İşkembe Çorbası - A Turkish hangover cure

işkembe çorbası

There is a myriad of old wives’ tales describing ways of curing hangovers. But one popular cure in Turkey is işkembe çorbası, translated as literally “tripe soup”. Naturally, this isn’t vegetarian​ or vegan but it’s not reserved for the morning after a boozy night either.

İşkembe Çorbası Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. veal tripe (about 230g)
  • 4-5 cups water (about 1 litre)
  • Salt
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 3 tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup milk (about 60ml)

For finishing

  • Butter
  • Red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Vinegar

Instructions

  1. Cook the tripe in water and salt for about 1½ – 2 hours or until tender. You can use a pressure cooker to cook it faster. Remove the foam from the surface. Take the cooked tripe out of the water and cut it into bite-size chunks. Keep the water for later.
  2. Melt butter, add flour, stir, and add about 2 cups of the water, stirring constantly. Blend until smooth; then add the tripe. Cook 15-20 minutes over medium-low heat. 
  3. Slowly pour the egg yolk and milk into the pot and stir very slowly. Cook for 3-4 more minutes over medium heat. If it’s too thick, add some more boiled water. Pour the soup into bowls. 
  4. Add mixture of melted butter and red pepper to the soup. Finally, add the garlic and vinegar in a small bowl, pouring 1 tbs. into the soup.

(via Gastro Obscura, and drink responsibly.)

Go Dutch with tulip vodka

Tulips, the main ingredient in tulip vodka

Other than windmills, clogs, canals, and Johan Cruijff, tulips are a quintessential part of Dutch culture. And thanks to the versatility of vodka, there’s a new brand made of the national flower.

The origins of tulip vodka

Most vodka is made from grain or potatoes but tulip vodka is created using the bulb. Flemish botanist Carolus Clusius grew the flowers in his university garden when it was brought over in the 16th century and a distillery bearing his name make the drink with fermented tulip bulbs.

Two types of tulip tipple

Two types are made:

  • Dutch Tulip Vodka Pure – comprised of water and 350 fermented tulip bulbs
  • Dutch Premium Blend – blended with grain spirits and uses only 40 bulbs

However, as only a few retailers stock the vodka in the Netherlands, prices aren’t cheap. The “Pure” blend costs €295 but the “Premium” blend is more reasonable at €48.

Did you know: The clusia plant, native to tropical America, is named after Carolus Clusius.

Alcohol for the palate and the hands

Like many distillers, the makers of Clusius Tulip Vodka are giving away free bottles of Clusius hand sanitizer with every bottle of their vodka. If you’re curious as to why, here’s the reason behind it:

To survive the crisis, Clusius Craft Distillers switched to the production of hand sanitizer alcohol. Normally the distillery makes vodka from tulip bulbs. The tulip vodka is mostly served in cocktail bars and sold at Schiphol airport. At the moment these parties have been shut down and sales numbers have fallen for Clusius. The (online) liquor stores are still open but are also facing a hard time.

My All-Time Favourite Chili Pepper Challenge by AyyOnline

AyyOnline's Chili Pepper Challenge.

The other is the one with the two white girls which I’ll post tomorrow, but back to my all-time fave. AyyOnline was a popular black British Youtuber until he left (and recently came back) and during the chili pepper challenge’s heyday, Ayy joined in. The hottest pepper at the time was the Naga Viper pepper or “Ghost pepper” as it was also known. It was the “World’s Hottest Chili” in 2011 with a rating of 1,382,118 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Pepper X is the unofficial champion now (used in the Hot Ones’ sauce) but the Naga Viper was the king for quite some time.

The featured image for this post is the precise moment before he took the “deadly” bite; the record scratch “you’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation” moment. What follows is hilarious. Cue removal of clothing, ice, yoghurt, and some vomiting. The initial reaction was classic. The instant realisation that you’ve made a bad decision and there’s no way out. Well, not a comfortable one anyway. But like he said, he did it for laughs and he got plenty from me over the years. I’m glad he didn’t live up to the ghost pepper’s name and came back.

Fun facts about chili peppers (courtesy of Wikipedia):

  • Chilis were part of the Aztecs’ staple diet and originated in Mexico.
  • The substance that gives chilis their intense heat is called capsaicin.
  • 32.3 million tonnes of green chili peppers and 3.8 million tonnes of dried chili peppers were produced in 2014 worldwide.
  • China is the world’s largest producer of green chillies, providing 50% of the global total.

