FOOD: Buffalo Meat – A Cut Above The Rest

FOOD: Buffalo Meat – A Cut Above The Rest

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Food: Buffalo Meat – A Cut Above The Rest
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For many people, nothing could be more stressful than being a meat lover and be prescribed a low-calorie diet. Meat and low calories are self-contradictory, that’s the common perception. Persons who are trying to find a low-calorie meat that could replace the kind they are used to eating would do well to consider buffalo meat.


There are many Western-themed restaurants that offer buffalo (also known as American bison) dishes. Ted’s Montana Grill, co-founded by media mogul Ted Turner, which specializes in hand-cut beef and bison steaks, has locations in sixteen states. The Buffalo Bistro and Buffalo Grill in Utah’s Zion National Park are popular tourist attractions. Customers at such restaurants can anticipate being presented with specialties like roasted buffalo or grilled buffalo with a small serving of mashed potato, buffalo burger type served like Salisbury steak with French fries on the sides, regular buffalo steak with a generous serving of raw onion toppings, and even stewed buffalo served with a large mixture of green vegetables in it.

Roasted buffalo meat is especially popular, especially in its almost-raw form. Unlike meat from other animals, bison meat requires very little seasoning to bring out its naturally juicy and finger-licking flavor. A simple preparation technique would be to score the meat only on the surface and dab it with a little salt, a little pepper and olive oil, and it’s ready for cooking. One of the advantages that buffalo meat holds over regular beef is that it takes a shorter time to cook. Just sear both sides to lock in the flavor and you’re done!

Buffalo meat is the only meat with the 3 Ts – Texture, Tenderness and Taste. The flavor is sweeter, and it is lighter and less greasy than other kinds of meat I was used to, such as cow beef or pork or chicken. Also, buffalo meat does not need any tangy gravy to bring out its naturally good flavor; that is important because gravy for meat is usually heavy on calories.

There are some interesting healthful statistics about how, in many ways, buffalo meat is more nutritious than other kinds of animals’ meat. It has around 70%-90% less fat than beef, and around 50% less cholesterol. Since it doesn’t have all those harmful fats, it has more protein, iron, amino acids and omega nutrients that a number of people are prescribed to take in the form of tasteless fish and raw vegetables. It is also eminently suitable for persons on a low-carbohydrate diet. A four-ounce serving contains no carbs, 11 grams of protein and three percent of total fat.

And the fat it contains is of the good kind, a monounsaturated fat known as omega-3 fatty acids. Adequate intake of this kind of fat has been scientifically proven to prevent heart disease and promote overall cardiovascular health. In fact, buffalo meat has been endorsed by the American Heart Association and prescribed by physicians for patients on a low-fat, low-calorie diet.

Buffaloes are grown in their natural elements in the open fields and are not given any chemical feeds or antibiotics or artificial growth hormones which are suspected of causing cancer. Since buffaloes are fed only natural grains and green grass, they have a natural strong resistance to diseases and their meat is not tainted with any harmful chemicals. In many ways, the meat of the buffalo, which feeds on nature’s grain and grass, has been graded to be far more excellent than cow, dog or chicken meat.

Today, we can enjoy buffalo steaks, soups, stews, and burgers either in restaurants or at home. Buffalo meat is conveniently available in most supermarkets and is offered by many websites. It’s a hearty, healthy, delicious, and convenient way to enjoy meat.

 

 

 

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FOOD: Bubba Knew Shrimp

FOOD: Bubba Knew Shrimp

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Food: Bubba Knew Shrimp
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Yes, it is a “Forrest Gump” reference and it should be expected any time shrimp is mentioned for the next twenty years. “Bubba Gump” shrimp is how Forrest made his millions in the Hollywood movie. But, the movie will always be remembered for the amazing number of ways a person can make shrimp. As Bubba would say, “There’s barbecue shrimp, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp soup, fried shrimp”..the list is almost endless. And while there are certainly a large number of ways to cook shrimp, there is actually a fair amount of confusion as to what exactly a shrimp really is. Maybe Bubba wasn’t actually cooking shrimp?

