Saturday, October 31, 2009
Malta Goya is a beverage made from malt sugar and carbonated water and hops. It's an odd variety of soda pop not familiar to most in the U.S. but sold in several other countries. There's no alcohol in it but if you opened it and added yeast it would turn into beer. Before it's converted to alcohol, malt sugar has a flavor in addition to its sweetness. (It's the flavor of Grape Nuts cereal, as a matter of fact, which is toasted malted barley and has nothing to do with grapes or nuts.) It is that often hard to define (until now!) flavor that makes a malted milk shake taste different from a non-malted milk shake.
Since I wanted to taste this, I bought some recently. I don't drink many Cokes or Pepsi or drinks like that, and the Malta Goya tastes a bit like a cola but the malt flavor is too much for me even though I like that flavor, if that makes any sense. I also realized I could cook with it, and although I would just as well buy some malt sugar from the beer-making supply store, this was on the shelf of the grocery store where I was.
One of my back-burner projects is figure out if malt sugar is just the right kind of sugar for any particular dishes so today when it was time to glaze this ham I popped open a bottle and reduced it down to a thin syrup on the stove. I added a teaspoonful of prepared mustard and glazed the ham, which had cloves stuck in the centers of the scored fat squares. After the final half-hour in the oven the glaze was just right and the ham done.
It made a very tasty glaze; my instincts were good. It gets competition from maple syrup, honey, molasses, caramel - all respectable contenders for tasty ham glazes. This malt glaze should at least puzzle some sophisticates, provide some conversation and please the palates of some pretty persnickity people.
As I was finishing this article I thought of making an ice-cream soda or float with Malta Goya. The hops in it might foil that plan. Would any flavor ice cream soda work with the hops? Pineapple sherbet? Goya has a suggestion.
I really wish my local "health" food store carried malt sugar... without the hops.
I think I just have to drive out to the beer supply place and buy some malt sugar and maybe some malt syrup. That's where I got some a year or so ago for homemade malted milkshakes. Rather than search for Carnation Malted Milk I will purchase my own milk, thank you, and add malt sugar to my milk - or my chocolate ice cream - or my waffle batter - as needed. I think that will be best.
A product I never tried, Ovaltine, is supposed to be an amalgam of malt sugar and dry milk, plus vitamins and dried eggs or something along those lines. I will pass on that as well.
All this is making me think of adding malt sugar to certain smoothie recipes.
And one of these days I will make some more beer with it, which is what most people use it for in the first place!