Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What are you doing for your diet?

At some point, we all recognize that our current lifestyle and body image may not be what we wanted or like at all.  In that moment, people want to change and most often, it can be done by doing a completely new and different holistic lifestyle.  By holistic, I mean using whole foods and items instead of diet pills or magic drinks and concoctions.

Anyway, I got this idea of the diet by reading my Christmas present which was the third book from Alton Brown: http://www.dashrecipes.com/slideshows/dr/4-alton-brown-good-eats-3-preview.html


So, in the book there was a chapter where Alton Brown, himself, was watching a past episode of his show that had him walking around in craw fish farm in 2009.  "The day after I viewed this hideous image I stepped on a scale for the first time in several years and was shocked to find the number 213.5 staring back at me." 

He wanted to shed 50 pounds and over the course of 9 months, he did so. While not being a dietitian or a physician, he doesn't recommend this diet for everyone.  It is just what he did and decided on for himself.  This diet, or at least an off-shoot of this diet, is what my wife and I are following:

1.  Foods I must consume daily:
      Fruits                                           Nuts
      Whole Grains                               Carrots
      Dark Leafy Greens                       Green Tea

2. Foods I must consume at least 3 times a week:
     Oily Fish                                        Sweet Potato
     Yogurt                                           Avocado
     Broccoli

3. Foods I can consume only one time a week:
     Red Meat                                      Dessert
     White Starch                                  Alcohol

(This list can be found on page 285,Good Eats 3, from Alton Brown)
 
Now, he also has suggested that he will stay away from any Fast Foods, Canned Soups, Soda, Processed Meats and anything that is "Diet" like diet drinks.  Of course also keep in mind that no diet plan will work without exercise. 

Now, while I was doing this I thought of a friend of mine who has been on a diet and healthy lifestyle kick. My friend Mary has lost 55 pounds over the course of about a year.  Losing it slowly is the healthy way. She was 210 lbs and now is 155lbs.  How did she do it?  She says that first she started running 6 miles a day, for the first few months but then just moved it to an hour of cardio exercise. She limited her red meat, ate dairy still and worked out with weights.  She also stayed away from fast foods and stopped eating starches.  She was really smart as she created her own low GL diet which meant that her body could deal with any sugars entering her body before making fat.  She would then burn any fat she had, thus losing weight. This means that both my friend and Alton Brown, think alike and have had some similar ideas.  Red Meat is higher in fat content, the white starches are full of sugars and carbohydrates which your body doesn't need if you are not running a marathon every day and then turns into fat, and fast food was stopped as well.

I know that now, sometimes the term "Fast Food" has become synonymous with all food at non-sit down restaurants and the term has been stretched too far.  Subway, is not a fast food joint. Neither is Quiznos.  The fact that you can get the food fast or quickly is only a true sight that you can see that it is made from fresh ingredients and nothing really changes.  For instance, I can stand in line and watch them make my sandwich at Subway.  I know exactly what goes on it and they have fully disclosed everything online on their website.  So, it just so happens that they can finish my sandwich before a fast food join can pull a soy/hamburger out of a microwave and slap it onto a high fructose corn syrup bun with a slathering of 1,000 calories of mayonnaise.

Anyway...

Mary also said that she didn't change that much of her lifestyle, she still went out to bars and drank and even skipped a day every once in a  while.  What made the difference was the exercise and the diet change.  You could exercise all day, but if you are taking in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.  Awesome job Mary.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Food in video games. Eat all you want without the calories...

Okay, I have to say that although it is not directly related to food, Skyrim is the best all time game in the whole of the universe.  Hands-Down!  The game is immense and just so, gosh-darn-fun and quirky.  There are plenty of the wtf issues and glitches and strange going-on's but you are left with a more simple and real core system.  So, besides talking about my new addiction for a paragraph, what does this have to do with food? Everything.

