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Beyond the Bottle: alcohol laws


 

Prohibition led to the decimation of the beverage industry, but it also dealt considerable damage to the restaurant industry. With a lack of revenue from liquor sales, food establishments struggled to generate enough revenue to support the bottom line. Jobs were lost. Crime drastically increased and states lost a revenue source. While it was considered to be a “noble experiment” it became widely regarded as a failure.  A few years later, the 21st amendment repealed prohibition and allowed for the recovery of the food and beverage industry.

The 21st amendment can be broken up into three sections. The first section of the amendment repealed the 18th amendment-the prohibition amendment. Jumping ahead, the third section states that the amendment must be properly ratified to take effect. Finally, the second section was then interpreted to give all the power of alcohol control over to the states. This means that each state has the right to decide for themselves how to control alcohol. Some states gave the power to decide to individual parishes, counties, and even towns. If a town or county decided to not allow the selling of alcohol, they are commonly referred to as “dry”. To this day there are over 200 counties that prohibit the selling of any type alcohol. This does not include the number of counties that have some sort of restriction on selling alcohol in some form or the numerous amount of dry towns.

With the continuation of dry areas, it hampers the opening of new business and innovation. It also brings barriers to existing companies. For example, in the town of Lynchburg, Tennessee it is illegal to purchase alcohol of any kind. This is particularly notable due to the fact that it is the town that Jack Daniels is produced. While visitors may purchase a commemorative bottle at the souvenir shop they cannot purchase Jack Daniels anywhere else in the county. This prevents local businesses from tapping into the tourist interests and serving mixed drinks featuring whisky.

However it is not just dry counties that can interfere with business. Oklahoma recently changed a law that stated that local breweries could not sell high point beer, any beer that’s not 3.2, on premise to customers. Before the law changed, local breweries had to deny customer requests to buy their product on premise. The breweries were also more pressed to make low point beer to improve their bottom line instead of creating micro brews of their choice. It also forced breweries to only sell samples of their high point brews on premise. However in August of last year, senate bill 424 allowed for breweries to sell full strength beer on premise. This helps breweries to be able to cater to their guests as well as increase profitability.

As in Oklahoma, alcohol laws around the nation are beginning to change and open up. While the change is headed to open up the laws and allow for a more progressive view on alcohol, it’s important to inform local lawmakers on the implications of their decisions. While alcohol is an integral part of the restaurant industry, it is also a controversial substance. This means that many groups will lobby for stronger alcohol control laws. In order to protect the best interests of the restaurant industry, restaurateurs and chefs need to be active participants in their local government. This way, the restaurant industry can continue to rely beverage sales as a substantial form of revenue.

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Spent Grains

 

 

 

BY: Joe Piccirillo, BPS Applied Food Studies

After a long day of cooking, sitting in class, memorizing recipes, or studying, many students seek repose in The Egg. Some may want to enjoy a cold beer and unwind. In Brooklyn Brewery’s state-of-the-art brewing facilities and classroom, Head Brewer Hutch Kugeman educates students in the art, science, and history of one of the world’s most ancient beverages. Beer has four key ingredients grains (malt), water, hops, and yeast. Together these components give the beverage its iconic flavor, aroma, and pleasant effervescence many people have grown to love. The grains stand out in the brewing procedure. Grains allow the wort (unfermented beer) to begin the fermentation process by providing necessary sugars to feed the yeast and determine the final flavor of the finished product. After mashing is complete, the remaining grains are strained out of the wort and are often thrown out. This generation of large amounts of spent grains as byproduct has become a major disposal problem in the brewing industry. Fortunately, as sustainability movements grow in popularity, brewers have grown more resourceful. Some have reached out to local farmers in their area who can use spent grains as cattle feed. Beyond animal feed, brewer’s waste makes an excellent nitrogen-rich component in any sort of composting system.

Spent grains are a treasure in their own right. They are rich in nutrients such as protein and fiber, and acquire a distinct sweet and nutty flavor from the brewing process. Because of this, chefs and home cooks alike are adapting to the culinary uses of spent grains. Here are the CIA, Chef George Shannon, the chef instructor of the breakfast class at The Egg, has done extensive research in the utilization of these grains. Chef Shannon has been working with Hutch at the school’s brewery and is trying to utilize as much of the grains as possible.

