Bensoir! It's me, Benjamin. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You may have read stuff I've written elsewhere, but here on my own blog as Ben Viveur I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others, so pretty much anything goes.

BV is about enjoying real food and drink in the real world. I showcase recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. And as a critic I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended. Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

White lines (Do do it!)

The debate over the harmfulness of electronic cigarettes has been one of this year's hot topics, with industry assertions that using them is safer than staying indoors wrapped in cotton wool tempered by more cautionary counter-claims.

One thing's for certain though - they've really taken off like a big tobaccoey firework. You see a hell of a lot a lot of people vaping these days, not all of them cigarette smokers trying to quit either.

I myself own an e-cig purely for occasional, recreational use whenever I can get hold of refill cartridges in nice fruity flavours. Or chocolate, obviously. OK, and vanilla.

Whether it's harmful or not is fairly immaterial to me, as I consider real smoking a calculated risk worth taking in order to enjoy the occasional briar pipe or watermelon shisha.

But I've held the view for some years now that there is a genuinely 99.99% safe 'vice' that still feels a bit, well, naughty, and yet hardly anybody is aware of it. And it's incredibly enjoyable.

I'm talking about white snuff. Specifically, Schneeberg.

Get it up your beak

Now, snuff is generally taken to be far safer than smoking tobacco, but the nature of the product still carries some of the associated risks... but white snuff, on the other nostril, doesn't actually contain any tobacco at all!

Schneeberg mit traubenzucker
It's made up almost entirely of Traubenzucker, which, apparently, is a sort of glucose sugar derived from grapes, and sold as a fine, white mentholated powder. For snorting.

It's fucking great. And you look cool. Especially if you snuff it via a 20 note.

OK, so you won't get the edgy, nervous fuckrush you get from cocaine (or indeed any kind of rush in the hardline narcotic sense) but you'll certainly enjoy a white residue around your nostrils and moustache, with no risk of ending up looking like Daniella Westbrook.

More importantly, you'll get a wake up call from the tingly menthol, an invigoratingly sweet, minty flavour in your sinuses, and what I can only describe as an all-pervading sense of 'freshness'. Which isn't an altogether bad experience.

What's more, the little glass jar only costs a couple of quid and will last you absolutely fucking ages.

Nasal Nights

A few years ago I got into snuff big time. Mostly the traditional tobacco kind, and in all sorts of flavours. My friends and I would engage in 'snuffathons' where we'd sample maybe 50 or 60 different varieties, literally one pinch right after another, like a gang of snuff-crazed nose fiends.

Back in the day we couldn't go for a pint without doing 65 different snuffs!
We'd carefully arrange them in a strategic order, starting with the 'hill climb' through some fairly hardcore high-nicotine snuffs to energise us, before moving through a 'red light district' where the Rose and lavender scents evoked whoreish fragrances, and then transitioned into some gentle fruit flavours, perhaps followed by some spicy, perfumed Indian snuffs. Obviously there would be chocolate snuff for dessert and coffee to finish.

And, at various planned locations along the route, we'd do a bit of white, as a kind of nasal palate cleanser to calm down our raging, tobacco-filled orifices. There was Ozona white, which is fine but a little bland, there were a couple of other obscure German brands, and then there was Schneeberg mit traubenzucker. My saviour!

I looked forward to it about ten snuffs back along the road. The thought of the minty freshness kept me going through the hard-going clovey ones and coarse, earthy Dutch concoctions that stuck in your nostrils like gravy granules.

But Schneeberg is just as delightful in an innocent little pinch all on its own. Or perhaps taken with just one other (tobacco) snuff - perhaps a fine raspberry or apricot flavour - as a bijou snuff cocktail.

It's even safer than e-cigs, so there's no excuse for not trying some!

1 comment:

  1. I agree that snuff is very safe.

    Other than the rotting of the inside of the nose, the early decay of the septum, the increased risk of nasal, sinus and throat cancer and overall damage of the membranes, snuff is the safest thing you can do.

    Keep snuffing.


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