Saucy

Saucy

So a few months back I was reading a post by one of my favourite food bloggers Hank Shaw, and he opened my mind to more fermentation that I really enjoy but never really put it together. A fermentation that is more than a delicious, complex way to get you wasted, A fermentation employed by, apparently, a lot more people than I had realized, including an old standby. Tobasco. Being no stranger to fermented goods and barrel aging things to delicious effect, I decided to try my hand at hot sauce. I started by doing what anyone else would, I sent a link to the friend who uses as much hot sauce as I do, and said let's do it!! 

Here is the start of our Hot Sauce Adventures...

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Wine Voyage

Wine Voyage

It would seem that our trip was dominated by cars, eating rich meals and drinking beer. But to this point both mine and Vanessa's blogs haven't really done justice to the sheer volume of wine we consumed, and there was a lot. Our wine voyage didn't really start until we left Berlin, other than Shanelle having one solitary glass of wein we did the Berliner thing and drank as much beer as we could. But once out of the cities our journey in to some of the best wine experiences Europe has to offer began. 

Click in for a few pictures of our journey through European wine country.

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Sur, Sous Dans, Devant Derriere . . .

Sur, Sous Dans, Devant Derriere . . .

I can’t get this childhood French lesson out of my head; a little song we learned with hand actions to remember what each meant:

“On, under, in, in front of, behind,

In front of, behind, in front of, behind,

On, under in, in front of, behind, beside”

We’ve been searching all over Europe for that one little food experience that truly felt local. That little place off the beaten path that has great food a great atmosphere and is where the locals go. We asked the concierge in 4 cities and winemakers in 3 towns but all we seemed to get were the places that were easy for tourists to find and enjoy. However, our last night in Paris we stumbled upon a super great find...

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Oh The Beer

Oh The Beer

First appologies for having shoddy internet and not getting more updates out!

Germany is pretty great. So far I’ve loved pretty much everything about it. The efficiency is incredible, in every aspect of their day to day. They all know how to drive and the highways are a joy. Queues that seem like they’d take forever to get through in Canada take mere minutes. Everything is well maintained and the cities and towns are clean because there are garbage cans every 25 steps. But nothing is as well thought out as their beer. It seems the goal in Germany is to make the best beer possible and drink a lot of it.

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Where to Write

Where to Write

I'm not talking about the text box on this Squarespace blogging tool that says "write here..." No I am talking about where I physically plop my ass down with my laptop and type away. I am talking about the places you can go to grab a beverage, maybe a bite, and get some work done. There are a few places I do this, from my living room, to the Starbucks next to Vinearts. But there are a couple coffee shops that are very worth mentioning in more detail, the gems that Calgary hangs on to and calls its own.

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White is...

White is...

Right? Yup, when it is arguably the best possible way to have a Manhattan. Last night we had a meal with a few drinks and the whole experience made me long for warmer weather for the first time this year. The cold is not something I bitch about pretty much at all but drinking a white Manhattan and eating a rack of ribs calls for being out on someones deck. 

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One of the Best Days Ever!

One of the Best Days Ever!

It became clear to me this weekend why people all say keep it simple and your food will be awesome. From how difficult people make venison, any antlered wild game, seem, I expected the cooking to be complicated at best to get all the best flavours out and minimize the "gaminess" that people always complain about. But it wasn't. 

Here is how my Sunday went down:

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Sweet vs Bitter

Sweet vs Bitter

Slowly but surely our palates mature. It's no secret that in North America we don't have our own well defined food and drink culture, what we consume is an amalgamation of every corner of the globe with our own twists on everything. And generally speaking our own twists involve the dumbing down of a particular style to make it more pleasing to those of us used to sweet foods, ie. ginger beef and butter chicken. This trend of liking sweeter things is blatantly  obvious in our drink choices also. The movement of classic cocktails shows us our dependency on the glucose content of corn. The most popular cocktails right now are manhattans and old fashioneds, and with both of these the preference is to use bourbon as the base spirit rather than a more muscular and spicy rye. These sweet American style cocktails are much more popular than their more bitter European cousin the negroni or a champs d'elysees.

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Pig's what?

Pig's what?

The first couple posts under "Eat" where both about drinking, so I figured it was about time to write a post about eating. The problem was that as I thought about which awesome Calgary restaurant to write about, I was a little overwhelmed by the choice, until I actually thought about. With so many great spots to chow down, it was actually easy to start by talking about a fail safe, a resto that somehow we just end up at. Maybe we end up there all the time because they started the trend of duck fat deep fryers here in town, or maybe because they have an amazeballs wine list, it could be that you can get foie gras on everything all the time but they do a "Foie Monday"... but more than likely it is because brunch and bourbon go together and they get it.

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