In England and a number of other places, what would be called shrimp in the United States is actually referred to as prawn. If you were to look at a prawn and a shrimp side by side, it would be virtually impossible to distinguish which was which. Technically speaking, however, a prawn truly is not a shrimp.

To the naked eye, the two may appear identical but they are biologically different. On the abdomen of a shrimp or prawn are flaps. Without going into too much detail and causing everyone to go running for a Biology book, let’s just say that the there is a very subtle difference between the first abdomen flap on a shrimp and a prawn. But essentially, these are the same creature.

As far as the Americans are concerned, a shrimp is any crustacean that is part of the Natantia family of crustaceans. It doesn’t matter how big the shrimp is or where it is found – so long as it is a Nantantia crustacean – it’s a shrimp! However, there is a rather peculiar phenomenon among American shrimp that does have to do with size.

Were Bubba to have grown up on the West Coast of the United States, he most certainly would not have seen much potential in the shrimp -for eating, let alone making any money! This is because the typical size of a shrimp found of the West Coast is about 1/2 inch in length. For some reason, the Pacific Ocean just is not a great place for jumbo shrimp to grow. But elsewhere, it is nothing for shrimp to be 12 inches in length or more.

Shrimp, like any species, comes in a wide assortment of variety. There are rock, brine, royal red, white, brown, and even pink shrimp to choose from. Each offers a unique flavor and consistency but all are absolutely delicious when prepared properly. And, Bubba was correct -you can make shrimp just about any way your imagination will let you! So whether you want to call it prawn or just plain old shrimp – the truth is that it tastes great no matter how you make it!
 

 

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Beer: Brew Pubs Today: The Revival Of A Proud American Tradition

Beer: Brew Pubs Today: The Revival Of A Proud American Tradition

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Beer: Brew Pubs Today: The Revival Of A Proud American Tradition
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Remember the one-on-every corner dimly lit brew pub or tavern, beer-soaked carpeting and Joe the Bartender, a long row of customers with their glasses of watery mass-produced beer, all staring at a flickering television? Versions of these drinking establishments certainly still exist but their heyday as the gathering place of choice is over. In fact this rather depressing era was only a hiatus in America’s rich brew pub history.


In 1634 the Puritans licensed the first brew pub in New England with ale brewed on the premises. Their idea was to steer drinkers away from the higher alcohol content of rum and whiskey. During this period, they also passed legislation ensuring the quality of the product. This tradition of local beer brewing paired with brewing excellence continued until the time of prohibition in the 1920’s. European immigrants were the driving force behind this tradition, not only in transporting time-honored recipes and methods, but also in flavoring the atmosphere of their taverns with the customs and décor of their home countries. The Dutch and the English, then the Germans in the 19th century brought the family atmosphere of the old world to their adopted land.

Post-prohibition, the traditions and style of immigrant brewing were disappearing. By the end of the 1970’s only light lager was selling in any significant volume, driven by big business marketing campaigns. At that point there were only 44 breweries in the United States. Yet a movement was on the way that would reverse this trend.

In the 1970’s people were travelling in great numbers. It was the in thing to do and Europe was the inexpensive destination. These travellers returned to America with a taste for real beer and an appreciation of quaffing in agreeable, charming surroundings. With a sneer of disapproval at the state of watering holes in their native land, many opened their own breweries and brew pubs in the European style. In 1982 U.S. legislation finally allowed food to be served in breweries and the brew pub was “reborn”.

Our brew pubs today represent a resurgence of tradition and ambience reminiscent of earlier times. As beer is once again brewed on the premises or in partnership with microbreweries, twinned with pubs in which to serve their products, brew pubs have taken new pride, not only in the beverages they create but also in the brew pub venue itself. No longer supplied by wholesalers of mass-produced products, these are generally owner-operated businesses with a reputation to protect.

The European beer garden was and is an oasis in working life, a neighborhood gathering focal point offering more than just a place to drink beer. This healthy, social atmosphere is reflected in the modern brew pub. Polished mirrors, exposed beams, glasses and bottles proudly displayed, revolving ceiling fans, and menus full of imaginative twists on traditional pub fare – the modern brew pub is a showcase for the brewery’s products.

