Moonshine, What’s The Big Deal?

24 03 2010

While home-brewing beer and making your own wine is perfectly legal – cooking up your own batch of “artsanal liquor” is definitely not.  But why?  Is the government bitter over the number of tax dollars that they lose by allowing home-distilling?  Or is it simply because the levels of toxicity in a shoddily brewed batch of moonshine is rumored to cause blindness?  And why are so many people sneaking their own stills these days?

Check out these nifty articles for a little backstory and the current 411 on the hippest reinvented (secret) profession.

Or head to New Zealand to brew your very own moonshine!

“Why Is Moonshine Against The Law?” (Slate, Oct 2007)

“White-Collar Moonshine: The Urban Gourment Gets Into Home Distilling” (Chow, March 2007)

And most recently…

“Hipster Moonshine: Hooch isn’t just for hillbillies anymore” (The Atlantic, April 2010)

The trend lives!


What is umami?

17 02 2010

So for the first official post I would like to direct your attention to the “description” of this blog above:

“An intermediate guide to hypnotism, umami and of course, moonshine”

…Though I guess you could have just read it there. In any event you may now be wondering what “umami” is. Unless you’ve been to Umami Burger. If you have then SH. If you haven’t here’s the definition:

u•ma•mi (ōō-mä’mē)
n. A taste that is characteristic of monosodium glutamate and is associated with meats and other high-protein foods. It is sometimes considered to be a fifth basic taste along with sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.

Or as Win says in Moonshine Inc:

Umami gives a full sense of mouthfeel. You find it in meat and tomatoes and parmesan. It only got discovered in the Twenties, but it’s a totally legit sense. It’s like the ESP of taste.

And there you go. It’s a pretty serious thing. Aside from the badass burger chain (review coming later when I finally listen to my boyfriend and go). There is an entire site dedicated to all things umami

Even a festival.