Summer is finally here. Skin is showing, windows are down and parks and swimming holes are crowded. It’s the time of year when I make every effort to be outside with friends sharing some beers, food and good times. Up until recently, it was hard to find good beers that were “outside approved," also known as beers in cans.
Because of safety reasons, most parks, beaches and pools have a no-bottle policy, which until recently had made enjoying a good quality beer outside next to impossible. That all changed roughly ten years ago when Oskar Blues came onto the scene with their canned beers and changed the perception that only bad beer was available in cans.
Seven years later, in 2009, there were 52 craft breweries serving their beer in cans. Today, The Brewer’s Association estimates there are more than 180 craft breweries that are canning, proving good beer is now available in cans and it’s here to stay.
Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
The Summer of Riesling is upon us! Flee, humans, lest you all be slain in your...wait, sorry, wrong follow-up there. Here we go: The Summer of Riesling is the time when restaurants around the country celebrate the ineffable wonders that spring forth, like armored Athena from Zeus’s head (more or less), every time a bottle of Riesling is opened.
All summer long (from June 20 to September 21), cooler-than-your-average-bear restaurants around the country will be pouring three Rieslings by the glass - with two of those from Germany during the month of July. Why, you ask? To build awareness about this wonderful grape, its inimitable food-friendliness, its thirst-quenching, palate-whetting sizzle of acidity, and hey, also the fact that not all Rieslings are sweet. Many more each year are being made in a dry style (which those from Austria, Australia and France’s Alsace region always have been).
While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
Today's food holiday is poultry in motion - July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day.
To some, there is nothing more comforting than a piece of juicy fried chicken with a crispy skin. A Southern specialty, fried chicken often graces the plates of both humble roadside eateries and fancy fine dining establishments.
The trick to good fried chicken is preparation. Brining the chicken overnight before frying helps keep the meat moist, so will buttermilk as part of your dredge. A double dip between wet and dry ingredients ensures your breading doesn’t separate from the meat, and seasoning each step in the process is a must. Dark meat also holds up better in the fryer than light, and it won’t dry out on you as easily - which is the biggest concern when making kickin’ chicken.
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