If you find yourself in the position of a stranger in a strange town, dropping in to your neighborhood brew pub might be the answer. Here is a social setting ideal for meeting the locals, playing a game of darts and sampling fine quality beers, ales and ciders. If you are travelling with the family, by-pass the fast food chains and seek out the local brew pub. Many are family run and family friendly, reasonably priced with an emphasis on responsible enjoyment, and with food a cut above the cardboard box brigade. Operating as restaurants, brew pubs rarely have an age restriction.

Some of you may remember George Orwell’s famous review of his favorite public house, “The Moon under Water”. Though completely fictional, he describes with affection the ten best qualities of the place, from the ornamental mirrors behind the bar to the sound of children’s laughter. Says Mr. Orwell, -If you are asked why you favour a particular public house, it would seem natural to put the beer first, but the thing that most appeals to me about ‘The Moon under Water’ is what people call its ‘atmosphere’. Given the quality and ambience of today’s brew pubs, I believe George would be pleased.

 

 

 

 

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FOOD: Bread made easy

FOOD: Bread made easy

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Food: Bread made easy
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Breadmakers are rather strange things. They’re surprisingly big kitchen appliances with only one use: they bake bread. Now, baking bread isn’t really that hard, but breadmakers claim to make it so super-easy that you can eat freshly-baked bread every day for the rest of your life. Much like those machines that make you orange juice every day from fresh oranges, however, the necessity of this is debatable.


To use a breadmaker, all you need to do is add the ingredients of bread (flour, milk, yeast and so on) and turn it on – you can even get special “bread mix” to use if fresh ingredients are too much trouble for you. The machine will make dough from your ingredients and then bake it into a loaf of bread. The bread typically tastes quite good, but won’t last very long because of the lack of preservatives.

Where breadmakers really get interesting is not when they are making normal, store-style bread, but when you decide to get creative with them. Because they make bread so quickly, they make it much more convenient to experiment with strange ingredients that might just turn out great. You can make bread with your favourite cheese in it, for example, or chocolate, or some kind of herbs and spices that you like. There are many websites on the Internet devoted entirely to sharing interesting breadmaker recipes, and many new kinds of bread have been discovered through this experimentation that would never have been found otherwise.

Basically, if you just want bread, you’re probably better off buying it from a shop. If you want unusual, customised experiments in bread, however, then breadmakers aren’t very expensive, and getting one could be a good choice for you. The only thing to worry about, really, is where on earth to put the bulky things.

 

 

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FOOD: Brazilian Cuisine

FOOD: Brazilian Cuisine

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Food: Brazilian Cuisine
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It began as most “ethnic food movements “do – with small restaurants in the neighborhoods where immigrants settled, diners and lunchrooms and tea rooms opened by those who wanted to offer a taste of home to their fellow émigrés. Chinese, Italian, Middle Eastern, Thai – from family run bistros, the cuisine spread as those outside the cultures of the “neighborhood” learned of the good food and the word spread. The latest “new cuisine” that is spreading like wildfire is Brazilian – a delicious blending of three separate cultures that comes together in dishes and delicacies that aren’t found anywhere else in the world.


To understand the cuisine of Brazil, one must understand a little of its history. The base of Brazilian cuisine is in its native roots – the foods that sustained the native Brazilians – cassava, yams, fish and meat – but it bears the stamp of two other peoples as well: the Portuguese who came to conquer and stayed, and the African slaves that they brought with them to work the sugar plantations. Brazilian cuisine today is a seamless amalgam of the three influences that interweave in a unique and totally Brazilian style.

The staples of the Brazilian diet are root vegetables, seafood and meat. Manioc, derived from cassava root, is the “flour” of the region, and is eaten in one form or another at nearly every meal. The bitter cassava root is poisonous in its raw state, but when prepared properly, the cassava root yields farinha and tapioca, bases for many dishes of the region. The Portuguese influence shows in the rich, sweet egg breads that are served at nearly every meal, and in the seafood dishes that blend “fruits de mer” with coconut and other native fruits and vegetables. The national dish, bobo de camarao is one of these, a delicious mingling of fresh shrimp in a puree of dried shrimp, manioc (cassava) meal, coconut milk and nuts, flavored with a palm oil called dende.

