repo Man except aimed at a different demographic. I'm pretty sure the Vom Fass clientele is more concerned about foreclosure man. From what I could gather (the owners weren't super up to speed) some of the spirits, like Irish whiskey and Scotch, are imported. Most of them, however, are made by Yahara Bay (link). Does anyone know anything Vom Fass? What is Yahara Bay's reputation? I'm a little dubious about one distillery being able to produce that kind of range. And the idea of drinks without a backstory seem antithetical to the current zeitgeist (you'd think a German company would be tuned in to the zeitgeist, wouldn't you?). I'll certainly try some soon. Almost everything comes in 375 ml bottles, so the investment is minimal.
  23. Damn Diageo. Can we make a list of their sins against good spirits?
  24. The image on this page exactly matches what's on my shelf. The plastic top must be rare or very old. Almost no images of it could be found: Drink Swap I'll go out and pick up some Zwack (i.e. Unicum Next). Can't wait to compare. One can never have too many digestif bitters. Edit: I emailed Zwack for more info.
  25. I've got a bottle of Unicum by Zwack. Love the stuff. Makes Fernet Branca taste like Coca-Cola. My understanding was that the bottle labeled Zwack was a sweeter version for the American market, which is also known as Unicum Next outside the U.S. Recently I've seen a new bottle on the liquor store shelves labeled Zwack (looks the same, but doesn't say Unicum). 1) How can I identify the two products? 2) Is the sweeter Zwack or Unicum Next version worth owning? 3) Is the stronger, original Unicum still distributed in the U.S. (My bottle was old and dusty).
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