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The Carolina Reaper

A 34-year-old man with no significant medical history presented to the emergency room (ER) after an episode of thunderclap headache. His symptoms began with dry heaves but no vomiting immediately after participation in a hot pepper contest where he ate one ‘Carolina Reaper,’ the hottest chili pepper in the world. — BMJ Case Reports   Carolina…

Guy Breton P’tit Max Morgon 2011

If you like a wine that is the qualic embodiment of a dank medieval cellar (and per chance you also like the most pungent of soft cheeses, say Époisses) then this Morgon which I had at Joe Beef will be a most memorable experience. Other available Morgons, as good as they were, never lived up to this one. Here…

The Mystery of Finlaggan

Always partial to an Islay, I tried this for the first time and it fared very much better than a Lagavulin 8 200th Anniversary Edition. The general consensus seems to be that price-wise this Islay offers a really big bang for the buck. Here are two assessments of it.     alcoholFinlaggangastronomyIslaysingle malt

Breaking Bourbon

A few weeks back I made the error of purchasing a second bottle of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked (it was erroneous because I must not quite have assimilated the full depth of my disappointment first time round). A minority view, I know, but I just found the extra oaking a case of “over-egging the pud”…

India meets NOLA

As a Brit living in North America if ever there were a cuisine that I have regular cravings for it is Indian, Indian long-since becoming the national cuisine, a most welcome antidote to the grimness of the then-British cuisine of the early ’70s. Inevitably, there is so much schlock out there or if one goes…

Sea Urchin Sashimi

Had I had tried Sea Urchin before then it would have been at Le Bernardin or The Willows Inn — but surely I’d have remembered the experience. Anyway, recently I tried Sea Urchin at a Japanese restaurant and it was one of the most compelling flavours I’ve had in several years. I can’t describe it but others…