It is the African influence that is most felt, though – as is to be expected of the people who worked in the kitchens. Pineapple and coconut milk, shredded coconut and palm hearts worked their way into everyday dishes, flavoring meat, shrimp, fish, vegetables and bread. Brazilian food, unlike the cuisines of many of the surrounding countries, favors the sweet rather than the hot, and more than any other South American cuisine, it carries the savor of tropical island breezes rather than the hot wind of the desert.

The most common ingredients in Brazilian cuisine are cassava, coconut, dende, black beans and rice. Bacalao – salt cod – features in many dishes derived from the Portuguese, but flavored with typical Brazilian insouciance with coconut cream and pistachio nuts it becomes an entirely different food. It is typical of the Brazilian attitude toward food – an expression of a warm and open people to whom feeding and sharing food is the basis of hospitality. Brazilian cuisine is like its people – all are welcome, all are welcomed and all make their mark – without ever overwhelming the contributions of the other.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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FOOD: Bottled Water Tastes Better

FOOD: Bottled Water Tastes Better

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Food: Bottled Water Tastes Better
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Due to the several alarming alerts that were issued by doctors, many of which were just false, I stopped paying much attention to the results of medical studies that proclaim one thing or the other is bad for my health.


But I must admit there are some warnings I simply can’t ignore, and anything that has to do with drinking water is one of them.

What could be responsible for the sudden change of heart?

It’s simple. The discovery of the level of chemicals and contaminants that could be present in the water that comes out from the tap did it for me.

And on the spur of the moment, I knew it was time I check out a bottled water service.

My enquiries only led to another discovery: the assumption on my part that only businesses could afford to pay for monthly bottled water service was wrong. Though that may have been true a decade ago, it’s definitely not the case today.

Most folks are realizing just how important it is to have a convenient source of pure, refreshing water at home as well as at the office. Fortunately, the bottled water service providers are in synchronization with the home owners who represents a rather large market.

This led the providers to commence tailoring their packages to fit individual and family needs. The response was instant; many families simply signed up for the home bottled water service, due largely to the fact that the cost is moderate.

However, there is more to bottled water service than the affordable price and the water content.

Make sure you know what you are paying for before you sign any contract. If you know there are certain features you won’t use, ask if you can eliminate those from your bottled water service plans for a discount.

Again, scrutinize what’s in the fine print carefully, there is likely to be a cancellation fee associated with opting out of the bottled water service contract.

The general rule is, if you simply want to try out the bottled water service for a while, then its best not to sign a long-term contract.

Anyone who signed up for bottled water service can’t fail to notice the distinct improvement in the taste of the water they now drink. This ultimately will make them feel better knowing that the water is as clean and pure as can be.

 

 


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FOOD: Bottled Water – Good Or Bad?

FOOD: Bottled Water – Good Or Bad?

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Food: Bottled Water – Good Or Bad?
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Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. You feel you have heard it before, recollecting those horror scenes showing victims of earthquakes, tsunamis, torrential rain and flood. No. It is the mantra of everybody – From Australia to Iceland, from Hawaii to Sanfrancisco people are scared to drink water directly from any source. Bottled water carries a declaration that it is 100% pure and free from bacteria and other harmful substances, and is accepted by us as safe to drink.


Our body’s demand for water is called thirst. It is quenched by an intake of water.
Is pure bottled water needed? Why not some salts and minerals? Why remove the life saving minerals through osmosis? Many authorities, doing research in human health questions the habit of drinking pure water. They say leeching of minerals through osmosis is not needed and not natural. Is our body genetically designed to accept pure water? Is pure water good for our health? These are the questions many scientists ask now.

Pure bottled water is one of the biggest businesses in many developing countries now. The populations of these countries which used to carry their drinking water (mostly drawn from the communal wells) or drink directly from the water taps in railway stations are brain washed to think only pure water in bottles are fit to drink.

