Tag Archives: Chile

SABMiller’s Local Choices

13 Jan

SABMiller is the conglomerate that has brought you such brands as Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft and all its buddies, Peroni (thanks for giving Italy a bad name) and Pilsner Urquel.  Sometimes, surprise surprise, the Financial Times runs articles documenting the exploits of the macrobrewing industry.  The most recent article, featured a run-down of SABMiller’s outreach to more local markets in West Africa by using cassava root in their brews.  Apparently, this move was in reaction to some recent flooding that decimated other crops in the small town of Luanda.  SAB also set up shop, as in sunk a few hundred million into a new brewery next door, and are now producing the cassava beer and selling it to the same people who grew the crop — even though, it is slightly cheaper than their standard beer.

I’ll give SAB some cred for helping out subsistence farmers in a bad situation in West Africa but here’s my issue: I worry that swooping into a bad situation with billions of dollars and buying up cassava root, could possibly influence the local government to start only growing this product — an abundant, cheap resource that feeds the nation’s poor — and could possibly drive up the cost of this resource making it more expensive to eat than produce.  A similar situation occurred in Chile with soy beans to disastrous ends.  Just something to keep in mind when large corporations come into underdeveloped countries with an unregulated agency — something doesn’t smell good here.

Boozy Floozy

9 Jan

I love a good cocktail: this one was champagne and homemade sorbet.  The only thing missing was some gambling, pretty little cakes and Marie Antoinette as my drinkin’ buddy.

Juice of 4 lemons, juice of half a ruby red grapefruit, teaspoon of lemon zest stirred into chilled simple syrup (1 cup water + 1 cup sugar boiled for 3 minutes).  Pour the mixture into a shallow pan and pop in the freezer until semi-solid.  Fluff with a fork and then freeze until solid.  Put in Cuisinart and blitz it ’til smooth, then put in container and freeze.  I made another batch with juice of 1 ruby red grapefruit+1 lime with a teaspoon of lime zest.

2 loverly spoonfuls of sorbet with champagne over top.  If you want, smush the champagne into the sorbet until you have an awesome slightly boozy slushie.  To be frank, it’s kind of a rip from the Chilean drink tradition of pineapple ice cream with white wine, called Terremoto or “The Earthquake”.  The sorbet is the right amount of tart with a touch of sweet and the champagne only furthers the brightness of the flavors.  Heaven.  This may be the single most “girliest” drink you will ever catch me drinking and it goes down so smooth.

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