Pule cheese: the world's most expensive cheese made from donkey milk

Pule cheese from Serbia

Balkan donkeys might as well be golden geese for what they produce. Pule cheese is hard to buy and therefore very expensive (you can try the Zasavica natural reserve in Serbia if you’re really desperate).

What is pule cheese?

Pule cheese (or magareći sir in Serbian) is a type of cheese made from made from 60% donkey milk and 40% goat’s milk.

How much does pule cost?

According to cheese.com, a pound of pule costs approximately $576 a pound (about £426). But why is it so expensive? Scarcity. Donkey milk is very rare and difficult to produce so not something you’d waste on a cup of tea.

Why is it so rare?

A female donkey (known as a ‘jenny’) only makes around 3 pints of milk a day, which is about 25-30 times less than a cow. There are also fewer solids in donkey milk compared to cow’s milk so more is needed to make the same amount of hard cheese. Then you have to factor in labour costs as machines aren’t cost-effective for such a small enterprise. It’s just 100 endangered Balkan donkeys and a few milkers. You also have to order the cheese in advance before it’s made to reduce waste which makes sense.

What does pule taste like?

You may be wondering what you’re getting for cheese worth so much. Well, don’t expect culinary nirvana (unless you like manchego). The cheese is white and crumbly and packs a strong flavour similar to the La Mancha cheese. It’s nutritional value also shares similarities with another type of milk billions of babies enjoy every day: human breast milk. Amongst the vast array of milk brands on offer for babies, donkey milk is the most unique for sure.

Where can you buy it?

The good news is pule cheese is exported to the UK, Germany and the rest of the world are expected soon but you may have heard in the news a few years ago that Serbia’s own Novak Djokovic bought the world’s entire supply in 2012. I wonder if he had to ‘pule’ some strings to arrange that. *ahem* Sorry, that was too cheesy, even for me.

Pule cheese in numbers

60 – The percentage of donkey milk that goes into making pule cheese (the other 40% comes from goat’s milk)

576 – The cost in USD for a pound of pule

3 – The pints of milk a jenny can make in a day

100 – The number of Balkan donkeys left on the planet

2012 – The year Novak Djokovic bought the world’s entire supply (which has since been replenished)

The World's Priciest Cheese Is Made from Donkey Milk

Update: apparently, there’s a song called Pule Cheese. Do what you will with that information.

Gefilte fish!

gefilte-fish-rush-hour

Rush Hour was a great movie when it came out in 1998. Like many comedy films, it comes with some great bloopers and this particular one has stuck with me the longest. But what the hell is gefilte fish? I was never inclined to look it up. Until yesterday.

Gefilte fish is a seafood dish is made from poached ground fish, usually carp, whitefish, or pike. Until the 19th-century, gefilte fish was stuffed in the skin of the fish but nowadays you’ll find it made into quenelles or fish balls. It’s a popular Jewish holiday meal, given its origins, but the dish can be found around the world. Including planes as part of kosher meals no doubt. And Chris Tucker just couldn’t get his tongue around it. And I don’t blame him.

Gefilte FIsh Blooper

One Chip Challenge (special guest star: the Carolina Reaper)

One Chip Challenge (special guest star: the Carolina Reaper)

There’s only one thing better than a spicy food challenge: watching people’s reactions after they eat it. My all-time favourite remains AyyOnline when he ate the “ghost pepper”, followed by the two white girls who nearly died doing the same thing. But SungWon Cho – known online as ProZD – took the one chip challenge without any of the drama. And his wife, Anne Marie, joined him.

“The problem with it is it tastes real bad.”

Stream it below to see just how bad it tasted.

ONE CHIP CHALLENGE (ft. the Carolina Reaper Hot Pepper)

999: What's Your Pizza Emergency?

Pizza Is Not A Crime by Chris Piascik

It’s happened to me before but I’ve refrained from calling the cops on them vendors. This person couldn’t contain his anger. Gloucestershire Constabulary received a call from a person complaining about their incorrect order, much to the police’s chagrin. Officers took to Facebook to issue a warning to would-be pizza complainants:

“If your pizza topping is not correct, please do not ring the police on 999 to report it […] 999 is for emergency calls.”

Naturally, Facebook users ensued with their own clever quips. We still think Donald Trump eating pizza crust first is a bigger crime to cuisine (and his snivelling existence a crime against humanity.)