Once Chef receives the grains, he begins to process them into flour. First, the grains are all laid on sheet trays, about ½ inch layer per tray. Then they go into an oven, set at the temperature 225F. Over the course of a few hours, the low heat will dry all the moisture out as well as deepening the flavor of the finished product. During this process, it is imperative that the grains are rotated on to new sheet trays, about every 30 minutes. This ensures even drying and safeguards the grains from sticking to the tray as moisture is released. After drying is complete, the grains are stone ground into flour in a grinder. The coarseness of the flour varies from coarse to fine, depending on the final usage. Now that flour is now ready to use and appears in many of Chef Shannon’s breakfast dishes. From waffles to muffins, spent grains are fortifying these dishes with nutrients, and most importantly, flavor. Chef Shannon is continuing to find new and innovative ways to provide these grains with an afterlife.

Although Chef Shannon is doing good things with our brewery’s spent grains, we are still disposing, on average, about 500-600 pounds a week. Hutch is willing to give grains to students.  Now that you are aware of the benefits and many uses of spent grains, stop on by the brewing facility a grab a few pounds of grains, and discover your own new way to repurpose them.

 

 

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Aphrodisiacs

BY: Francesca Zani, AOS Culinary

Most of us are like -minded when it comes to the topic of aphrodisiacs, especially with Valentine’s Day. Many of us can’t help but snicker at the thought of their purpose. Aphrodisiacs can be anything from fruits and spices, or liquors that evoke sensual feelings presenting a fun diversion for adult couples. There are many interesting assertions surrounding this topic including the nutritious benefits aphrodisiacs offer and their potentially controversial side stories.

It is a common theory that if a food looks like a body part or an organ, then it must be beneficial to that body part.  The Culinary Institute of America’s Chef and culinary science professor Jonathan Zearfoss has studied aphrodisiacs, and in his work mentioned a theory called the Doctrine of Signatures. This theory contends that if the plant or herb resembles human body parts or organs, then it will positively help that particular body part or organ.  CIA Chef William Philips notes how avocados look like the cervix of a female and therefore assist in the menstrual cycle along with the antioxidant Vitamin E. Upon further research, the idea of avocados improving reproductive health dates back to the time of the ancient Aztecs.   

As for males, oysters are alleged to be of assistance in reproductive organs. Chef Phillips also mentioned zinc and oysters being good for men’s sexual health. Zinc was used as a supplement for male testosterone levels. Chef Zearfoss stated  that because oysters are usually eaten alive, the idea of “taking on a life force” may be a factor in why live oysters are seen as something more than just food. Saffron, the vibrant orange culinary delicacy, is also essential for libido levels or sex drive. You can steep it in tea , or do as Queen Cleopatra did, which was to bathe in it.

There are also potentially harmful foods consumed for the perks that aphrodisiacs offer. Many of us in the culinary industry have heard about Fugu, the tetrodotoxin poison containing blowfish of Japan. This malignant fish is considered an aphrodisiac because of the mouth numbing sensation it gives diners. Yarsagumba, which can be found in Nepal, is a fungus that grows on caterpillars and is known for its amorous effects. Studies in Chinese medicine tell us that the fungus is boiled and consumed in forms of hot tea or soup.

There is controversy on the subject of aphrodisiacs, however. Chocolate is probably one of the best regarded to eat on any given day. Valentine’s Day is this month. It is interesting to bring about a controversial perspective some have on the topic. On the contrary of aphrodisiac history with chocolate, the 2006 New York Times article “The Claim: Chocolate is an Aphrodisiac”, written by Anahad O’Connor, found  this to be a false assertion. Although chocolate contains tryptophan which induces serotonin and phenylethylamine – a chemical released when you’re in love – there is not nearly enough of either of these chemicals in chocolate for it to have an effect on the body. This idea relates to other items people consume like spices and herbs. Although many herbs and spices offer health benefits, they must be consumed in large amounts for them to have an effect on the body. Don’t let this research put a damper on your fun, but it’s good food for thought next time you consider eating colossal amounts of chocolate while watching romantic 1980’s movies.