Hungry for Democracy ?

I realize that this is a food blog -- not a political blog. But for me, food is unmistakably political. The food industry's political weight is determined by every consumer's level of food-conscience -- or compliant lack thereof. What we eat, where we get if from, who sells it to us, along with the chain of what, where and who's that come before our contact with stuff on our plate, holds huge power in economic, social, and environmental realms. Discrimination, however, is another story. And maybe that's where this post is a little out of place. But still ...

Yesterday a law came into effect in France which places a restriction on anyone wearing a burqa from doing so in a public place. From the Wikipedia page :

                                             From 11 April 2011, the full-face veil is illegal to wear in public places – such as on the street, in stores, in museums, on public transportation and in parks (the wearing of all conspicuous religious symbols in public schools, including the Islamic veil, was previously banned in 2004). As a result, the only exceptions to a woman wearing a niqab in public will be if she is traveling in a private car or worshiping in a religious place.[5] The law also pertains to all citizens, including men and non-Muslims, who may not cover their face fully in public except during established occasional events such as some carnivals or where specifically provided by law (such as safety workers).


"Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también" : Mezcal sour

Spicy Mezcal Sour with Fee Brother's Aztec Chocolate Bitters
R.G. 2011
I reposted this with a lot more information than I had the first time around. Enjoy. -s

The front display window of the Maison du Whisky's new spirits shop is loaded for the moment with a unmatched selection of tequilas and mezcals (well, unmatched in Europe, anyway). Pretending that I'm going to one day work there afforded me, not only several dégustations of Del Maguey's Single Village delights (and a chance to meet founder Ron Cooper (and a chance to chow down on some roasted agave heart)), but also the chance to work out a new drink behind the bar.

In and around the Oaxaca region of Mexico, villages create mezcals (like tequila) from the piña (heart) of an agave cactus. Produced in small batches with still much manual labor, mezcal is endowed with a rich, smoky flavor and typically contains more subtleties and complexity than most tequilas (no, not of course not all tequilas). It's often less refined than tequila which, in this case, has nothing to do with quality -- in fact there's a myth that mezcal is only distilled one time whereas tequila is always distilled twice. Technically this isn't true, though if you ask a maker of mezcal they'll typically affirm that "yes, we only distill it once, but then we refine it after."


Petit déj' des marmottes : Granola

R.G. 2011
 No one can debate how rewarding it is to enjoy something you've worked hard on. What's even more rewarding, however, is enjoying something you've worked hard on a day or two ago but which required almost no prep work the morning of (because rewarding or not, your breakfast shouldn't cost the price of your morning to sleep in). 

Seeds and flattened super-foods
Granola is heavenly -- but it gets a bad rap because it can so quickly go from something well-meaning on the health front, to metabolic poison in homemade (and, more frequently, commercial) recipes that load up on sugar and fat. It's hard for a granola-muncher to live up to their name these days -- but this has yet to shake me from the cause. This recipe goes light on the sugar, allowing most of the flavor to come from other ingredients, and it uses coconut oil, which is infinitely better for you than vegetable oil or canola oil. The rolled adzuki beans also add a punch of low-on-the-glycemic-index sweet and ups the protein and other nutrients. If you can't find rolled adzuki beans, try to get your hands on some other flattened super food, like millet, quinoa, spelt or chickpeas. (If you live in France try La Vie Claire -- they typically have all of these.)