Agave Food Pairings and Exploratorium After Dark
What do agave food pairings, tequila, bats, science, gadgets and museums have in common? Quite a lot when you visit the Exploratorium After Dark in San Francisco.
This post is sponsored by the Exploratorium, but the content and opinions expressed are my own.
It’s a playground of technology, contraptions, art and cocktails (with a quality restaurant inside as well). As a geeky food blogger I felt right at home. The Exploratorium After Dark features food pairing talks every second Thursday. Some of the upcoming events include future foods, cooking contraptions, and eating well. The focus of the After Dark event I attended was agave food pairings, and there was quite a bit to learn.
The talk included freshly prepared fish tostadas with mango salsa, and pumpkin tartlets, both great examples of agave food pairings. The Seaglass restaurant inside the Exploratorium was serving tequila pulled pork as well. After plenty of interesting information, it ended with alcohol tasting of three agave-based spirits–tequila, mezcal and bacanora.
Agave, tequila and bats have a surprisingly close relationship. Many species of bats feed on the agave nectar as their main source of food. While eating, pollen collects on the face, and is then transferred to the next agave plant they come in contact with. It’s a symbiotic relationship, where survival is dependeny on each other.
Interesting Agave, Tequila and Mezcal Facts
- There are over 220 species of agave plants
- All tequila comes from only one variety–the blue agave. The difference in flavor and quality comes from factors such as environment and soil, distillation process, filtering and the aging containers used.
- Mezcal spirits come from a range of 54 agave species, which allow for more variety in flavor profiles.
- Agave plants live 20-30 years, only bloom once in their life, then die. Plants that are grown for spirits are harvested before they bloom, otherwise they lose their sugar content into the stalks.
- Bat friendly tequilas are environmentally-friendly. By letting just 5% of their agave harvest bloom, it provides food for over 16 million bats.
The Exploratorium After Dark allows free range of the entire museum, in an 18 and over event with beer, wine and specialty cocktails for 21+. However, I would call it more of a wondrous gathering of science, engineering, technology, contraptions and spectacle. There’s literally hundreds of things to explore and experience in this surprisingly large building right on Pier 15. Some of my favorites included the VR talks and demos, iPhone microscopes, rotating (yet static) face sculptures, upside-down mirror, walk in kaleidoscope, wind tornado and the multi-cuisine restaurant.
You can purchase Exploratorium After Dark passes online. Use the code FUTUREFOOD to save on tickets, or an adult membership to gain unlimited access to the After Dark series all year.
More agave food pairings and recipe ideas:
- Vegan Cashew and Coconut Oil Granola
- Healthy Vegan Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cereal Bars