A change in the tax code should give small brewers in British Columbia a break when expanding operations. On Monday, the Liberal government approved a new tax scale for small-scale breweries, allowing for increased sales at a lower tax rate.
Under the old policy, breweries faced a higher tax bill after output passed 160,000 hectoliters of beer (that’s 16 million liters of beer). The new policy introduces a scaled tax scheme, where breweries pay taxes incrementally for every 5,000 hectoliters of beer sold over the 160,000 hectoliter mark. After sales reach 300,000 hectoliters, a higher tax rate applies.
Currently, there are seven BC breweries that should benefit from these changes. Officials hope the changes will create more jobs, but I’ll be happy if our terrific BC beer will be more widely distributed.
As there always in with politics, there’s a bit more to the story with some big ticket donations to the Liberal party from mid-sized brewing company Pacific Western. But since it favors a cause I’m all for, I’m not letting my feathers get too ruffled over it.
Read the whole story over at the National Post. Image courtesy miss604 via Flickr.
It may just look like a jumble of blocks, and well, technically that’s all it is. But use your imagination a bit, and it’s a steaming bowl of ramen with noodles, green onions, and pork, courtesy of the University of Tokyo for the Komaba Festival. This particular exhibit honors a local Tokyo-area ramen shop, Ramen Jiro, which is known for its legendary ramen. A cursory google search led me to articles about Ramen Jiro in the Guardian (among the 50 best places to eat), NPR, CNN, to name but a few. And while write-ups in some of the biggest media organizations is great, I can think of no greater honor than to have a scale lego rendition created of your product. Congrats, Ramen Jiro, you’ve made it to the top.
Now where can I get some of those noodle-looking blocks?
Rocketnews24 via FoodBeast.
Great crab cakes aren’t rocket science. This isn’t the territory of complicated ingredients or difficult techniques; the secret to great crab cakes is just to chock them full of crab. The only problem with this method is it’s expensive, especially if you’re planning on making them for more than 2 people.
Luckily, you can bulk up your cakes without having to settle for an inferior finished product, as long as you choose the right ingredients. The recipe I like comes from Mark Bittman, who can always be counted on for balance and reason. He cuts the crab with grated celery root, delivering twice as many cakes without washing out the flavor of the seafood star of the show. The celery root also makes the cakes seem more substantial and texturally interesting, in my opinion.
If you’ve never worked with celery root before, it’s the ugly looking, knobby bulb that sometimes goes by the name celeriac. It has a vague celery flavor, but not so much that I would have picked it up if “celery” wasn’t in its name.
To peel, cut off the rooty bottom so that you have a flat surface to stand it up on. Then, using a chef’s knife, cut the outside off in strips, working from top to bottom. This recipe calls for it to be grated, which is an easy task if your food processor has a grating attachment but can also be done on a box grater. Like most root vegetables, it will turn brown when exposed to the air, so don’t peel it too far in advance of use.
And if you are serving these crab cakes to friends, remember it’s all how you sell it. If anyone raises an eyebrow to celery root in their crab cake, don’t admit you’re a cheapskate. Rather, you are an individual concerned with ocean sustainability and committed to consuming less - purely noble reasons. But I’m pretty sure after they try them, no one will be complaining.
Affordable and Responsible Crab Cakes
This recipe makes four massive cakes suitable for two gluttons (which was the direction I went), but you could easily make them bite sized for hors d’ oeuvres. I served it with an unconventional choice of chipotle mayo, but it would be fancier with a nice remoulade. A squeeze of lemon is all it really needs, though.
- 8 oz fresh lump crab meat, picked over for cartilage and shell
- 1 small celery root (1/2 lb - 3/4 lb), peeled and grated
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2-3 tbsp bread crumbs, preferably homemade (white or whole grain)
- 1 cup flour
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tsp curry powder (optional)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Mix the crab, celery root, egg, and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Add 2 tbsp bread crumbs and mix just until combined, adding another tbsp of crumbs if the mixture seems very loose.
- Place mixture in the fridge, covered, for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours.
- Mix curry powder and flour and put on a plate or shallow dish.
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. While the oil is heating, form cakes. They should be 1 inch thick and whatever diameter you fancy.
- Dredge the cakes lightly in flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- When the oil is hot and shimmery, fry the cakes gently, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Cook about 5 minutes per side, turning once when a golden crust has formed.
- Serve warm with lemon wedges.
Celery root pictures courtesy Gourmet and World Community Cookbook.
It all started with a pretty harmless April Fools’ Day joke, albeit ill-timed. Back in late March, Torani, the maker of the flavored syrups that typically are added to lattes, announced a bold new flavor: Chicken ‘n Waffles! When it turned out to be an early April Fools’ day joke, Torani was criticized not only for jumping the joke gun, but for crushing dreams. The dreams of a small but apparently very vocal minority who hoped everything could be flavored like chicken ‘n waffles with the ease and simplicity of a pump-action bottle. No more deep fryer. No more waffle iron. Endless possibilities.
No seriously, that actually happened.
The company received so much disappointed feedback that they decided to make their gag a reality, and as of this morning you can purchase Chicken ‘N Waffles flavored syrup on the Torani website for a mere $6.95. What’s more, they’ve even included handy recipes on their website for using the syrup, including a cocktail made from the syrup, bourbon, and root beer. (Making another first: the first application of bourbon I do not endorse.)
Since it only debuted today, I haven’t read any reviews of anyone who’s actually tried the stuff. But I do look forward with morbid curiosity to reading the adventures of those braver than I, who will inevitably pump the stuff into their coffee, onto their ice cream, or straight into their mouths. My hat is off to you.
Huffington Post via Brand Eating.
We’re starting a new column here at Motley, Thirsty Thursdays, where we’ll discuss my favorite beverage: beer (and perhaps other libations, just to keep it spicy).
We’ll start things off with a review of Alameda American Rye. Alameda is great craft brewery out of Portland, Oregon. This particular bottle was picked up at a shop in downtown Vancouver, but Alameda is distributed throughout the PNW and lower BC.
Rye beers are picking up popularity in the US and Canada, with good reason. Swapping out some of the barley for rye lends a unique spicy, crisp character. Typically you’ll find rye added to red ales or pale ales, but on a rare occasion you may find a roggenbier. Roggenbier is a traditional German style finding it’s way into slow revival, typically made from half rye and half barley grains and very lightly hopped. North American incarnations of rye beers tend to be much more aggressively hopped, and the spicy, earthy character of rye works well with floral, piney hops. Because rye is a tricky grain to brew with, it’s unusual to find beers made with 100% rye grain.
Back to the specimen in question, the Alameda American Rye. It pours very foamy - the picture above wasn’t just a bad pour, it really is insanely foamy. It’s also not the prettiest beer I’ve ever seen, a murky brown. If you can keep your nose out of the foam, it has a light, nutty smell. Nice carbonation keeps it tasting light, with flavors of grass and grain. It’s a balanced brew with subdued hops that deliver a bitter finish. I found the rye in this beer to be subtle, pleasantly rounding out the beer rather but not necessarily star of the show.
The Verdict: Thumbs Up
While not the most interesting rye out there, this is a enjoyable easy-drinker that would likely go over well with both the beer enthusiast and the lager crowd.
For more about rye beers, check out this great article over at Imbibe.