Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Guiness Stout is Good for You

There are a few must have items in any Sibu or foochow coffee shops: Guiness Stout, Beer, kopi-0, teh-0, milo and roti kahwin (toasted bread with kaya and butter sandwich - the toasting is done over charcoal fire).

Guiness Stout is called black beer or uu mik by the Foochows. Sometimes the Foochows call it Si-tot. Beer is called ba-mik (white beer). When a Foochow man offers his friend a bottle or two of Stout, it is the greatest gesture of friendship.

When two Foochow men sit in a coffee shop drinking Stout, they are the happiest men in the town!! You can bet any one for that matter.

the Foochows I know have a great liking for Guiness Stout,the reason being Stout is good for blood circulation. How true it is, we would never know. But it is a good excuse to drink it. And the Foochows do drink a lot of Guiness.

Guiness Stout reminds me of several things.

One, it has a luxuriant black shimmering look. It thus has a very sexy, seductive appearance. The bottle is black and hence it is mysterious and dark. Most men are therefore captivated by it. A friend once told me that he would definitely leave his girl friend of the day, if a bottle of guinness stout could turn into a feminine form. (just creative thinking for him, I hope) But I was wondering at that time, could drinking two bottle of Guiness Stout turn him into such a treacherous conniving man?

My mother would always buy three bottles of Guinness stout for her third brother, whenever he came to help us with some heavier household chores, like moving the stone mill, or lifting some planks to construct a chicken coop. There could not be a happier man on earth with three bottles of Guiness in front of him. I would always remember my cheerful uncle in this way. Sweating after a few hours of heavy work, shirtless too but very happy with his sister and sister's children, and of course the Stout in front of him. What a nice way to end a day's good work.

A distant relative of mine suffered from depression. Of course in those days, no one could cure her. There were no psychiatrists around yet. Church workers were not trained to help any one suffering from poor mental health. women living difficult and pressured lives had to live with their problems or commit suicide or run away.

She loved her Guiness Stout. Perhaps one bottle every evening,secretly.

My grandmother had even tried cracking a newly laid egg into a glass of Guiness Stout and swallowed it. She was quite a dare/risk taker. She lived a very long life. And many attributed it to her having a liking for a glass of good wine every night.

I would not be telling a lie if I said that the only time I touched Guiness Stout was just recently. I had a small glass of it: not refreshing like beer, a little strange on the tongue. But it really has a mysterious. It was also at that time that I was given a very simple recipe to cook chicken with it.

Just heat the marinated chicken pieces in an oven for about 15 minutes until the skin turns a little brown.

Take the chicken pieces and put them in a saucepan. Add a tin or guiness stout and simmer the chicken until very little of the stout remains. Add a little bit of soy sauce to taste. Serve with a refreshing cucumber salad and rice.

I was told that one can add guiness stout to a kentucky flour batter, instead of water and deep fry chicken pieces....Heard that it is marvellous.

This posting is not completed yet. In the days to come, some of my cousins have promised me their stories!!

Below is some backup reference I obtained on Guiness Stout.

Guinness is a popular dry stout that originated in Arthur Guinness's St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. The beer is based upon the porter style that originated in London in the early 1700s. It is one of the most successful beer brands in the world, being exported worldwide. The distinctive feature in the flavour is the roasted barley which remains unfermented. For many years a portion of the beer was aged to give a sharp lactic flavour, but Guinness has refused to confirm if this still occurs. The thick creamy head is the result of the beer being mixed with nitrogen when being served. It is extremely popular with the Irish and is the best-selling alcoholic drink of all time in Ireland, where Guinness & Co. makes almost €2 billion annually.

Now available around the world, the brand is heavily associated with Ireland. The parent company has been headquartered in London since 1932 and was later merged with Grand Metropolitan plc and developed into a multi-national alcohol conglomerate named Diageo.

Studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that antioxidant compounds in Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls.

Guinness ran an advertising campaign in the 1920s which was stemmed from market research - when people told the company that they felt good after their pint, the slogan was born – "Guinness is Good for You". Guinness were told to stop using the slogan decades ago – and the firm still makes no health claims for the drink. Diageo, the company that now manufactures Guinness, said: "We never make any medical claims for our drinks."

Many vegetarians consider Guinness as unsuitable for a vegetarian diet, as the production process involves the use of isinglass, made from fish. It is used as a fining agent for settling out suspended matter in the vat The isinglass is retained in the floor of the vat but it is possible that minute quantities might be carried over into the beer.

Just in case you like stout so much, and you want to go to Ireland for more of it, here is something for you to study before you go:

A Guide For The Un-Initated To Buying Guinness In An Irish Pub

1 Choose your pub carefully. A pint of Guinness does not appreciate loud music, loud people or bright flashing lights.

2 Ask politely for a pint of Guinness. Depending on the pub, it is possible to catch the barmans eye and mouth the word "pint", he will translate this accurately.

3 The barman will fill the glass between 70% and 80% capacity. It will then be put to the side for a few moments to allow it "to settle". Once the brownish liquid has almost turned to a solid black the barman will then fill the rest of the glass. NB: do not under any circumstances take the glass before it is filled. Some virgins seem to think that the settling stage is the final stage and walk away with an unfinished pint. At this point we Irish DO understand the predicament, but I assure you it causes endless mirth as well.

4 Once you have received your pint, find a comfortable stool or seat, gaze with awe into the deep blackness, raise the pint to your mouth and take a large mouthful. Be firm.

