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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ah, Beer

A refreshing amber liquid with a variation of tastes as diverse as our borderless Earth. Evidence exists that proves Ale, or Beer, is one of the oldest beverages that humans produced dating back to the 5th millennium BC. The Mesopotamians appear to have had the lead in the production and discovery of ale's refreshing taste dating back as far as 7000 years. Then the majority of brewers were women, and female goddesses such as Ninkasi watched over the production of beer and Siduri over the enjoyment of beer.

Like most good ideas it could not be kept a secret for too long. Egyptian Pharaohs decided that beer was good as part of a daily diet, and the Greeks called it zythos providing the first hint of a concept of moderation by writer Sophocles, 450 BCE.

By the Middle Ages beer had crossed over to Europe and has never seen a slowing down. Statistics from 2006 show that more than 133 billion litres (35 billion gallons) were sold for the year producing global revenues of over $294.5 billion.

...he ate until he was full, drank seven pitchers of beer,
his heart grew light, his face glowed and he sang out with joy.”
(from the Epic of Gilgamesh, 18th Century BC)

Pollo a la Cerveza
Chicken in Beer

350 ml (12 fl oz) beer
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 onions diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 1/2 lb chicken, cut into pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 green pepper diced
400 g (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 onion extra, diced
1 garlic clove extra, crushed

Combine the beer, mustard, paprika, half the onion and garlic,
plus large pinch of salt in large bowl.
Add chicken toss well to cover. Cover and marinate overnight if possible.
In a pan brown to soft stage remaining onion, garlic and green pepper.
Remove to large casserole dish.
Brown chicken pieces with a little olive oil, remove to casserole dish.
Stir in marinade, tomatoes and season well.
Bake 45-60 minutes at 180°C (350°F) till chicken is tender.

Serve over saffron-infused rice.
You can use American saffron which is more readily available though slightly less fragrant.

(Serves 4 to 6)

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