Category Archives: Smooth Tradition and Strong History

Kash

This one for my boy.

 Chef Leslie Nailer

 

 

 

 

 

The word cash that is used to refer to currency by Americans is derived from the word Kash.

Kash is an ancient beer and it was used to pay workers and builders of the Great Egyptian Pyramids. Stone cutters, slaves, architects, and even public officials were often paid with beer.Two containers of kash equalled minimum wage for an Egyptian laborer’s day of work.

Egyptians were brewing and distributing at least six varieties of beer by 3,000 B.C.

…And check this out.

  •  Egypt : If a man offered a lady a sip of his beer they were betrothed.
  • Mesopotamia : Tavern owners found guilty of overcharging patrons for beer were sentenced to death by drowning.
  • Ancient Babylonia : A bride’s father would supply all the ‘honey’ beer the groom could drink for one month after the wedding.  Because the calendar was lunar based, this month was referred to as the “honey moon”.
  • Ancient Babylon : Babylonians were dead serious about beer making. To regulate quality, it was decreed that any commercial beer maker who sold unfit beer was to be drowned in that very libation.

This stamp seal from Tepe Gawra depicts two figures drinking beer using traditional straws and container dates to 4000 B.C.

Beer was prominently featured in Sumerian and Mesopotamian texts and art such as this Lapis Lazuli seal from the Royal Cemetery at Ur. This seal dates to the Early Dynastic Period, Mesopotamia 2600-2350 B.C.

Africa – Banana Beer

Banana beer is regarded as the most popular and wide-spread alcoholic beverage in all of Africa. A type called Mbege, is produced by the Chagga peoples of Tanzania and is the most notable of banana beer made in all of Africa. It is the traditional drink during social celebrations such as marriage negotiations,birth, and Christian confirmation parties. It is also consumed during solemn rituals like funerals and is known to be used as payment to settle court cases.

Made with bananas and cereal flour (often sorghum flour) the regional variations are numerous.

Banana beer is the first alcoholic beverage to be identified by the nickname “Jungle Juice”.

Although today many African breweries produce and export banana beer around the world, it is traditionally consumed immediately after preparation because of its short shelf life. When properly formulated banana beer is known to have the health benefits of being naturally gluten-free, contains unaltered proteins, be full of B-vitamins, and assists in releasing muscle cramp preventing potassium.

South America – Chicha

       

Chicha is a South American beer that dates back  prior to the Inca empire.It is commonly called chicha dejora to distinguish it from its non-alcoholic counterpart chicha morada and is a traditional offering to arriving guests as well as the chosen drink during rituals and religious festivals.

History tells of the Inca being mass producers of the beverage and preparation mills have been found at the ruins of Machu Picchu. Women of the Inca empire were taught brewing techniques in Aqlla Wasi (femine schools).

Most often made from purple corn,traditional preparation mainly consists of boiling corn in water with pineapples and allowing it time to cool,then adding sugar,cinnamon,and cloves for spice and extra flavor. A number of variations do exist. Chicha made from manioc root,maize,grapes,apples,and other fruit is acceptable. Althuogh it is still a popular beverage throughout South America,traditional brew techniques are rare and only exist in a small number of towns and villages. It is believed that chicha may have medicinal and therapeutic properties. It is said that proper consumption may help to reduce blood pressure and it may act as an antiflamatory agent for the prostate.

In the month of September,the indigenous village of Otavalo hosts a chicha sampling festival called Yamor.

Huancayo,Peru brew.
Homebrew from Huancayo,Peru
Ollantaybambo,Peru brew.

Green Beer … Who Does That

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Is the tradition of dyeing and consuming green beer on St.Patrick’s Day a true Irish one or an Irish-American sensation? To begin, St.Patrick was not Irish. A boy born to wealthy parents was kidnapped from Britain and taken to Ireland, and the day celebrated as St.Patrick’s Day is actually the day of his death. Some Irish individuals believe the drinking of green beer on St.Patrick’s Day goes back to the legend of the leprechaun, but as Irish immigrants began to settle in Boston and became scrutinized and discriminated against, they chose to show pride by using the color green to distinguish all things Irish.

The leprechaun, a fairy of ancient Irish mythology, was adopted by St.Patrick as a religious teaching tool in his converting of druids and pagans into Christians. Using a comparison of, To the great rewards of God to those who seek in Him, with seeking and finding the leprechaun’s pot of gold, St.Patrick states,”like the leprechaun, God remains hidden from human view, is to be feared, and so holds great rewards for those who seek and find him”. Common belief of the Irish was, the leprechaun used the green Irish countryside to hide himself so the color green became closely associated with it and St.Patrick.

Irish-Americans celebrate Green Beer Day, which began in 1952 at Miami University in Oxford,Ohio. This celebration does not coincide with St.Patrick’s Day but does allow another day of celebratory green merriment. There is no complicated recipe to making green beer, a green food coloring is simply added to a light pilsner or an ale. A green brew can also be made by combining powdered wheat grass juice or Spirulina(blue-green algae) and beer. Both of these mixtures are packed with antioxidants, minerals, and B-vitamins and are said to ease hangovers because of these properties.