Halloween Trivia To Share And Scare

27

October, 2018

What’s In Store

Halloween Trivia To Share And Scare

Halloween in today’s popular culture has strayed so widely from its paganistic roots that its spooky origins are often forgotten. The earliest traces of Halloween date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced ‘Sau-win’), which was celebrated to honour the end of summer and the new year. It was believed that on the eve of the new year, ghosts and spirits would roam the Earth, and Celtic Druids commemorated their return with roaring sacred bonfires which were used to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to Celtic deities.

Yikes! Having evolved over the ages, Halloween is now a fun-filled adventure that brings cultures together – a chance to play dress-up, visit friends, or have a Horror Movie marathon. In the spirit of this spooktacular fete, here are some frightfully interesting facts for you to surprise your friends with:

1. Piece Of Cake – The origins of trick or treating are believed to stem from an ancient practice in old Ireland and Britain, whereby the Church encouraged wealthier families to hand out “soul cakes” to the poor in exchange for prayers for dead relatives. This was known as “going a-souling“, and over time children took over the responsibilities of knocking on doors to pray in exchange for the cakes.


2. Witch Is Which? –
The word “witch” is an Old English word ‘wicce’, which means “wise woman.”. Quite to the contrary of their demonistic reputation, wiccans were highly revered for their wisdom and held their main gatherings, or ‘sabbals’, on Halloween night.


3. So Sweet It’s Scary
In terms of candy sales, Halloween beats Valentine’s Day as the sweetest holiday in the USA. Census recorded that more than twice the amount of chocolate and candy is sold during Halloween compared to Valentine’s Day, with a rough estimate of around $3.5 billion spent each year.


4. The Curse Of
Stingy JackThe concept and name of the Jack-O-Lantern (Halloween pumpkin) is allegedly taken from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack, who fraternised with and outwitted the Devil several times. Condemned by Heaven and banished from Hell, Jack was turned away from the underworld upon death, forced to roam the Earth for eternity with a carved-out turnip filled with burning coal to light his way. Turnips switched to pumpkins over time simply because Irish immigrants found them to be plentiful in USA.

5. Now You See Me, Now You Don’t – The famed magician Harry Houdini died on October 31, 1926 from a ruptured appendix. Houdini was world-famous at the time of his death, known for his daring escapes from seemingly impossible circumstances. While life offered him treats, death did not miss a trick.

6. Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat, It’s Not Your Fault – Black cats have an unfounded infamy hovering over their heads about bringing bad luck if one crosses your path, especially on Halloween night. This notion was apparently an old Protestant belief of the Puritan Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony – they condemned anything to do with witchcraft, including the belief that witches could transform into cats at will. On a lighter note, this legend made its way into positive pop culture characters like Salem on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Lucinda The Cat in Bewitched (2005) starring Nicole Kidman, and of course Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter series.

7. Well Hallo-there – Forget couples costumes, Halloween was a time for matchmaking in ancient Rome. The most popular ritual is probably apple-bobbing, whereby young hopefuls had to dunk their heads in a barrel full of apples, and those who could catch an apple with one bite would be matchmade.

8. Nuts about Peanuts – 2017’s most popular Halloween candy in USA was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, along with other favorites such as Snickers, Twix, Kit Kat, Sour Patch Kids, and Skittles.

9. You Gave Me A Fright! – The fear of Halloween is called ‘Samhainophobia’, which often manifests itself along with phasmophobia (fear of ghosts), wiccaphobia (fear of witchcraft), and nyctophobia (fear of the dark).

10. Cause This Is Thriller Night Some historians contend that trick-or-treating is heavily influenced by the old European practice of “mumming,” or “guysing,” in which costumed participants visit houses in the neighbourhood to perform choreographed dances, sing songs, or enact plays in exchange for treats.

11. The Spook-E-Conomy – According to the American National Retail Federation’s annual survey, US citizens splurged a record $9.1 billion in Halloween spending in 2017, up from 2016’s previous record of $8.4 billion. We wonder what will the figure be this year?

12. The Lewisburg Horror –  The Guinness Book Of World Records cites the world’s longest haunted house as the Haunted Cave, situated in Lewisburg, Ohio. The house measures 3,564 feet long and is 80 feet below ground in an abandoned mine. Fancy mining for gold here?

13. Jack Gives Back – Every year, children in America take part in Trick-Or-Treat For UNICEF to help children in need. Kids go from door-to-door holding a little orange box that collects money for the fund, a tradition that is now 60 years old. With celebrities getting involved to spread the message, we hope this is one tradition that never ends.