Back a while ago, I wrote my first article on food in video games and talked about an assortment of games where you get things from roast beef to a bag of chips to increase your health or another attribute. (http://tasty-magazine.blogspot.com/2010/10/video-games-and-food-my-two-great-loves.html)

Well, I was thinking of this while I was playing Skyrim.  In Skyrim,unlike Oblivion, the food is mostly there to increase your health.  In Oblivion, it was there for making potions or poison.  For instance, in the Oblivion game, bread is used to Restore Fatigue, Detect Life, Damage Agility and/or Damage Strength.  Mixing it with something else that does one of those four characteristics could produce a poison.  In Skyrim, bread can restore 2 health points when eating.  What makes Skyrim even more fun, is that you can actually combine items and "cook" to make something better that heals more.   It is funny that you could have this mid evil character who has never seen anything before, through the use of a fire and a pot, create a stew that could sustain them and restore health and stamina.  I like how one ingredient or sometimes two are all that is needed to create a "cooked" item.  For instance, a chicken breast and a salt pile can be used independently but, when combined, one can cook a grilled chicken breast.  It sounds or makes cooking sound amazingly simple which either is this way for easiness for the game or because the makers didn't care about cooking.  There are probably close to 200 books within the game of Skyrim which are filled with words from over to cover about the strangest and most magical topics.  Yet, putting some complexity into a cooked meal didn't even come up.

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Cooking

One of the recipes is for a tomato soup.  The ingredient list is a leek, tomato and salt.  While those items may work great in a tomato soup, I would dare add an onion, garlic, thyme, basil and some water.  I think that making a more complex recipe requirement for the game would add that little bit more role playing and would make the game a bit more fun.  On the other hand, I could hear the frustration from the hard core gamer who try to do everything possible in the game and are running all over the map looking for an onion or basil. (Neither onions or basil exist in the game.)  I think a culinary expansion should be released which would allow people to experiment and create new cooked items.  Take some bread and some roast beef and mammoth cheese and add it together to make a meatball sandwich.  It could happen, but isn't likely.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The savior, so far...

My wife did this trick the last time she was dieting and we are pulling out all the stops this time.  One of her favorite snacks which is low calorie is popcorn.  Unbuttered has about 31 calories per cup.  So, what we do is get a heavy pot on high heat, pour about 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil in and let it get warm.  I then add about 1/4th of a cup of corn kernels.  I cover immediately and leave a tiny crack in the lid.  In a few minutes, when the popping stops, I turn off the fire and remove the pot from the heat and a few minutes later I open the lid.
Now what I do is take some quart sized ziploc bags and fill them with pop corn.  These bags will last about 2 weeks being and tasting fresh still.  I figure that each bag has about 2 and 1/2 cups which is less than 80 calories and is a good sized snack.  So, if you are dieting also, get some popcorn!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I will not cheat

I told my wife of my strange dream.  Even though I'm actually underweight, I shouldn't be on a diet, but yet I want to stay on it.  I originally was going to go on the diet with my wife to prove to her that she could do it and now I find myself wanting to stay on for the health benefits.

I'm 33 years old and the proud recipient of some incredible metabolism abilities.  Much like my father's side of the family, I am able to eat, whatever I want and not gain a pound.  In fact, several months would go by of me eating over 4,000 calories a day and only gaining 1-2 pounds over the course of that month!  Everyone thinks it is a blessing but I think of it as a curse.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to gain weight, in a healthy manner?

Still, I'm not trying to lose weight for weight sake, but I am just trying to be healthy.  It is just difficult and I need to go through this to know and learn and better advise people, just how difficult it is to say "no" to certain things. I can eat a $1 package of 8 mini 3 Musketeers bars from Dollar Tree, without any weight gain or consequence.  But, I don't want to.  That is hard to do for a chocoholic such as myself.

  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is better than steamed vegetables? Broiled ones.

So, yeah, we are at the part of the diet where I start making large amounts of vegetables to eat with meals and snacks.  As someone who loves to eat, plain steamed veggies have never been on my favorite list.  I'm not saying that I don't like them, its just that when offered a bowl of steamed beans and a bowl of pasta, I tend to go for the pasta.

Steamed vegetables are easy to give flavor, even with a tad of salt and butter, but get boring after a while.  So, what I did was clean a bunch of vegetables and put them in roasting dishes.  Setting the oven to 450 and then sprinkling the veggies with extra virgin olive oil and some black sea salt and pepper, baby bok choy was cooked in 10 minutes, carrots were done in 20 minutes and the brussel sprouts were baked and then steamed in the oven for 20 minutes total.


So, everything tasted good, even for a super non vegetable lover like myself.  What the fourth dish was, the one on the upper right corner was a carrot dish from The Silver Spoon.  It was called Carrots with Lemon and was pieces of carrot cooked in a pan with olive oil and lemon juice and lemon zest.  Then you had some cooked onion thrown in with salt and pepper and everything was tasty and low calorie.

If you are interested in the recipe for the the Carrots and Lemon, buy the book: The Silver Spoon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What looks good for dessert?

