Mud Bug Chug

“Did you suck the head?  Did you get any juice when you sucked it?” –Most common question of the day and a great all-around, out of context quote.  Gigitty.

What is a mud bug chug? A crawfish boil.

I’ve got a buddy named Doug. Doug (who is on loan from Louisiana) just threw his 2nd Annual San Diego Mud Bug Chug. The big difference in a classic boil and this party is that Sir Doug is a home brewer of totally scrumptious and original beer. Yes, I realize beer and crawfish together is nothing new. However, I do question how many crawfish boils would not only have this type of beer, but whether there would be enough people at the party to fully appreciate it. As hop heavy beers gain in popularity, it still isn’t the standard for American beer drinkers…unless you live here :-)With San Diego’s growth in the craft beer world, the city has not only made a name for itself that is synonymous with quality, craftsmanship and originality, but it’s also known for it’s distinct style of hop heavy profiles; and in many circles, double IPA’s are referenced as “San Diego style Pale Ale”. This movement has made even casual San Diego beer enthusiasts familiar with quality, bitter, full flavored brews. I say this because (and correct me if I’m wrong), I question how many people have had the opportunity Doug gives us. The experience of a crawfish boil with 3 outstanding home brews (out of a tap), all of which gave their own story to the day. So…thanks Doug.He brewed his flagship IPA coined, Matrimony Ale, which (me thinks), was made the first time as a wedding beer for a mutual friend. Matrimony Ale is classic, balanced, refreshing, and smooth; and whenever it’s around, is my favorite of the day. The other two beers of the day were a spiced ale and a smoked lager. The spiced ale was spiked with Kochu, a distinct Korean chile pepper that gave a perfect amount of heat on the back end; and when I say back end, I mean on the finish, lulz. The other brew was a smoked lager that tasted exactly like it was intended to taste. Nice and smooth with a bite of smoke that begged for a bug.

That begging is what blew me away. The perfect food pairing of the crawfish with the spiced ale or the smoked lager, both on their own or even together. Yes together…if you’ve never combined quality beers before I highly recommend it. If someone scoffs at the idea just let it go. Later on in the party their curiosity will get the better of them, and they will be forced to apologize and give you props. ***Disclaimer–This only works with tapped, high quality beer and a little forethought toward the end product. Meaning…no suicides.Crawfish are boiled in a powerful chile and spice broth that can go with any beer really. But these two beers, whether separate or combined, connected the dots to a perfect food and beverage pairing. To the uninitiated, a food and alcohol pairing is successful when both food and drink are elevated as the flavors intermingle. This unlocks hidden flavors or pulls known flavors to the forefront.It was a gorgeous San Diego day with lots of friendly, happy people gettin’ down and dirty on a table full of authentic cultural cuisine. I relish communal eating experiences and I get fired up even more when I know someone took the time to prepare something artisanal; something that can’t be re-created by myself, or procured anywhere else. It lets your guests know that you care about quality and their happiness.Here’s some pics until next year, woot woot!

Chuckle heads prepping
The Business

The Spices

The Boilz

You want me to do what now?
It looks like he’s singing patience. But I don’t know, this was after the beer was gone.
Ohm nom nom

Nutritious Little Yums

Superfoods! 
Lol. This word has been overused but I still like it.
Cape Gooseberries
I consider a superfood to be something you can live off of. Something that is so nutritionally dense with antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients and a measurable amount of complete protein, that it becomes a staple food for the inhabitants of whatever region it grows in. You don’t need a “Superfood” to get antioxidants, but antioxidant density is usually the focal point for bringing some of these foods to market. It’s what makes them super!
Some of the known and popular foods that fall under this category are goji’s, acai, kiwi, quinoa and cape gooseberries. Wait a minute; cape what? Fresh cape gooseberries have finally become available at Whole Foods over the past few years. They’ve been sold there and at other health stores for years, but typically dried, as Incan Berries…which are seriously great. Totally mellow yet complex sweetness kinda like raisin and pineapple. The fresh ones taste like kiwi. Cape Gooseberries are a member of the nightshade family and closely resemble tomatillos; other then their yellow color and diminutive size. They’re a little pricey but not because they’re hard to grow, there just isn’t enough market demand for them yet…yet :-) I just rinse ’em and eat ’em, but you can always throw them in a salad or slice in half and place on some goat cheese that’s spread over a crostini.   Btw, you need to rinse off their sticky bitter film just like you would with a tomatillo.

 

So, if your looking for something new in your diet, aaaaand feel like fixing a bunch of your free radicals, try these tasty little berries.

What is a Free Radical? Free radicals are atoms (usually an oxygen atom) floating around the body that have lost an electron through oxidation. These unstable atoms float through your body looking for another atom that has an outer shell that isn’t complete. The free radical then attaches to those atoms or molecules where it doesn’t belong; and when enough of them build up, you’ve started a tumor. Some free radicals don’t cause tumors, however; they will attack healthy cells and cause other ailments. Fighting free radicals is an easy answer—antioxidants.An unstable atom, by its very nature, wants to become stable. It will seek another atom to attach to so that the outer layer of electrons is complete. Luckily, antioxidants carry around an extra electron that the free radical can *weaz off of. Antioxidants will actually seek out a place to “lose” that extra electron; which is just really nice of them…very generous. We should have them over for dinner.

 

*Weasle