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Taste Test Thursday: Chocolate Macarons

It seems there’s a food holiday for every type of cuisine under the sun. Heck, even blueberry pancakes have their own special day. That said, tomorrow is National Macaron Day. The French pastries have made quite a name for themselves over the past couple of years, and more and more bakeries in town are offering the dainty treats. For this week’s taste test we tried four different chocolate macarons. They were all unique, but one was unanimously more delicious than the others.

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Taste Test Thursday: Weird Beers

This week D Magazine staffers tasted a handful of bizarre brews. Now, we’re not talking about artificially flavored chocolate-banana-doughnut ales. No way. These selections are all brewed with natural, and somewhat odd ingredients that aren’t typically associated with beer.

There’s a bottle brewed with oysters, another that tastes like a really great bowl of curry, and one that’ll keep vampires at bay (it actually has holy water in it). Pretty weird. Or awesome, depending how into vampire lore you are. Here’s what happened.

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Taste Test Thursday: Sea Salt

I recently revisited Jeffery Steingarten’s “Salt Chic” piece in “It Must’ve Been Something I Ate.” In the essay, the Vogue food critic explores the validity of exotic salts, and questions whether or not they’re worth paying extra for. “Now, every gourmet store sells costly varieties of salt in a rainbow of colors from the world over. Food fans who once brought back unusual olive oils to their friends back home now come bearing bags of exotic salts,” he writes. Later in the piece he conducts a salt taste test. I thought it would be fun to oversee my own salt taste test this week. The sea salts tasted included a Himalayan pink salt, black lava salt, fleur de sel, Brittany sea salt, Alaea red Hawaiian salt, and sea salt from Trapani. Unfortunately, not all of my co-workers felt the same. “We’re tasting salt?” one questioned. Another shot me a serious stink-eye and sneered, “this is gross.” I promised them something much more delicious next week.

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Taste Test Thursday Wednesday: Champagne

Sparkling wine is fine for celebrating everyday occasions, but we at SideDish feel there’s something special about ringing in the new year with a proper glass of champagne. For this week’s taste test, with some help from a wine expert, I selected five bottles of champagne that cost less than $50 a piece. Some were dry, others juicy, but only one reigned supreme. Here’s what we thought.

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Taste Test Thursday: Cheese Logs Balls

The cheese log is as vintage as lava lamps and bouffants. The dish, which was once a party staple, is making a comeback with a little help from Pinterest and trendy DIY cookbooks. I stopped by multiple grocery stores in pursuit of log-shaped cheese, rolled in toasted nuts. Unfortunately, I only came across one log. The rest were spherical. Surely the shape doesn’t affect the taste, right?

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Taste Test Thursday: Holiday Beer

So you’re running late to your sister’s boyfriend’s boss’ holiday party and agreed to grab a seasonally appropriate six-pack on the way. The beer aisle at the liquor store is littered with decorative packaging, each boasting its own brand of holiday delight. Every label taunts the palate with promises of pecans, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, oranges, cocoa, and even toffee. How the heck are you supposed to choose?

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