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Ask the Profussor – Life & Cocktails

December 11, 2009

The last Ask the Profussor was only at the beginning of the month, but I have been particularly bad since then about keeping up with questions.  Plus there were two excellent questions on Wednesday that I wanted to give thoughtful answers to as quickly as possible.

Despite the short time, a lot has happened since the last installment.  The FUSSYlittleBLOG seems to be getting a bunch of comments from new commenters recently.  I can’t tell if these are longtime readers who are finally getting comfortable enough to post, or new readers who are happy to jump right in.  Either way, I am thrilled you all are here, and decided to share with the group.

Also, it did not go by unnoticed that a regular commenter Jennifer started tagging her comments with a link to her new blog.  Congratulations.  As of today, you can find a convenient link to her site Sweetly Tart in the blogroll.

Now without further ado, on to the questions.

First we’ll knock out the short ones from Otis:

Fresh works just fine for me as a descriptor of something that has been prepared, picked or processed recently (depending on the food) as opposed to a known opposite state of the same item. I think this fits all of your examples above except for maybe the fresh/rotten meat, and who wants to eat that?

First, let me suggest that fish and corn might be two examples of foodstuffs that throw a wrench into this counterargument.  Both are often frozen to preserve their fresh taste, since they both are good for such a short window of time.  Yet, as a fresh-tasting frozen food, they are no longer truly fresh.  You can see this in sushi bars if you look into the fish locker, and look at the telltale blood lines in the “fresh” fish.

As far as who wants to eat rotten meat?  Native Icelanders.  It’s a delicacy.

Otis also asked:

How about a discussion of “sport peppers”? I did a web search just now for this delightful term and discovered all the authorities seem to be contributors to this blog!

Really?  Do tell.  I wasn’t able to recreate your search results.  But if all the authorities are my contributors, shouldn’t the discussion be on their blogs?

On the flip side, C had a long question, and here it is in its entirety:

I had a random question about what is considered vegetarian and one food item: eggs. I am not a vegetarian so i was confused after watching the Top Chef where they had to make a vegetarian dish, Michael served a whole poached egg in his vegetarian dish. To me an egg straight up can not be considered vegetarian, its still an animal albeit in its simplest form.

He served vegetarians a dead chicken zygote/fetus as the center piece of his dish and that’s considered vegetarian!? There was no mention of it on the show, maybe they had rules that said eggs were allowed in the vegetarian dishes but it didn’t sit well with me that he used it like that. It seemed so in your face to vegetarians that there was a dead animal in the middle of their dish.

I guess thats were all the different forms of vegetarianisms comes into play, but do vegetarians generally see eggs as not an animal since it never was a living breathing entity?

From your description Michael did not serve vegetarians a dead chicken fetus.  They do eat poultry fetus in Southeast Asia.  And let me tell you, it looks a whole lot different than a poached egg.

Poultry fetus would not be vegetarian.  Regular unfertilized eggs however generally are.

Many people who claim to be vegetarian will confess to eating fish occasionally.  Others may even eat chicken!  These are not vegetarians, regardless of their personal identification or preferred affiliation.  But most Americans who are truly vegetarian are lacto-ovo vegetarian, which means they eat eggs and milk products.

Some may draw the line at fertilized eggs.  These are the zygote of which you speak.

But an unfertilized egg is not a zygote, it’s a gamete, specifically it is an ovum.  Until it is fertizlized it is missing half of the genetic coding needed to turn the egg into a chicken.  Without fertilization that egg will just stay an egg.

So even if you believe that life begins at conception, an unfertilized egg is still not alive.  Now go tell all your friends.

Mike W. asked something that has been asked of me before, so I might as well answer.

I’ve been waiting months for Harvest Spirits to release their Applejack. Driving up on a snowy Saturday was well worth it considering the quality of the product. While the spirit is excellent to sip on, I was curious if you had any suggestions or ideas for its use in a cocktail?

I wrote about the Jack Rose cocktail, and that seems to me the most obvious place to start.  However, if you are not prepared to make your own grenadine, I would skip the drink entirely.

In my possession is a cocktail book with recipes that date back to the 1930s.  It has several applejack recipes, but after looking through them, I suspect many would fail to appeal to a modern palate.

Generally my tastes are inclined towards the classic and simple, done well.  That said, there are three cocktail ideas that jump out at me right away.  They are based on a few things, the spirit’s apple base, its aging in bourbon barrels, and the distillery’s New York location.

Note I prefer drinks on the drier side.  You may prefer these a bit sweeter.  None of these are tested.  Rather they are ideas intended for use as a launching point.  And the names are clearly works in progress.

Lady Liberty (based on the build of a sour)
2 oz of Cornelius Applejack
½ oz of Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur
½ oz of lemon juice, squeezed from an actual lemon directly into the mixing glass
1 dash of Fee’s Orange Bitters

Pour over an avalanche of ice and good will, and shake vigorously.
Strain and hold up high.

Glazed Apple Cocktail (based loosely on a Rusty Nail)
2 oz of Cornelius Applejack
½ oz of Drambuie (adds honey and spice to a whiskey base)
1 dash of Angostura bitters

I think I might like it neat, but other might prefer it stirred gently over ice and strained.

Upstate Cocktail (a modification of the Manhattan – a bit lighter on vermouth)
2 oz of Cornelius Applejack
¾ oz of Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
1 dash of Angostura bitters
1 dash of Fee’s Orange Bitters

Stir gently over ice and strain into a bucket glass.

See, that answer alone was like a post in itself.

Finally Albany Jane let me know,

The mister just got a new single malt whisky to try. I found it a little sharp, upon hearing which, he declared “Have you read fussy little blog today?! GO READ IT RIGHT NOW!” I have to say, I’ll probably give it another taste now.

And that totally made my day.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2009 10:18 am

    I think Michael is confused between vegetarians and vegans. Vegans eat absolutely no animal products, including eggs and even honey. Vegans are also crazy and lack lust for life, but I digress. (Kidding…sort of)
    Vegetarianism is a broader category and includes people that eat eggs and some “vegetarians” eat fish. Although that just seems like taking too many liberties with the term vegetarian.

    And thank you for the mention. Much appreciated. There’s not much content yet but I am working on it.

  2. December 11, 2009 10:19 am

    Oops, I meant C, not Michael. Michael was the chef. Knew that.

  3. December 12, 2009 7:21 am

    Not so fast, Profusser. I include freezing under the definition of processing… which is why a frozen niblet is better than a moldy ear you find in your cellar, unless you’re making a huitlacoche omelette.

    Otherwise, you are welcome to knock back a short one with me anytime!

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