(via Metro; image by Chris Piascik)

Gabrielle Union eats hot wings, discusses Twitter fools & DMX

Gabrielle Union Impersonates DMX While Eating Spicy Wings | Hot Ones

Gabrielle Union is a treasure. When she’s not being a brilliant actress, absolute beauty, or a best-selling author, she enjoys a wing or two. First We Feast’s Hot Ones series has guests talk about their lives while eating the spiciest wings available. During Gabrielle’s wing stop, she discussed her husband Dwyane Wade’s friendship with LeBron James, the time she took Michael Jordan to a lesbian white party (that one passed me by) and when she drank beer and watched Golden Girls with DMX. Yep, that last one happened too. And she also drooled and snotted because the Scoville scale was too damn high.

Have a glass of milk nearby.

Hot Ones related: Chris Punsalan and fam did the Hot Ones Challenge

The Star Wars Glass Stormtrooper Decanter

Star Wars Glass Stormtrooper Decanter

Perfect for whiskeys, cognacs, and wines, this Star Wars Glass Stormtrooper Decanter can hold up to 750ml of your finest alcohol. Picture this: you get home from a trying day on the new Death Star. All you want to do is hang up your lightsaber, unwind to an acoustic cover of the Imperial March in front of a fire. But you want something to drink. Then you remember you have a Star Wars Stormtrooper decanter filled with Corellian wine.

I’m mixing fantasy with reality here but the fact is a stylish, high-quality Star Wars decanter is the perfect gift for any Stormtrooper enthusiasts. Whether you’re on the side of the Galactic Empire or Rebel Alliance.

And don’t forget to drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive.

Star Wars Glass Stormtrooper Decanter on Amazon

A Brilliant Banana Bread Bottom Cheesecake

Banana Bread Bottom Cheesecake

My mum used to make banana cakes every now and again and it was delicious. Banana bread is equally as wonderful a creation. So is cheesecake. But what if you put them all together to create a banana bread bottom cheesecake?

That’s what Tasty did. BuzzFeed’s culinary video series are always making unique dishes and this is a great addition to their repertoire. Their recipe only needs four bananas (and all the other stuff of course).

Bad news it also uses gelatin for the cream cheese which is obviously a no-go for vegetarians and vegans (and to be honest, the whole thing is off-limits to vegans) so you might need an alternative solution for that.

Otherwise, this is a fine-looking banana bread cheesecake and I hope to make this one day.

Stream the “how it was made” video below and read the banana bread bottom cheesecake recipe on the Tasty website.

(Full recipe: https://bzfd.it/2npg3eS)

Trump Has Always Been Trash, But Here's A Pizza-Related Example From 1995

1995 Donald Trump Pizza Hut Commercial

Stuffed crust aside, NO ONE should be eating pizza crust first, let alone being a white supremacist president like Trump. The storyboards from this Pizza Hut commercial featuring Donald and Ivanka Trump were on sale for $15,000, if you’re weird and love that sort of crap.

I also want to point out I’m not ignoring all the evil, disgusting things he’s done in contrast to his pizza eating habits. All I’m saying is this is a sign of an evil man and we were warned at least 24 years ago. Make of that what you will.

Teen Gets Yale Acceptance Letter and Free Pizza

It’s one thing to get accepted to Yale but another to have sent your personal essay with an ode to Papa John’s. That’s precisely what Tennessee teen Carolina Williams did and the move prompted the admissions officer to order pizza after reading.

Carolina rejected Yale for Auburn in the end but that story doesn’t end there. Papa John’s caught wind of her pizza prose and sent her a bunch of free stuff!

(via Eater.com)

Jonpaul Douglass - Pizza In The Wild

LA photographer Jonpaul Douglass has worked with the likes of Google, Facebook, and Apple but for this project, entitled Pizza In The Wild, he used the popular dish as the focal point.

As the title suggests, Douglass photographed pepperoni pizzas in different places involving road signs, shire ponies, tanks and his pug. There’s certainly something enchanting about them, especially the pug shots.

Pizza in the Wild is a personal project I started when I first moved to Los Angeles in 2013. It was essentially a product of having the free time to create something purely for fun. I had about 15-20 pizza images up on my Instagram account when it started to get featured all over.. thus kickstarting my creative life in LA. Thank you pizza. 

Jonpaul Douglass’

The idea of uneaten pizza is usually a bad sign in my book but I don’t mind it in this case (and sometimes it’s comical, like in that episode of Breaking Bad.) The inclusion of Jonpaul’s pug is also a cute touch and I’m a sucker for a pug. But who isn’t?

Head over to Jonpaul Douglass’ Pizza In The Wild series on his website.