5 A good pint can distinguished by a number of methods. A smooth, slightly off- white head is one, another is the residue left on the inside of the glass. These, surpise surprise, are known as rings. As long as they are there you know your're okay. A science of rings is developing - the instance that comes to mind is determining a persons nationality by the number of rings (a ring is dependent on a swig of Guinness each swig leaving it's own ring). An Irishman will have in the region of 5-6 rings (we pace ourselves), an Englishman will have 8-10 rings, an American will have 17-20 (they sip) and an Australian won't have any at all as they tend to knock it back in one go!

6 As you near the end of your pint, it is the custom to order another one. It is a well known fact that a bird does not fly on one wing.

- Alan Clinton (Alan, I hope you don't mind this blatant copying. I just want my fellow countrymen to be politically correct when they order a pint... thanks for the guide. May be we should use it in sibu too...)

8 memories:

Unknown said...

Putting beer into the batter instead of water is used in "fish and chips" in England - a special food of the English . It taste wonderful!

FrancisN said...

The bubbles in beer, some people use soda water, aerate the batter and that makes it light and crunchy when fried.

I do like an occasional fish and chips.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Dear Alison, Just before Chinese New Year I would try a recipe or two so that during Chinese New Year I can serve the dishes. I tried putting beer in the batter for my fish. It's wonderful Thanks.

Just to let you know the best Ma Ka (tenggiri) is 16 ringgit today in Miri. And it really makes good fish and chips. The frozen dory cannot beat the quality and sweetness.

Sweet potatoes are really good too in the batter with beer. I think Nigella did once give a two-potato demonstration. And she helped promote our lowly sweet potato.

Unknown said...

Good to know that you have tried. I like it very much. If you happen to be in London, try the English specialty and ask for "fish and chips" in beer batter. It is just excellent!

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Dear Alison and Francis,

Have you two tried cooking this simple dish? 2 pieces of belly pork, simmered in l can of coca cola and 2 tablespoons of thick soy sauce for about 45 minutes. Allow the liquid to simmer until you have just about 4 tablespoons left. The belly pork should break easily with a fork.

May prosperity, happiness and good health be yours.


Unknown said...

Dear Sarawakiana,

Have you heard of the story behind Coca Cola? Well, it was suspected that among the ingredient used in the manufacture of Coca cola arre two plant stimulants: their botanical names are Eryhtroxylum coca or cocaine and Cola nitida, a tropical African plant found in such places as Cameroon. It is cultivated in Latin America and to some extend Indonesia. It affects the central nervous system and is an anti depressive. There was a case in India whereby someone tried to sue the Coca Cola Company but the company threaten to close its India operation if sued. Someone even told me that a spoonful of coca cola when heated can cure cough.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

I have a bad cough and some one told me to steam a bowl of coca cola and drink it. Probably I have to do this many times to have my long life cough cured.

Thank you.

Greenspot said...

Marinating steak in beer or wine 'reduces cancer chemicals'
Marinating steak in beer or wine before cooking it dramatically reduces levels of chemicals that can cause cancer, according to scientists.

By Martin Beckford
Last Updated: 10:39PM GMT 30 Dec 2008
Marinating steak in beer or wine 'reduces cancer chemicals'
Shoppers are urged to avoid processed meats. Photo: Andrew Crowley

Researchers found that steeping the meat in alcohol for several hours cut the high levels of carcinogenic compounds triggered by frying it.

In addition, they discovered that beer was more effective than wine at lowering the cancer-forming chemicals, and also made for a better-looking and tastier meal.

New Scientist magazine, which reports the findings, stated: "If you are frying a steak and mindful of your health, then marinate it in either beer or red wine.

"So say food scientists who measured amounts of a family of carcinogens found in fried food after steeping them in booze."

Cooking food increases its levels of chemical compounds called heterocyclic amines (HAs), which can cause cancerous tumours.

Frying and grilling meat is particularly dangerous, because the intense heat turns the sugars and amino acids of muscle tissue into high levels of the compounds.

But scientists are gathering increasing amounts of evidence to show that the levels of HAs in cooked meat can be lowered by treating the food beforehand.

Isabel Ferreira and colleagues at the University of Porto in Portugal found that marinating steak in red wine or beer before frying – for six hours – cut levels of two types of HA by up to 90 per cent compared with untreated meat.

Beer was more efficient at reducing a third type of HA than wine, cutting levels significantly in four hours instead of six.

It also made the meat look, smell and taste better than the wine-marinated steak, according to the new report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

"Tasters also preferred the smell, taste and appearance of beer-marinated steak," said New Scientist.

The researchers believe the alcoholic sauce cuts levels of the carcinogen by acting as a barrier – preventing water-soluble molecules moving to the surface of the steak where they would be turned into HAs by the high temperature.

"Beer contains more water-retaining sugars than wine and Ferreira says that may hinder the transport of water-soluble molecules to the steak's surface, where high heat converts them in HAs," New Scientist said.

Previous research has shown that a red wine marinade has a similar effect on HA levels in fried chicken, while a non-alcoholic version is also available. A sauce made of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic lowered HA levels in grilled chicken by as much as 90 per cent, a study found.

Cooking meat on lower heat and for a shorter period of time also prevents dangerous levels of HAs forming.

Research into reducing levels of HAs in cooked food comes after a series of studies have shown links between meat consumption and cancer.

Last year a landmark report on the causes of the disease published by the World Cancer Research Fund claimed that eating any processed meat, such as sausages, bacon and ham, significantly raises the risk of contracting bowel cancer.

Its report urged shoppers to avoid processed meats and advised eating a maximum of 1.1lb (500g) of cooked red meat a week.


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