August 03, 2004

Arrr Matie After consistent days of listening to the sound of a foghorn through the gray, wet fog that seems to have dampened everyone’s spirits here in the City by the Bay I started to think of an antidote for the summer blues. Fruity umbrella cocktails of an island nature were on my mind. Rum, a spirit initially made by Spanish colonists from the juice of sugar cane plants in Puerto Rico in the 1500's is one of the leading alcoholic beverages sold in the world. Bacardi, with the signature bat on the neck is by far one of the frequently recognized brands. It’s also been one of the largest producers and distributors since 1862. The center of the rum producing world is the Caribbean but Barbados, Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad, and other warmly suited climates also produce unique blends and styles. There are white, golden, dark, spiced and aged rums. Rum is created by distilling the by products of sugar making with water. Fermented sugarcane juice or molasses, a by-product of sugar-making is most commonly employed. It’s often aged in barrels that previously contained bourbon or cognac. Caramel is often added to aged rums. Flavored rums such as, Bacardi Limon (citrus), Cruzan flavored rums, Captain Morgan Spiced (vanilla) and Malibu (coconut) account for roughly 39% (2002) of total rum sales. I had a surprisingly tasty vanilla mojito here in the City at the new hipster spot LIME. White rum is clear, typically light-bodied, and is perfect for mixed drinks. Today white rum...
Top of the World Food Lhasa Moon is most likely on of the few Tibetan restaurants in Northern California. This quiet restaurant in San Francisco’s north side is a quiet retreat offering inexpensive and tasty dishes from the top of the world. Unfortunately this little gem is closing at the end of the month. The menu has made some adjustments to accommodate Western tastes but after researching more about traditional food from Nepal it appears that the personality of the region’s food is intact. Understandably it is a challenge to get fresh yak meat in the States. As you might expect, as Buddhists are by choice vegetarians, there are many options suited for this dining preference. In addition in my quest for understanding the food and the country's history I came across an April 2000, Asian Wall Street Journal article where the owner of Lhasa Moon, Tsering Wangmo: "This kind of food you won't find in Tibet," she laughed. I felt vindicated in my withering summary of this faked Tibetan cuisine; the restaurants in the U.S., I thought, simply cater to an American palate. But her next words caused me to reconsider. "Tibetan cuisine went into exile with the Dalai Lama's court; the only thing left to eat in Tibet is tsampa, yak meat and Chinese food," she said, wrinkling her nose. When the Dalai Lama left, the elite of Tibetan society went with him--taking along their cooks, their traditional recipes and a lifestyle that delighted in lavish entertaining. The historic exchange of Tibetan salt...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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