Beer Reviews Ak Damm 1876

AKDamm

AK Damm 1876 was produced to celebrate the founding of the Damm brewery in (wait for it) 1876 in Barcelona by a guy called Augustus Kuentzmann. Yes, you guessed right, he wasn’t a native of Catalan, but an expat from Alsace. He decided to brew a type of beer he was familiar with, but the locals weren’t. And so a legend was born…or at the very least, an uninteresting story.

These days, the Damm brewery produce a modest range of different beers, the most famous being Estrella Damm and Voll Damm, but here’s what they say about AK Damm:

“Pure malt from selected varieties and hops from the German Hallertau region give this beer its smooth personality.”

This beer pours a deep golden colour with masses of tiny bubbles rising to form a huge, rocky head of pure white foam which, with great reluctance, hangs around to the very end and coats the glass with liberal amounts of sticky lace.

The aroma has a deep malt tone with some bready dough and hints of biscuit. There’s a good hop presence there too with earthy, grassy notes and a sheaf or two of mown hay.

It’s full-bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and an initial sweet taste. It soon turn bitter though, with a hefty slice of citrus tang and a little hint of fruit. The flavour seems to bounce between bitter ans sweet with a strong sense of pale malt appearing midway, and a rich crunchy feel, almost like oatmeal. The finish is dry, bitter and sharp with a clean and refreshing aftertaste.

At 4.8% ABV, I liked this. It’s very ale-like for a lager, and not overly carbonated which makes it slip down a treat. There’s nothing thin or wishy-washy about it  though – it’s a very satisfying and filling beer. I’d say that it compares really favourably to most other Spanish beers, although it was a little more expensive than the run-of-the-mill brews. Having said that, I think that it was worth the extra few eurocents I paid.

I can’t say I’ve seen this beer in the wider world (although, to be fair, I haven’t looked all that hard), but it was pretty easy to come by in the Barcelona area (bit of a trek for a quick pint, but if you’re there anyway…). All in all, a very nice beer.

Would I drink it again? – Damm straight!

Baked Tilapia

Fake-Fried Tilapia (Baked)

When I first started cooking, I had to google “how to boil an egg.” Yes, that bad. So, for those of us unskilled in the art, special consideration is given in the following recipe. I apologize to those persons who stumble upon this article for the elementary nature of its instruction; it’s an article meant for the younger me – the non-chef who’d like, every once and a while, to cook something edible.

Tilapia is one of the easiest fish to prepare. It’s not a “fishy” fish, so it can be widely enjoyed by even those persons who “don’t like fish,” which just so happens to include me. Fried is wonderful, but fake-fried is just as tasty yet significantly healthier. Bake-fried is becoming a popular way for people to eat their favorite fried food without all the calories and fat. The batter in this recipe mimicks the fried taste and texture successfully. The following is for two, but simply double or triple the recipe for families.

Ingredients:

2-3 Tilapia filets

1 egg white, beaten

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

A pinch of teaspoon white pepper, optional

½ cup cornmeal

2 tablespoons Creole seasoning OR your favorite all-purpose seasoning

Cooking spray

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450F, and spray a baking sheet with cooking oil. For easy clean-up, use foil. Don’t forgo the oil, though, or the batter will stick to the pan. Mix flour, salt and pepper in one bowl. In another bowl, mix cornmeal and seasoning. Dip fish into egg, then flour mixture, then egg again, then cornmeal mixture and place onto the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning once if necessary. The batter will begin to brown, and the fish will be white and flakey when fully cooked.

Be careful with the white pepper if you choose to use it, just a little goes a very long way. That’s where the spice-kick comes from in this recipe. For children, I’d suggest omitting white pepper altogether. It’s important to keep an eye on the fish and not overcook it.