Okay, a new year means low calorie and healthy foods.  But what can I make that is a dessert?  I think for many of you, THIS is what you have been waiting for.

My wife had purchased some sugar pears at SAMS, 2 weeks ago and as they were starting to get soft, I had an idea.  I was first going to make a tart, then decided to make a jam, but finally rested on the idea from a Gordan Ramsay book.  This recipe was simple and I made some changes.  I took the rest of these pears, sliced them up in large chunks and then put them in a bowl and coated them with the powdered Stevia my wife and I found at Dierburgs.  The stuff acts just like regular powdered sugar, except it has 0 calories.  So, we have sweet sugar pears coated with fake powdered sugar and into a pan with a splash of olive oil they went.  I cooked them to make them softer and try to infuse the sweetness into everything.  I finished by adding a dash of some Moscato wine and then about a cup of blackberries.

All-in-all, it made a delightfully delicious dessert with the only calories coming from the little bit of extra virgin olive oil, the wine that didn't cook out, the pears and blackberries.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thanks for being patient

This is what had happened.  Somebody had this bright idea to create a bill to go through Congress called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).  Now, while putting an end to online piracy is a good thing, the bill also does a few other things.  One of the biggest things is that it stops all usage by other people, normal every-day people like you and me, from using anything that isn't ours.  It also would allow the US Government to sue and shut down sites that were in violation of the copyright law, which is pretty lax right now.  What does this mean to you?

If it passes, and you have a picture of Edward Norton on your Facebook profile, from a photoshoot with Rolling Stones Magazine, you could not only get sued by Rolling Stones Magazine, but also have your Facebook profile deleted.  It gets worse as if you are doing a movie review site, like my friend Mike: (http://kaleldlt.blogspot.com/) is, and you use a photo or a video of a movie trailer that you found on youtube, then the owners of that material could sue you and have your site shut down.

When I do have pictures on my blog, they are all ones that I have taken, which I believe mans that I own the copyright. This also would and could remove sites that were deemed hateful or racist.  So, imagine if you had used your blog to say that you hate the way the Republican party is doing things.  Well, if someone from the party saw that, they could sue your blog host and have your site shut down.  So, say bye-bye to anything considered on the line and past, nothing anymore of free speech online or porn.  But youtube would essentially shut down.  It would now be illegal to upload a video clip from a show, or use any music that was not yours.  Even if you were uploading a  video of your baby's first steps and the TV was on in the background, you could be sued.

"Opponents of the bill include Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, AOL, LinkedIn, eBay, Mozilla Corporation, Reddit,[89] the Wikimedia Foundation,[90] and human rights organizations such as Reporters Without Borders,[91] the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, and Human Rights Watch.[92]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

So, how stupid is this bill and the idea of making internet blacklists and suing regular people?  As stupid as this:
video

So, anyways, GoDaddy.com supports SOPA and I had tasty-magazine.com as a domain through them.  So, I transferred the domain to someone who does not support SOPA.  That is what took so long.  Thanks for sticking with me.





 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

More grass for me please....

No, not like that.

Back in the 90's, I remember a craze or a fad starting up on the West Coast where cafe's and smaller coffee houses would start selling and serving wheat grass juice.  I remember even tasting it at one point and thinking that even though I enjoyed the smell of fresh cut grass, the taste was completely different. Lo and behold though, through the use of a new medium, the grass is coming back and in a good way.

I have been a fan of the Naked company's drinks for a few years and the one that has most of my attention is none other than the Green Machine.  Green Machine is the name of this "boosted 100% juice smoothie" with no added sugar.  I have seen this drink come in 2 liter sizes and as small as 10 oz bottles, which resemble a good shot of healthiness.  What makes this flavor so special, much less the whole drink?


This one bottle of smoothie has just 170 calories and while that may seem like a bunch, on the side of every bottle is a list of what is inside.  In this little 10oz bottle is the equivalent of 1 & 3/4 apples, 1/4th of a mango, 1/4th of a banana, 1/4th of a kiwi and a hint of pineapple.  It does this all while giving 2grams of protein, 70% of your DV of A, 50% of your C, 2% of your Calcium, 6% of your Iron, 4% of your Thiamin, 15% of your Riboflavin, 20% of your B6, 30% of your B12, 6% of your Magnesium and 14% of your Potassium.