Even the people in developed countries cultivated their bias against water available from various sources in public places only a couple of decades ago.

Sustained researches about communities drinking a special source of water such as the fabled Hunza water shows that the citizens of Hunza lived up to 150 years drinking this water. Various studies points towards water for the longevity and other traits found in Hunza.

It is not only the fabled Hunza but also the springs of Lourdes, the well of Mexico, the Nordeneau Caves in Germany and the Indian Nadana springs are found to be undergoing ionization process naturally during its passage through earth. These waters are found to be one of the greatest antioxidant full of hydrogen and negatively charged. So water with various minerals is proven to be beneficial to the human body.

Arguments for and against pure bottled water will continue to rage as along as our body’s demand for fluid continues. Depending upon the results of the ongoing researches, opinions for and against bottled water will continue to flourish without any end.

 

 


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FOOD: Blue Lobsters Are Real!

FOOD: Blue Lobsters Are Real!

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Food: Blue Lobsters Are Real!
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Lobsters are supposed to be red right? … Well, yes and no.

Most live american lobsters are naturally colored an olive green or mottled dark greenish brown. In rare cases, lobsters come in shades of bright blue, white (albino), yellow, black, and red have been reported from time to time. Perhaps the most unusual colors are the “half-and-half” lobsters with a line straight down their backs where the two colors meet.


The major pigment in a lobster’s shell, astaxanthin, is actually bright red in its free state; but in the lobster’s shell astaxanthin is chemically bound to proteins that change it to a greenish color. When lobsters are cooked, heat breaks down these bonds, freeing the astaxanthin so that it reverts to its normal red color.

So how does a lobster turn bright blue?
A genetic defect has been found that causes a blue lobster to produce an excessive amount of protein. The protein wraps around a small, red carotenoid molecule known as as astaxanthin. The two push together, forming a blue complex known as crustacyanin which often gives the lobster shell a bright blue color. About one in a million lobsters are blue, but when cooked, it turns red like the other lobsters.

It has been suggested that more than ‘one in a million’ lobsters born are blue, but many do not survive because their bright blue shell brings too much attention to themselves, making them a prime target for predators. Scientists also believe that blue lobsters tend to be more aggressive than their normal colored counterparts. Since they don’t easily blend in, they have adapted and changed to be more aggressive to protect themselves.

The blue lobster is truly another gift from Mother Nature that most people never see. Many professional lobstermen go through their whole lobstering career without catching or even seeing a blue lobster. Those that do have the privilege of catching one, are amazed and excited as it is seen as a once-in-a-lifetime event and feel a sense of awe when they experience seeing the strikingly beautiful blue lobster for the first time. Those that are caught are not normally eaten, but rather given to aquariums and educational institutions and kept on display in tanks for others to admire.

Taxonomy of Homarus americanus:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Crustacea
Order: Decapoda
Suborder: Macrura reptantia
Family: Nephrodidae
Genus: Homarus
Species: americanus

 

 

 


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FOOD: Blue Crabs Get No Respect

FOOD: Blue Crabs Get No Respect

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Food: Blue Crabs Get No Respect
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Thank goodness for the lowly blue crab.

What would our epicurean lives be without this deliciously savory crustacean. Yet often they do not get the respect they deserve.


These small bluish crustaceans are harvested from the mid Atlantic region crab fishery in Chesapeake Bay to Florida and along the Gulf states as far west as Texas. In its scientific name, calli is Greek for “beautiful”, nectes for “swimmer”, and sapidus is Latin for “savory”.

Most crabs, except the luxurious King Crab, live out their meek and humble lives in the shadow of the lobster, the king of seafood. Yet for those in the know, that is ok because that just means more for us, right? Seriously, where would ‘imperial’ be without blue crab meat and delicious ‘Maryland Style’ be without tender and tasty blue crabs? Ah yes, many nights spent in bittersweet joy, after having your fill at the dinner table with those lowly crustaceans. Slurping, picking and dipping those juicy morsels through butter, old bay, or whatever seasonings you prefer, all the while feeling so sorry for those pitiful crabs that get no respect.

