On the Road
The Budweiser Mobile Beer School -- "the largest traveling classroom ever assembled," according to the Anheuser-Busch Co., which owns Bud -- favored the city with a visit to Pier 39 last week. If you've seen Homer's infamous Duff Brewery tour episode of The Simpsons, you'll have some idea of the spectacle. The school consists of two 53-foot-long trailers that, like sleep-away couches, unfold and join up into a classroom that seats 48 people eager to learn "the art, science and tradition of brewing beer." This from the sponsors of Bud Bowl? Please.
The school features phony brick colonnades, an outdoor patio, and two restrooms. (Could that possibly be enough?) The course of study is designed to appeal to all red-blooded Americans who hate studying anything except the cathode-ray tube; it "allows you ... to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the best breweries in the world, and to taste beer. Best of all, there's no homework and no tests." Now that's an education!
Out of Season
Even the most shameless retailers have yet to start talking up the Christmas shopping season, so why is Godiva Chocolatier Inc. already pitching its wares for Valentine's Day?
The difference between the best chocolate (read: Godiva) and the cheap stuff is like the difference between a fine methode champenoise wine and bulk-process rotgut like Tott's, says Thierry Muret, Godiva's modest master chocolatier. Good chocolate has a fresh, deep aroma when you open the box, and the pieces should come in interesting shapes without blemishes. It should also taste ... well, better, not oversweet, with more complex and nuanced flavors and a longer aftertaste than the cheap stuff.
The company says that while good chocolate costs more, "people can easily satisfy their chocolate cravings with only one or two pieces, making fine chocolates one of life's affordable luxuries."
Unless, like me, you're an addict, in which case you'll devour the whole box. And, in case you're wondering, there are only 143 shopping days until VD.
Up From Eurocentrism
Yet another reason to visit the New Main Library: On Friday evening at 7, restaurateurs George Q. Chen of Betelnut and David Gingrass of Hawthorne Lane will sit on a panel titled "Breaking Bread Together: Cuisine Creates Common Ground for Diverse Cultures." The panel will explore the Bay Area's role in expanding American culinary standards beyond their European roots. The program is free and open to the public; seating (in the Koret Auditorium) is first-come, first-served, so don't be late. Call 445-4594 for more information.