The Drinking of the Green: Euglena Review, Part 1

We were going to festoon our site with green balloons this week in honor of St. Paddy’s Day but nixed that idea pretty quickly: does not have an anti-balloon-popping-weapon defense system in place to prevent deflation. Perhaps we should consult with Jeff Koons to find out what his plans are for balloon defense post-bow-wow burst. So no balloons this week!

Oh, we’re suckers for green, and well we should be, too! Bunches of broccoli boiling in the pot, Brussels sprouts stacked like golf balls on our plate, and spinach—creamed and light green or raw and showing its true colors—galvanize our salivaries every time we encounter them. But when the aged grapefruit in the back of the fridge decides to join Blue Man Group, our urge to eat vanishes as quickly as a politician’s promises post-election day. Ah, the color green!

The title of this entry is an allusion to the famous Irish ballad “The Wearing of the Green,” which commemorates the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and laments a time when one could be hanged for a fashion transgression.

Oh Paddy, dear, and did you hear the news that’s going round?
The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground
Saint Patrick’s Day no more we’ll keep; his colours can’t be seen
For they’re hanging men and women for the wearing of the green1

Here, we are going to do some drinking of the green, and no one will swing from the gallows for it.

#euglena #guinness #stpatricksday #greenbeer
The Green Guinness Cometh

On St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), it is customary in certain quarters to turn Ireland’s iconic drink—Guinness Stout—green, or a shade thereof, through some kind of alchemy or sorcery or chemistry or something. This is a bit gimmicky, but, hey, if it sells brews, why not? We, on the other hand, have decided to use a different approach to this practice by altering, not only the color, but the taste. We have chosen to do so with Euglena. Here are the results.

We will be dealing with Euglena in greater depth in next week’s entry. Suffice it to say that this is a green powder containing a number of salubrious ingredients, one of which is Euglena gracilis, which, according to Ian Munroe writing in Japan Today, “is a tiny single-celled organism with plant and animal qualities.”2 These teeny-weeny critters impart to the drink that is created when the powder is mixed with lukewarm water a certain degree of fishiness.

We decided to do the following: 1) mix the powder with tepid water, which is how it is usually consumed; 2) add the powder to a glass of Guinness Stout; and 3) add it to a glass of Guinness Stout to which a raw egg has been added. Number 1 was done simply for baseline purposes. As for the last-mentioned item, some of our readers may recall that the raw-egg-with-Guinness thing was a short-lived fad about thirty-five years ago.

We determined that the powder and the stout quickly establish a symbiotic relationship. The stout takes the fishy edge off the Euglena, and the Euglena tempers the burnt notes and bitterness of the Guinness. As for the egg, fry it!

#euglena #guinness #greenbeer
Guinness + Euglena, a Beautiful Myrtle Green

1“The Wearing of the Green,” Wolfe Tones,

2Munroe, I., “Euglena: Tiny Algae, Great Promise,” Japan Today, January 19, 2016.

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