What this boils down to is a lot of good stuff in a little tiny bottle.  I've been enjoying this healthy drink for a year or so and I only recently saw what was in it.  The following are ingredients: apple juice, mango puree, pineapple juice, kiwi puree, spirulina (a form of algae), natural flavors, chlorella (more algae), broccoli, spinach, barley grass, wheat grass, parsley, ginger root, blue green algae and odorless garlic.  Now, if you want to try something new, don't be afraid of this one and try it.  The grasses in this drink taste good together.  You can find this flavor and other flavors from Naked, at most stores in the St. Louis area.





Thursday, January 5, 2012

Last issue of Feast magazine...

Alright, I was flipping through the pages of the latest FEAST magazine when I noticed a long feature article.  This article involved a discussion with what FEAST considers to be the "region's most innovative entrepreneurs" and while 7 out of the 8 guests were considered experts in the field of culinary, only one was in architecture and design.  (So, it barely sounded like a professionally gathered group of individuals, unless all they were going to talk about was food.)

So, at this discussion was:
Stanley Browne, owner of Robust Wine Bar and certified sommelier
Maddie Earnest, co-owner of Local Harvest Grocery, Cafe' and Catering
Gerard Craft, owner of Craft Restaurants Ltd.
Tom Niemeier, owner of Space Architecture and Design
David Wolfe, co-founder of Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.
Josh Ferguson, co-owner of Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Co.
Brian Pelletier, owner and chef chocolatier of Kakao Chocolate
John Perkins, chef and owner of entre

Now, the first thing that grabs my attention, is that this group met to discuss the current state of the culinary industry and its future, in Saint Louis.  So, why were these people selected?  I'm not saying that these people are not highly respected or professionals, but it is only my thought that if you wanted to get a discussion going about the current state of the culinary industry, then perhaps you should get people that have more to do with it.  So, who would I get?

A member of the Barroni family, current owners of Al's Restaurant, one of the oldest and continuously run restaurant in St. Louis, for over 85 years
Bob Dierberg, owner of Dierburg stores, which is a St. Louis based store and chain
David Ringle, sommelier at The Market Place with over 20 years of wine experience
Larry Forgione, owner of An American Place, and the first internationally recognized chef to open a restaurant in St. Louis
Catherine Neville, owner and leader of FEAST magazine
A member of the Stuckmeyer family, a family owned and operated all natural, non GMO farm, selling food to the St. Louis area
Chef Borchardt, Director of L'Ecole Academy
Kevin Willmann, owner and founder of Farmhaus, St. Louis's best farm to table restaurant
Maddie Earnest,  co-owner of Local Harvest Grocery, Cafe' and Catering

Here are my thoughts: For you or I to make something delicious or buy something, Dierburgs probably has it. A wine expert with plenty of experience is better than anyone else. Larry Forgione is not only the father of an Iron Chef but also knows the St. Louis fine dining scene better than anyone else; he probably invented it. The Stuckmeyer's have produce that can be bought at many grocers in the St. Louis area and they do not use any GMO or anything engineered.  Catherine is in charge of FEAST magazine so we need her.  Chef Borchardt is the Director of L'Ecole and as it is the only cooking school in St. Louis now, then it would be a good idea to talk to him.  Kevin Willmann is the owner of Farmhaus which is an excellent farm to table restaurant for not a lot of dough.  As for Maddie, I have never been to Harvest, but think the idea of a green cafe and catering company is very nice.

So, besides my selection, how would I answer or look at some of the questions and topics they discussed?

Well, one thing discussed was how most of the customers who go to these restaurants are looking for that connection between the food and the location.  Most foodies in this area are localvores and like the idea of eating a piece of meat that was from an animal grazing in Southern Illinois or Western Missouri.  Even more so, I have made apple butter, wonderful, sweet, sugar free, apple butter, from apples at Eckert's farm.  I have also made wonderful corn relish from corn grown by the Stuckmeyer's farm, a mere 1/2 mile from where I live.  The idea of eating something local or just knowing where it came from is a big thing now and many more people are interested in this.  I remember a tasting I had at Noodles & Company at South County Mall where my family and I learned that they don't use any ingredients that they cannot find locally.  Essentially, they are a farm to table restaurant as well.

Gerard Craft said it best when he stated that "the need for a 3 pound steak is ridiculous", when talking about how people are wanting more and more food at restaurants.  That is exactly what Larry Forgione was complaining about with his restaurant.  He would serve a 12 ounce steak and people wanted more.  A 12 ounce steak is a perfectly good size for a great quality and well prepared piece of meat.  If you had anything more it would overdo it.

