Fresh Friday 7/4
Posted by The Evolution! Society
As brands gear up for the 2014 World Cup, the competition for the most high-tech and festive cleat has gotten heated. The Nike Magista is the favorite, but Adidas has released a stable worth of intimidating dark horses. The Battle Pack, a collection of five boots with classic silhouettes and aggressive styling, is definitely going to make an impression.
“We look at this as if we’re providing these guys with their battle uniform,” says Tor Southard, the company’s senior merchandising manager. “It’s the biggest competition of their lives.”
Soccer gear is notoriously loud and colorful – most of last year’s cleats were covered in sweeping neon uppers with thick bold laces – but Adidas took a slightly different approach. Each cleat in the series is covered in black and white graphics inspired by war paint and with gold stripes to represent the FIFA World Cup trophy. Southard says that developing the collection took two years from start to finish, and most of that time was spent field testing the gear. The company maintains a network of professional and semi-professional players who test each version of the shoe in all types of conditions and give feedback. One of the biggest innovations for this year’s collection is the fabric, which is a hybrid of stretchy synthetic and leather that doesn’t hold water and can take a heavy beating.
For the fans, Adidas released a mini-collection of complimentary lifestyle gear including five streetwear sneakers with a similar aesthetic. “In terms of a global sporting event, it’s only second to the Olympics,” Southard explains. “We go all in.” [Cleats from $160; adidas.com]
Fiery Scorpion Dip
In early 2012, the Chile Pepper Institute of New Mexico State University – the nation’s only research group dedicated to studying chilies – declared that, of all the chilies it had studied, the hottest chili on the planet is the golf ball–size Trinidad Moruga Scorpion with a pain-inducing heat of up to 2 million spicy-heat units on the Scoville scale. As points of reference, the jalapeño measures about 8,000 units, and the habanero, only 350,000. That record still stands, according to the institute.
Daredevils on YouTube have chomped on it; one nine-year-old even chowed down like a pro. The attraction? The taste and a kind of runner’s high. The heat causes the body to churn out endorphins again and again to deaden the pain, like dopamine, says “Cajun John” Hard, once a fire protection engineer who stopped fires for oil companies down in Louisiana and Texas and these days sets taste buds ablaze at his company, CaJohns Fiery Foods, of Westerville, Ohio – the most-awarded hot sauce company in the world.
Hard entered the scorpion fray and produced a hot sauce from the chili he calls “one of those wicked things. It’s not bad the first bite. But it really burns by the third. It’s the first bite burning after you take the third bite,” he says. “If you keep eating, you just keep building the fire for later.”
CaJohns’ 2-ounce bottle of Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Puree – containing pepper solids and a little vinegar – emits 1.4 million Scoville units. That makes it the hottest all-natural hot sauce on the globe, he says.
Yet something spicier than this delicious little puree does exist: any hot sauce using an extract of capsaicin – the colorless irritant that gives hot peppers their hotness. Extracts, so hot they’re used to produce military pepper spray, are made by soaking hot chilies – usually a less-expensive variety – in a petroleum solvent, producing a tarlike extract that can be diluted with pepper solids and vinegar to make a hot sauce.
CaJohns also makes exceptionally fiery hot sauces out of these chili extracts. The company’s aptly named Black Mamba Venomous Hot Sauce, which churns out a fire-eating 8 million Scoville units, is the world’s hottest hot sauce based on a chili extract, in this case, an extract of chocolate habaneros.
With natural pepper sauces, says Hard, “you get a puree that’ll be the hottest you can get naturally; that’s for people who want to experience what the real pepper tastes like. The puree is less hot than an extract [but tastes better].” Get a mouthful in Hard’s easy recipe below for a blazing-hot cheese and chorizo dip. Don’t worry: The dairy soothes the fire just short of real pain.
Fiery Scorpion Dip
1/2 lb chorizo, casings removed
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz queso fresco, pasteurized
2 oz Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Puree
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
Pita chips or tortilla chips
In a dry medium-size skillet, sauté the chorizo over medium-high heat until almost crisp. Drain. In a slow cooker or the top of a double boiler, melt the cream cheese and queso fresco (available in most supermarkets) until you can blend them. When blended, add all 2 oz of Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Puree and the chorizo. Blend again, then carefully fold in most of the chives, reserving a little for garnish. Spoon into a warming dish, and scatter the remaining chives on top. Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or other sturdy chips that can scoop up the hearty dip without breaking.
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Posted on July 4, 2014, in Fresh Fridays (Men) and tagged 2014 World Cup, adidas, fashion, Fiery Scorpion Dip, food, fresh friday, fun, MensJournal, Soccer gear, World Cup. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.