Flavour Revolution – Marula

Animal Crackers

Mrs. Sip and I recently returned from a month-long journey to southern Africa and were completely enamoured with the animals the continent is famous for. We also have a fondness for Amarula Cream, a liqueur from South Africa that takes Bailey’s and other Irish crème’s to task. Today, we enjoy Amarula Gold (the Cream’s golden cousin), while looking at the greatest pop culture examples of the creatures we enjoyed during our travels:

Lions:

One of the most famous lions is known simply for his iconic roar, seen at the start of MGM movies. Leo is still introducing viewers to films to this day. The lion has also been adopted as the logo for two different football teams, the Detroit Lions (NFL) and my hometown BC Lions (CFL). That’s interesting because while lions are fierce hunters, they’re also incredibly lazy. In the media world, there are notable lions in Simba, Mufasa, and Scar from The Lion King, as well as Aslan (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) and the Cowardly Lion (The Wizard of Oz).

lion lesson

Buffalos:

There aren’t really any fictional buffalos to choose from, but there is the city of Buffalo, New York, which is home to such teams as the Sabres (NHL), and Bills (NFL). There’s also the Order of the Water Buffalo, with such dignified members as Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. Lastly, one can also include Buffalo Bill, the deranged serial killer from Silence of the Lambs… on second thought, maybe he should be left off the list.

Rhinos:

The horned beasts seem to be the perfect animal for animated antagonists. This can be seen with one of Spiderman’s greatest foes, Rhino, as well as Rocksteady from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If we are to use the characters as examples of how rhinos are viewed by animators, then they’re certainly not the brightest individuals. Lastly, pro wrestler Terry Gerin, adopted the name Rhino (later changed to Rhyno, because actual rhinos love suing over intellectual property rights!), when he debuted with Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1999. Sadly, rhinos are rapidly decreasing in population, with poachers seeking their valuable horns, to be used for sexual potency.

Elephants:

Like lions, elephants have factored into a lot of media. One of Disney’s most cherished characters is that of Dumbo, the flying elephant. There’s also Babar; Dr. Seuss’s Horton (who heard a Who); Bart Simpson’s brief pet, Stampy; and Big Bird’s imaginary friend Snuffleupagus. Another fan favourite is Elephant Ears donuts, because there’s never a bad donut and these cinnamon-sugar sprinkled gems are no exception.

elephant-dancing-snufflin

Leopards:

Famous leopards are about as rare as spotting the cat in the wild. The leopard is the only major African animal that we didn’t see on our recent vacation and our guide told us in all his years of taking tourists through Africa, he’s only seen a handful, himself. The only notable leopard that came to mind was Bagheera from The Jungle Book. His protective ways ensured young Mowgli’s survival in the wild.

Giraffes:

Youngsters today may not know about Geoffrey, the Toys R’ Us mascot, but he played a huge role in my childhood. He made many of the children from my generation want to be a Toys R’ Us kid! Originally named Dr. G. Raffe, the spokesanimal has been with the company since 1957.

Hippos:

The board game Hungry Hungry Hippos painted a lighter image on these dangerous beasts, who are known to charge at the boats of tourists for no other reason than because they feel like it. Despite their antagonistic nature, there is still the classic Christmas song “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. Perhaps the little girl making the request just didn’t know any better.

hungry-hippos-game

Crocodiles:

Perhaps the most famous crocodile is Tick-Tock, the tormentor of Capt. James Hook and the beast that took the pirate’s hand. Crocodiles are often depicted as bad guys. This includes Killer Croc, a frequent nemesis of Batman; King K. Rool, the thorn in the side of Donkey Kong and his extended family; and the Fraternity of Crocodiles, from the comic Pearls Before Swine, who are often in pursuit of zebras (or zeebas as the frat calls them), despite their minimal intelligence.

Quick Hits:

Zebras: Fruit Stripe Zebra – Given the gum’s appearance, it was natural that Fruit Stripe would adopt a Zebra as its mascot

Cheetahs: I’ve enjoyed the recent Cheetos commercials starring Chester Cheetah, as he helps snackers get their share of the cheese-flavoured grub

Meerkats: In the real world, there was the popular Meerkat Manor nature series… in animation, we of course had Timon from The Lion King

Warthog: Speaking of Timon, you can’t forget his buddy Pumbaa… and just like the previously mentioned Rocksteady took after a rhino, his thug pal Bebop was mutated from a warthog

Hyenas: One last time we go back to The Lion King, with this pack of cackling baddies: Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed

Flavour Revolution: Golden Apple

  • 1.5 oz Amarula Gold
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Splash of Sour Apple Mixer
  • Garnish with an Apple Slice

Many of these animals comprise the Big 5 (lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos), placed in that group because of their difficulty in hunting. There are also a Small 5 (elephant shrew, buffalo weaver, leopard tortoise, ant lion, rhino beetle), based on miniature versions of the Big 5, as well as an Ugly 5 (warthog, hyena, marabou stork, vulture, and wildebeest), which is kind of self-explanatory.

