August 9, 2010
A friend of mine was hungry after the Folk Festival, so we went to Denny's, one of the few places still serving food at that hour. I was just looking for a snack, so I ordered a small nacho plate.
Denny's version of nachos is...interesting. The small is very small, and covered in some kind of cream sauce, with only a few shreds of unmelted cheddar cheese and a couple of cubes of tomatoes and onions on the chips, and that was it.
And you had to order salsa separately.
When I dipped the cream-covered tortilla chip into the salsa and took a bite, something wasn't right. The salsa tasted like it had beer in it. It had a bit of a kick and seemed like it might be carbonated. I wondered if Denny's was trying to compete with one of those upscale trendy restaurants that puts beer into everything. I decided I must be imagining things.
I tried another bite and then ditched the salsa. It scared me a bit.
A little later, my friend dipped one of his fries into the salsa. "That's really strange," he said. He tried it again. "It's not good, but I want to keep eating it just because it's so weird. You have to try this again."
I did. It still tasted like beer to me. Then, I looked closely at the bowl of salsa. It was moving!
"Is it..bubbling?" I asked. here were a few bubbles on the surface, and then a few more. My friend poked at the salsa with his fork, and the whole bowl started fizzing.
"Oh, my God - it's fermenting!" I exclaimed.
Yup, the salsa was converting itself into booze.
I wondered what a drink of that might be like - a carbonated Caesar or Bloody Mary with extra chunks? (I just Googled "fermented salsa" and found out that it's something people make, but I'm pretty sure Denny's version was unintentional.)
Long story short, I wouldn't recommend the nachos at Denny's...unless you're underage and can't get someone to pull alcohol for you.