Now that you got the facts, it’s time to put on your costumes and head over to B.I.G. for the candy-haul! Don’t miss The BIG Horror Halloween festival happening until 31st October, there’s loads of activities for the family to enjoy, especially our Trick or Treat event happening 6 – 7 pm on 27th Oct (Publika & DC Mall) & 28th Oct (IPC Shopping Centre)! For more details, click this link https://bit.ly/BIGLatest.

Few more days left to enjoy these BIG Deals for October!

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Beers at B.I.G. From Around The World

15

October, 2018

What’s In Store

Beers at B.I.G. From Around The World

Alright beer-lovers; Oktoberfest is in full-swing and there’s going to be lots of meeting and mingling with strangers, so it’ll be well your worth to know a few talking points for conversations with fellow beerheads. Beginning with the basics, the four fundamental ingredients for brewing beers are yeast, malt, water, and hops. Hops are a cone-shaped flower that provide a refined spicy-bitter taste to beers that contain them. Beers are divided into two categories: the first is ale, which is fermented at high temperatures and carry fruity and floral notes, and the second is lager, fermented in a cooler, carrying lighter malt-flavoured notes.

Different brands craft their beers from variants of the basic four ingredients, along with a huge spectrum of their chosen additional ingredients such as juniper berries or even hemp to give each brand their individual tastes. When you see the words  ‘craft beer’, it simply refers to beer that is produced by an independent brewery of small to medium size. The process of fermenting and flavouring beer is indeed a tedious craft, with minute details such as temperature and air quality affecting a large part of a beer’s quality and taste. Now that you’re a little better informed, let’s hop on to what we’re drinking.

Australia: Foster’s
No doubt you’ve heard this name before – established in 1887 by William and Ralph Foster, this beer is enjoyed in more than 150 countries and is one of the many successful beer brands under Carlton United Breweries. The company uses only the choicest ‘Pride of Ringwood’ hops from Tasmania, Victoria, and Myaree (Melville City), brewing them with their secret yeast that delivers their signature crisp taste.


Belgium:
Duvel
This iconic beer brand has been presided over by five generations of the Moortgat family, achieving monumental success from humble beginnings in 1871 Breendonk, Belgium. Their 90-day brewing process uses a quality blend of blond malt, Saaz Saaz and Styrian Golding hops, a special strain of Scottish yeast, and water from their brewery’s very own well. The name was coined after reactions to their original recipe brew spawned the phrase “This is the real Duvel (devil)”. You’d duvel to get a round in yourself.

United Kingdom: Fuller’s London Pride
A company with a noble history albeit with eyes always looking towards the future, Fuller’s London Pride is truly a quintessential London beer brewed under the watchful eye of their emblematic gold Griffin. Their famous ale is produced using four homegrown hop varieties, complemented by a trademark crystal malt. The malt flavours the ale with notes of sweet raisin, biscuit and dried-fruit, while the hops embellish with balanced bitterness and a piney herb flavouring. The name ‘London Pride’ was simply a suggestion made by a member of the public in the 1950s but holds up handsomely to this day.

German: Paulaner
Makers of classic Bavarian beer and proud partner of FC Bayern München, you’ll find this beer ubiquitous at all Oktoberfest parties. Paulaner Weissbier (white beer or wheat beer) is brewed in Munich under the great care and passion of Paulaner’s Bavarian brewmasters. The recipe was concocted in accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law, using a concentration of 50-70% wheat and a special yeast that lends the beer its refreshing fruity flavour. High standards and good old fashioned brewing has made this beer a global favourite.

Japan: Sapporo

Japan’s oldest brand of beer, Sapporo has been churning out quality biru (beer) since 1876, and are amongst the top Japanese beer brands along with Kirin, Suntory, Asahi, and Orion. Like most Japanese beers, Sapporos are lighter than German beers, and the company takes immense pride in their signature crisp, refreshing flavor and clean taste. Lagers have a mass appeal due to their lightness and suitability to most kinds of food, and this beer is no exception. If you’re cracking open a can of biru, do it local Jap style by munching on something hijau like edamame.

Knowing more about your beers goes a long way in adding to their enjoyment, as you are better prepared on what flavours to expect while appreciating their rich history. Find these and more in the beer section at B.I.G., and as always, drink responsibly!

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Foods That Pair Well With Beer

5

October, 2018

What’s In Store

Foods That Pair Well With Beer

Oktoberfest is one of the world’s liveliest celebrations and has been adopted (as well as adapted) by many countries around the world. Here in Malaysia, whether you’re clinking glasses with strangers at an event or partying at home with friends, all it takes is a selection of fine beers and good food to get into the spirit of the festival. Apart from the usual suspects that you’ll find at Oktoberfest eg. wiener schnitzel, wursti (sausages), brezen (pretzels), and sauerkraut, here are some of our favourite foods that pair well with beer:

Cheese Pizza

Cheese isn’t only divine when paired with wine, it’s just as good with beer! Some cheese enthusiasts even claim that is goes better with beer as the tannins found in wine can complicate the process of matching flavours. You can try pairing different cheeses with different beers, but we say throw them all on a pizza and enjoy succulent bites with your favourite brew at Grocer’s Kitchen.

