Hawaiian coconut. Locally sourced and lightly processed.
There really is no other way to explain it. We were caught in a web of dark magic. Portland voodoo had us under its spell and it started in the strangest of all ways, with bacon.
I’m normally an adventurous eater because you never really know. Those beaver testicles might just be the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. The way I figure it, food is so awesome that the occasional disappointment is well worth the potential upside reward. So why not go for it?
Doughnuts, on the other hand, will always rank a timid one or two out of ten on any objective scale in the adventurous food category. But who is objective when it comes to doughnuts? When you’re jonesing for a sugary fix, taking a chance on an unusual concoction feels like bungee jumping over the piranha infested Amazon. And we were jonesing. Big time.
“The S’more Stout is an absolute all-star: Aromas of chocolate, coffee, fig, and smoke invite you in to a gigantic maltiness that is distinct in its smooth and refined character, with flavors of chocolate and hints of smoke mingling with rich caramel, fruit, and warming alcohol. Top with a roasted marshmallow and you have the ultimate S’more experience!”
Who could resist that decadent description? Of all the options in craft beer mecca Portland, Base Camp Brewing won us over with those two sentences. Mostly, we wanted the roasted marshmallow – not to mention a beer that could handle one.
It takes a stone arrogant bastard of a brewery to, just 15 months after tapping its first keg, release a new beer and brand it Arrogant Bastard Ale. Even more so to market it with copy like this:
This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. . . If you don’t like it, keep it to yourself – we don’t want to hear from any sniveling yellow-swill-drinking wimps ‘cause Arrogant Bastard wasn’t made for you.”
Slightly over a decade later, those arrogant bastards of Stone Brewing were named “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by Beer Advocate Magazine. Shortly thereafter founder Greg Koch received knighthood from the Belgian Brewers Federation. Arrogance, for sure, but apparently also with the sack (or should we now say squirely sword) to back it up.
One thing I never noticed about cows is how absolutely adorable they are. And thinking that, I couldn’t help thinking about something else. About how arbitrarily we categorize things. And also about the consequences of those categorizations. Dogs are pets, for example, while cows are food.
Those differences are cultural, of course, which is just another way of saying that they’re what our parents and neighbors believed. And they believed what they did for no other reason than their parents and neighbors before them believed those same things. If we had been born in India, where cows are often revered, we’d see things entirely differently.
If that is true then it is also true that our strongly held feelings regarding meat (among other things) are really based on nothing more than random chance. There is no law of nature dictating that we react with horror at the thought of eating Fido but be completely indifferent to the sight of Bessie on our plate. It’s simply what we’re used to. A more rational approach to our foods would have us either recoiling at eating all dead animals or at none of them.