Let’s pick on the blue crab some more shall we? All puns intended and accepted.

Some will say that they hate to pick out the meat because it is so much work for very little crab meat. Well in a way their complaint is justified. Typically the blue crab will yield only 10% to 15% of it’s body weight in crab meat. The crabs grow by molting or shedding their shell and growing back a larger one. Just prior to molting, the crab will be encased in both the soft, new shell which is forming underneath the hard old shell. The formation of a new shell is evident along the margins of the swimming paddles of a crab. The crab is referred to as a “peeler” or “shedder”. Immediately after the molt, the crab’s new shell is soft, pliable and easily stretched. At this time the crab would be referred to as a ” soft shelled crab”. Many crab lovers will only eat a soft shell, which is simply a delightful dish when lightly tossed in flour and pan fried.

Types of Crabmeat:

• Lump is from the largest pieces of meat from the body, adjacent to the backfin and is the most expensive form of crabmeat.

• Backfin is the white body meat including lump and large flakes and is used for crab cakes and crab imperial.

• Special are flakes of white body meat other than lump and is used for crab cakes, soups, dips and casseroles.

• Claw meat is brownish meat from the claws and is best for dips and soups.

Some more Blue Crab facts:

• Callinectes sapidus means “Beautiful swimmer that is savory”.
• Crabs reach maturity in 12 to 18 months.
• Few crabs live longer than 3 years.
• The largest crab recorded from Maryland was a male measuring 9 inches; however bigger crabs (10-11 inches) have been captured.
• The annual harvest of hard crabs from Chesapeake Bay accounts for over 50% of total U.S. landings.
• Cannibalism of young blue crabs by larger crabs is common and may regulate population abundance.
• A spring-spawned crab can reach a size of 2œ inches by their first winter.

Serve and enjoy blue crabs at your next party or cook-out and guarantee yourself the adoration of an appreciative group of seafood lovers. Finally, don’t feel sorry for the blue crab, they get more respect than they know.

 

 

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FOOD: Bloody Mary Recipe Contest Attempts to Set World Record

FOOD: Bloody Mary Recipe Contest Attempts to Set World Record

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Food: Bloody Mary Recipe Contest Attempts to Set World Record
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Creating the perfect Bloody Mary cocktail is a lot like nurturing a fine wine. It takes time, creativity and experimentation until the ingredients are just right. But once those elements come together, it’s pure bliss for the creator and those lucky enough to share a sip of their secret concoction.


There are countless Bloody Mary recipes, which is what makes this cocktail one of the most celebrated around the world. Depending on where your travels lead, you will find everything from horseradish and hot sauce to wasabi, jalapeno peppers and prawns in the mix. The only common ingredient in every recipe (besides vodka) is passion from those who create and consume this time-tested cocktail.

“The recipes for a Bloody Mary cocktail are like snowflakes – no two are alike,” said Jennie Meador, a spokesperson for Finlandia Vodka and judge for the brand’s annual Bloody Mary recipe contest. “Everyone thinks their recipe is the best, which is why we bring people together once a year and learn about the different approaches being taken to the cocktail.”

Finlandia Vodka is now accepting recipes for its annual Bloody Mary recipe contest. This year, Finlandia is looking for recipes that have unique ingredients that make your Bloody Mary a one-of-a-kind cocktail. The grand-prize winner will receive $1,000 and special recognition when Finlandia attempts to create the world’s largest Bloody Mary cocktail.

“What better way to celebrate the Bloody Mary than by creating the world’s largest glass of it?” Meador said. “Whoever wins this year’s contest may get to work with our mixologists to calculate their recipe into the world’s largest Bloody Mary. And then, of course, we’ll all have to help drink it.”

The Bloody Mary cocktail has experienced a resurgence in recent years. Once thought of as only for brunch, it is now served throughout the day at bars, restaurants and in people’s homes.

The Bloody Mary was first created in 1930 and became a true classic cocktail among Americans. It’s the second-most consumed drink besides beer at tailgates and sports gatherings today, making vodka a popular spirit for entertaining or celebrating.

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