Sep 24, 2008

More Food Thoughts

It seems like all I think about these days are food. That and how my internet access has been all screwed up today. I can now access the internet fine with my laptop plugged into the wireless router via ethernet, but it just keeps disconnecting via wifi. Either the wifi on the router is dying (I have problems on both laptops), or I'm being innundated by some sort of high energy radio frequency radiation that's enough to disrupt my wifi and most likely kill me.

Back to the food. I can't comprehend how President brand brie can be so popular. In the US, it was the worst brie I've ever had - to the point where I'd avoid buying brie altogether if President was the only one available. The stuff is flavourless, not creamy, and rather stiff (for brie). It bears only slight resemblance to good brie. So I was rather surprised to see the brand being popular in the supermarkets, both in France and Amsterdam.

Maybe the European version is significantly better? Maybe the brand was well established in Europe, and it's merely the North American licensee that produces an inferior product? You'd think the Dutch, who pride themselves on their cheese consumption, would have somewhat of a taste for cheese right? Or you'd think the French would be able to pick out a good French cheese? So I tried buying some, and comparing it to another brie at a local cheese shop. Verdict: President brie is still shit. I need to ditch all my preconcieved notions that Europeans have a more refined cuisine than North Americans. They certainly don't (try ordering a pizza in France and see what travesty you end up with), but they may still be more snobbish about it.

Second food related thought for the night, more alcohol does not make a better beer. I've been taken up with Belgian beers, especially abbey ales, after visiting the beer fridge at Bo's BBQ in Lafayett, CA. I guess one good thing about the Netherlands is that it's close to Belgium, meaning that access to Belgian beer is much easier than it is in California, although Dutch beers (which are still better than American beers) are still more popular. La Trappe is a Dutch Trappist brewery, with beers available at local supermarkets. I've tried their Dubbel (which usually refers to a brown ale) and Tripel (which usually refers to a stronger brown ale). I found that La Trappe also has a Quadrupel, which one assumes, is an even stronger ale (it is, at 10%). I bought a sixpack, which was a mistake, considering the taste of the stuff is pretty harsh. If there ever was a sipping beer, this is it, I couldn't imagine anyone would really enjoy just gulping this dark fluid down.

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