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October 12 – Churros

Donuts Around the World

We all know your typical donut offerings: your rounds, jelly-filled, long johns, etc., but the world is in fact full of variations on the classic pastry. I know what you’re saying “There can’t seriously be that many different styles of donuts!” If that’s your opinion, stand back and prepare to be amazed (as you usually are) by the Sip Advisor’s investigative skills… ahem, and a quick shout out to Wikipedia!

Churro (Mexico) – Every time Mrs. Sip and I are in Disneyland we have to share at least one churro. While you might shell out $3-$5 for a single churro at the fair or amusement park, in Mexico, we picked up an entire bag of the cinnamon sugar-laced dessert sticks for about the same price.

Churros

Beaver Tail (Canada) – Once again, Canada puts itself on the map with culinary items that come the closest to sexual innuendos! The Beaver Tail, in this case, is actually a flat, rounded donut that you can layer various toppings onto. A company has grown out of this invention and offers some great options.

Timbits (Canada) – One of the country’s most popular dessert offerings is the Timbit (known is other locales as a donut hole), which allows snackers to still have some doughy goodness, but not be forced to inhale an entire donut. My favourite Timbit is undoubtedly the chocolate glazed offering.

Fritter (Various) – A fritter basically means (according to my research) and mass of dough that can be stuffed with any substance. That’s not the technical definition, but I think you get the point. Fritters can be stuffed with everything from meat to seafood to fruit.

Cruller (Europe) – While popular in the United States and Canada, crullers originated in Europe and their name is derived from the Dutch word cruller, which means “to curl”. These twisted donuts can come in round or stick form.

Cat Donuts

Ngàuhleisōu (China) – Otherwise known as Ox-Tongue Pastry or Horse-Ear Pastry, these flattened discs are probably more appetizing than they sound. The Ngàuhleisōu can be filled or topped with either sweet or savory filling. Given it’s China, who knows what could be in the donut!

Loukoumas (Greece) – The figure eight of the donut world! I believe Mrs. Sip and I tried one of these bad boys when we visited Greece in 2007… you know, before the country went down the crapper.

Beignets (France) – Similar to a fritter, this French treat is quite popular in Louisiana, where the Creole lifestyle has kept many Parisian traditions alive and well. Mrs. Sip enjoyed beignets when she was in New Orleans recently. The donuts are often topped with piles of powdered sugar and can also feature jams and sauces.

Berliner (Germany) – Filled with various jams, these are the original jelly donuts. Apparently, it’s a common practical joke for berliners packed with mustard to be placed among normal jam-filled berliners, waiting for a victim to take a bite. Oh, those crazy Krauts!

Donut-Seeds

Taiyaki (Japan) – Why not follow your sushi with these fish-shaped donuts. This dessert is more similar to a pancake or waffle in batter style and can be filled with anything, including custard, chocolate, cheese, gyoza, or sausage.

Bear Claw (United States) – Traditional bear claws are commonly made with almond paste and raisins. Since nobody likes things to just be ‘traditional’ anymore, bear claws now also come in apple pie, butter pecan, cream cheese, and various fruit stylings.

Funnel Cake (United States) – Mmmm, I love having funnel cake at American amusement parks. The only thing you have to watch out for is getting powdered sugar all over yourself. Like eating lobster, funnel cakes should come with their own bibs!

Funnel Cake

Elephant Ears (United States) – Colloquially known as a palmier, the elephant ear is a puff pastry which uses dough similar to a croissant. I only wish poachers would spend their time baking these treats rather than killing elephants for their tusks.

Angel Wings (Poland) – These sweet and crispy pastries are enjoyed throughout Europe. A tradition exists of husbands giving angel wings to their wives on Friday the 13th to stave off bad luck… sadly, most of those women snub the snack in favour of negative mojo because they’re counting their calories.

Éclair (France) – The custard-filled, icing-covered pastry is a French delicacy, but not being a huge fan of custard, I think I’d rather just have a Long John!

Drink #285: Churros (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Churros Shooter

  • Rim glass with Cinnamon Sugar
  • 0.75 oz Glazed Donut Liqueur
  • 0.75 oz Goldschlager
  • Garnish with a Donut Hole

Every time I think I can’t come up with another article about donuts, in order to support my recipes featuring the Glazed Donut Liqueur, I go and amaze myself with the method and madness my brain is capable of. Next up: the Jelly Donut shooter and post. Let the brainstorming begin!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I originally made this shot, on a whim, for Mrs. Sip and myself. When it passed the taste test, I knew it was eventually going up on the site. The ingredients do emulate a Churro or other cinnamon sugar-based donut and the garnish was a nice little treat to chase the shooter.