FEAST also pointed out a good point, most people watch TV and see all of this food and buy food but have no idea how to prepare the food.  I think this has to do with the "cooking" and "food" channels having more reality shows about who is the best of this, than a one on one show with a chef showing you how to cook something.  I don't mean to sound mean, but one of the best shows they had for a while was "How to Boil Water."  You had a chef teaching people how to pan cook chicken.  A lot of people don't know how to do this!  Also, for those that can cook chicken or boil water, Alton Brown's show "Good Eats" is a staple as unlike anyone else, I've ever seen on TV or elsewhere, instead of just showing you how to cook chicken in a pan, he tells you how it works, using science, puppets, and some acting.

Brian Pelletier pointed out that some people don't cook.  I recently took some sunchokes and threw them in a rice cooker with some chicken stock and quinoa and make a delicious meal.  I am one of 4 brothers in my family.  I know that for a fact, if you took away any cooking knowledge I had gained while doing my various degrees, I'd probably be on par with my older brother.  But my younger two, don't feel the need to cook food for themselves and seem to be content eating their cans of tuna, pound of fried bacon or Jack in the Box fried tacos, which tend to eat through the bags. I don't know how you would get people interested in cooking, besides doing home cooking parties or something like that.

Gerard also suggests that chefs are basically educators, teaching people about foods.  I think that is only 85% true.  I can tell you about some strawberry caviar which I have made.  I can tell you the process of what I did, just like most waiters do.  But, until I come to your table and show you what I am doing, you may not get it still.  I know of worldly and well known chefs who still don't get molecular gastronomy.  The thing is though, there is a secret in cooking.  The secret is the recipe.  Most chefs don't want to divulge anything about their dishes for fear that someone may take it and undercut them.  But, I would take that risk.  I would do a restaurant that while people could come in and try things on the menu, for an added price, I would take people to the kitchen and show them what the recipe is and how to prepare it.  I would not be afraid to teach people or even just a single customer, what I did and why it works.

Well, then they talk about taxes, license fees and costs that make opening restaurants in St. Louis a hurdle.

Finally, towards the middle of the article, we get to the heart of the problem at St. Louis: transportation. I think I have stressed or voiced concerns of this issue before and always see an issue.  St. Louis has a Metro Link and while it is a great idea, not having a cop on every tram is a bad idea.  They went from being nice and safe to being a spot where crooks and criminals could now access every neighborhood. They discussed how St. Louis doesn't take care of their tourist areas and doesn't have any tourist destinations.  I wrote about Union Station recently because the owners view it as a destination and the rest of St. Louis views it as a hole in the ground where nothing is anymore.  It is now a shopping mall with probably one less retailer than Crestwood Mall (which is a hard thing to accomplish).

Josh Ferguson said it best "there's all these restaurants promoting local Missouri stuff, but when you look at the wine list and no Missouri wines..." this is the core.  A few years back, my wife and I went to Hubert Keller's Sleek in the newly opened Lumiere.  While claiming that so much food was local, the most local ingredient came from Eureka.  The meat wasn't even from the Midwest.  When you go to the West coast or Las Vegas and they have Missouri beef on the menu at $30 for a 12 ounce steak and then you go to a local butcher and get the same cut for $8 or $9, it makes you wonder.  If our meat is so good that it is being served in other places, then why can't St. Louis restaurants use St. Louis or at least Missouri items?

Gerard also pointed out that some restaurants, like his while being in competition with other restaurants, are also friends with them.  This is something that I don't see much, even in St. Louis, but reminds me of Top Chef Masters.  On that Bravo Network show, chefs who are already famous, have nothing to lose as they compete for charity.  So, what you have is chefs not creating drama, fighting or even being mean to other chefs.  If during a competition a chef forgets an ingredient, he may ask the other chefs and someone may come up with extras for that chef to use.  No evil strategy, no game playing, just fun.  If a St. Louis chef also tells his clients that the bar down the street is a great place to go, of course he will gain business as well.  It is like the early days of the Internet with link trading.  It was also said that word of mouth is the real seller of a restaurant and as a blogger, I can relate to this.  I know that if I tell my friends about and write about a restaurant with a good review, people flock to that restaurant.  I know that I have personally brought in at least 4 adults to the Noodles & Company at the South County Mall, just based on what I wrote about when I won a tasting meal.  I may have brought in more, but no one told me.  People read my blog and it may not be for the reasons I intended but they do and they learn to trust me and what I say.  For this reason, people like me are important to the restaurants.  Basically, if I suggest that all 200+ fans of my site on Facebook, go to a restaurant, I'm pretty sure that a good amount will show up, just based on word of mouth.  Does that make me powerful?  Nah....  I think of it as still just a guy recommending things to his friends.