Korean Fried Chicken
This will come as no surprise, it’s a great crowd favourite and matches perfectly with any classic beer. A Japanese variant would be a glorious serving of Tori Karaage – the oil of the fried chicken is washed down expertly by the bitter-sweet crispness of beer. To prepare at home, try Rasa Malaysia’s righteous recipe.

Fish Tacos

Don’t let chicken have all the fun, get some fried fish in the mix as well. Regular fried fish n’ chips make a classic pair with beer as we know, but we prefer the tangy goodness that comes with a Mexican taco. They pair particularly well with lager beers – You can get these delicious Tacos from Grocer’s Kitchen, menu here.

Chicken Curry

It’s about time to bring a cheeky twist to Mum’s chicken curry – pairing the spiciness of the curry with a flavoured beer such as a spicy pale ale will bring a whole new level to enjoying home–cooked food. Click here for a quintessential chicken curry recipe, and don’t forget to share!

Mutton Varuval

The pairing of Mutton Varuval with beer has become commonplace in many Malaysian bars, and there is no doubt why. Intense spices meets the light sweetness of a (preferably) wheat beer making it a feast for the senses. If you’re gonna do it well, do it varuval.   

Tandoori Chicken

We love pairing tender pieces of hot chicken from the tandoor with the smoky flavours of dark beers, such as stout. Stouts have a unique smooth flavour with hints of coffee/mocha that seem to dance along handsomely with charred chicken, and that includes any of its variants such as Chicken Tikka. Try this once and you’ll have it naan-stop.

Have a great Oktoberfest, and don’t forget to drop by B.I.G. to check out our stock of beers from around the world, as well as to gather all you need to prepare the dishes above. For more recipes visit www.big.com.my/recipes. Cheers and drink responsibly!

Check out our latest BIG Deals for October!

Experience a complete grocery adventure through our impressive array of ingredients and gourmet products at Ben’s Independent Grocer today!

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BALSAMIC GLAZE PEARL ONION WITH MUSHROOM

BALSAMIC GLAZE PEARL ONION WITH MUSHROOM

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cooking Time : 35 mins

You Will Need

  • Pearl Onion, peeled, 200g
  • White button mushroom, 500g
  • Balsamic vinegar, 4 tablespoons
  • Fresh thyme, a few sprigs
  • Sea salt, As needed
  • Olive oil, As needed
  • Salted butter, As needed

Directions

  1. Heat up a pan with olive oil and butter. When the pan is really hot, put in the thyme leaves followed by the mushroom and pearl onion.
  2. Sauté until fragrant and swirl in the balsamic vinegar.
  3. Let the vinegar caramelized slightly and make sure the onion and mushroom are well coated.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

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ROAST BEEF TENDERLOIN WITH GARLIC & ROSEMARY

ROAST BEEF TENDERLOIN WITH GARIC & ROSEMARY

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cooking Time : 17-20 mins

You Will Need

  • Beef Tenderloin, Trimmed, 1kg
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 3 cloves
  • Rosemary, finely chopped
  • Sea salt, as needed
  • Crushed black pepper, as needed
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Sea salt flakes, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 200˚C.
  2. Pat dry beef tenderloin with kitche towel. Combine garlic with rosemary, sea salt, crushed black pepper and olive oil. Rub it evenly all over the tenderloin.
  3. Heat up the pan and sear the tenderloin on high heat before finishing it off in the oven.
  4. Roast the beef for 17 – 20 minutes for medium rare and cook it for an additional 8 minutes if you prefer the meat to be well done.
  5. Rest the meat for a good 15 – 20 minutes before carving.
  6. Serve the meat with sea salt flakes and grain mustard by the side.

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CHRISTMAS SANGRIA

CHRISTMAS SANGRIA

Prep Time: 10 mins 

You Will Need

  • Chardonnay, 2 Bottles
  • Sparkling apple cider, 3/4 cup
  • Castor sugar, 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Cranberries, 1 cup
  • Granny Smith apples, diced, 1no
  • Fresh Rosemary, 3 sprigs

Directions

  1. Place sparkling apple cider in a large serving jug. Add in caster sugar and mix till the sugar has dissolve.
  2. Pour in chardonnay, fresh cranberries, chopped Granny Smith apples and rosemary into the serving jug and stir to combine. Cover and let all of the flavor infused together for at least 2 hours.
  3. Add ice cubes to sangria and serve chilled.

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