Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Deviled eggs and a lost word

Deviled eggs are also known as eggs mimosa in Europe.  They originated in ancient Rome and consist of boiled eggs cut in half and filled with the yolk usually mixed with mayonnaise, mustard and pepper.  Russian eggs are the same with the addition of caviar to the yolk mixture.  Deviled eggs are popular during spring holiday in the U.S. and Europe, and during the summer in southern U.S. where they are renamed ‘dressed’ or ‘salad’ eggs in an effort to avoid the use of the word ‘devil’

The term ‘Deviled’ dates back to the 19th century to mean an item that is Piquant.  Piquant or piquance is the sensation associated with the taste that is a reaction of the chemicals piperine and/or capsaicin which cause a burning sensation induced by both a taste sensation as well as one that actually raises the temperature of the tissue in the area of skin that comes in contact with such piperine or capsaicin.  This is believed to be associated thru evolution due to the body’s reaction to similar substances present with microbial pathogens.  That is a side note. 

Piquant is a great word!  A short etymological tour thru French, Spanish, and Portuguese and we result in a word that solely sums up the two words we now use, “spicy hot”.  In the past ‘Hot’ has been used with relation to temperature… as in degrees Fahrenheit.  Also ‘spicy’ has been used to describe something that is spiced…. as in a spiced apple pie.  The word ‘piquant’ is used independent of those to describe the sensation as described in the previous paragraph.

Hot chocolate would be chocolate that is over 100 degrees

Hot spicy chocolate would be chocolate that is over 100 degrees and has cinnamon and nutmeg.

Piquant spicy hot chocolate would be chocolate that over 100 degrees and has cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a chipotle chili.

Why did we stop using that word?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How about pizza and a beer?

Since 1957 Budweiser has been the world's best selling beer in terms of both units sold and profitability. Kirin Lager from Japan is the second best selling in terms of units sold.  Interestingly, InBev (the conglomerate who owns Anheuser-Busch) has a 50% stake in Kirin brewing.  There's a huge market for Budweiser overseas because it actually does have exceptionally high quality control standards. Can anyone remember the last time they ordered a Budweiser and something was floating in the bottle (yeast or otherwise)? Or the last time you got one that was skunked?....um, no!  wow, it’s true.

Westvleteren 12 by Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus (Belgian Quadrupel) is rated best beer in the world by ‘ratebeer’.  Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Stout is the highest rated domestic beer at number 3.  The Westvleteren 12 will cost you $40 for 1/3 of a liter.  The Goose Island only slightly better at $20 per 12 ounce bottle.

According to the French Culinary Institute the most popular pizza topping in the world is pepperoni.  Upon looking at more than one list I find this true with mushrooms being the most popular non-meat item, and an estimated 70% of the worlds mushroom pizza have canned mushrooms on them.

Domino’s has more outlets per capita in Iceland than any other country.  On that note it seems like Dominos, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s rule the international pizza market with stores on every continent (except Antarctica).  In 2009 36 Billion $ worth of pizza was sold in the United States.

Does this mean that thru marketing it is possible to lower consumer expectations of quality simply by consistently providing low quality product?  I think most ppl would agree a canned mushroom and sip of Bud aren’t very high quality products, but they sell at or near the top trumping many other more high quality products?  Food (and drink) for thought.

Number and facts were found on Wikipedia and ratebeer.com.