If you want to read more, please check out the article here at Feast:
http://www.feaststl.com/this-months-feast/feature-articles/article_5fe16f3e-30cb-11e1-9322-0019bb30f31a.html

A new year brings change.

A new year brings new change and with new change comes something fun and exciting for many of you, forced with new year resolutions of eating better and exercising.  This is the time of diets.  My wife had wanted to go on a diet and get back to her weight, before the kids, but has always had difficulty maintaining the lifestyle of a dieter while working 50 hours a week and being the mother of two kids.  As for me, I have always helped her or tried to help her as much as I could with her diet but was unable and unwilling to give up my somewhat-healthy lifestyle for hers.

I just figured that she was doing the diet so I could eat anything I wanted, like normal, and she would have to deal with it.  I have been blessed and cursed with lycanthropy......I mean a great metabolism.  It stems from my father's side of the family and is a mantle that is passed down through generations of hard working farmers.  My family line has a body structure that is tall, lean and long legged.  We are all built thin and ready to work from day one.  We also have a large appetite that is easily taken care of by an even faster metabolism.  I know that there were days at work, just a few months ago, where I would inhale a whole box of Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies.  I think each package of brownies has about 300 calories and with 6 or so in the box meant that I was taking in about 1,800 calories in one sitting.  While my metabolism did a great job working it down to nothing there is the matter of a small weight gain.

Think of it this way: the idea behind High Fructose Corn Syrup is that when you ingest it, your body doesn't recognize it as a 'sugar' so your body doesn't release insulin to combat it.  Your body doesn't release insulin, but your body doesn't know what to do with it and stores it as energy: fat.  So, you are left with a fat, that is stuck on your body, especially around your waist: your insulin meter.  I'm not really fat, but mostly out of shape and while my wife works and works to lose her weight, I merely just want to be able to stretch and be able to chase after the kids at the park for an hour and not be tired.

So, what does this mean?

It means that while doing my normal reviewing and writing of restaurants and products, I will be looking at things that are on the more-healthy side of the scale.  Instead of making huge 9,000 calorie chocolate cakes, I will be making very little calorie deserts.

If you are interested, keep reading for more.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Um......no comment

Okay, I fancy myself to be a pretty big fan of Guinness beer.  I had my first Guinness back in 2002, when I went over for an 11 day study-abroad program in Ireland.  It was towards the end of the trip that me and the other students as well as our teachers, sat down for a beer.  For some of the students, other beers were in their glass, but this was the home country of Guinness and I had to try it.  (Even if the alcohol content was almost twice that of the Guinness sold in America.)  I was hooked.  As a bread lover, I enjoy making my own bread and the smell of yeast so much.  The heavy hop smell, the malt and the yeast is what makes a Guinness smell so good and taste so good as well.  I stand beside my Guinness, even when others complain and liken it to used motor oil, I still compliment it and enjoy a pint whenever I can.

However, this was not what I had expected:

This is a Malta, an energy drink, made by Guinness.  According to Wikipedia:
"Malta Guinness, a non-alcoholic sweet drink, produced in Nigeria and exported to the UK, East Africa, and Malaysia".  While Wikipedia may or may not be a reputable source of information and facts, this is a fact about the drink.  Filled with "Goodness, Energy and Vitality". 


The first sip of this drink certainly woke me up, both physically and spiritually, this morning at work. It tasted awful. I'm sorry, but I am giving this drink a 1 out of 5 and maybe even a 0 our of 5. I felt sick after drinking it. Malta drinks, are meant to be unfermented beers that are served to children as soft drinks. I found this drink to be so tart that I couldn't drink it and found out only recently, that Latin American countries may sometimes mix their Malta with sweetened condensed milk. It is basically a strong stout beer that wasn't allowed to ferment, so the natural sugars were not given the chance to turn into alcohol and thus you still have a tart, stout flavor but without the alcohol. It tasted to me, as if someone took the mash that was left over after making a Guinness and them mixing that with ketchup. Yeah, it tastes like that.

While I can stand against the fact that that to me, this tastes horrible, I cannot stand against the fact that this drink is packed full of Vitamin B. So, sure, for that matter, it is healthy. Although, I think it would be torture to push this drink on my kids.