Madame Barfly: By the Light of the Night ‘True shine’ moonshine made right in our backyard
Apr28

Madame Barfly: By the Light of the Night ‘True shine’ moonshine made right in our backyard

After getting laid off, 32-year printing press veteran Scott Santaniello decided to move into an industry that always seems to stand the test of time: booze, baby. Two years ago, Santaniello, a 51-year-old life-long resident of Springfield, got a distiller’s license, launched Copper Moon and started making corn whiskey, better known as moonshine, out of rented space in the basement of the Indian Orchard Mills building. He says it’s...

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Taste-Off!: Dueling Donuts, which shop makes the best donuts in the Valley?
Apr28

Taste-Off!: Dueling Donuts, which shop makes the best donuts in the Valley?

Dueling Donut Podcast Homer Simpson said it best when he drooled out, “mmmm … donuts.” That pretty much says it all: fried, crispy, sugary-sweet, warm, melty cake. Or for short “mmmmmm.” For this Taste-Off! the Advocate staff searched around the Valley for the best local donuts and we invited a guest judge with a good sense of humor to join us: Northampton Officer Ryan Tellier. We thought we’d have some fun with the old...

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Raise Your Glass: I’ll Have a Glass of Ernest and Julio Gallo Wine — No, Seriously
Apr21

Raise Your Glass: I’ll Have a Glass of Ernest and Julio Gallo Wine — No, Seriously

When I was in elementary school, we were considered cool if we could say a few lines from television commercials. We memorized a lot of them. One ad I still remember is “What’s the word? Thunderbird,” an ad for cheap, fruit-flavored, fortified wine named for the Ford sports car. It sold for 60 cents a bottle and was marketed to those in poverty in the inner city and to misguided high school and college students. I drank some awful...

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Tantalized: Foods we’re psyched to try during Springfield Restaurant Week
Apr21

Tantalized: Foods we’re psyched to try during Springfield Restaurant Week

Did someone say “Restaurant Week”? Woo-hoo! We’re all over it. Sign us up! The City of Homes is holding its first Restaurant Week, April 23 through May 2. The event, organized by the Springfield Young Professional Citizens Committee, gives restaurants a chance to showcase their chow for cheap. Bold move, Springfield. Sharing the city’s downtown food scene is a very good thing, especially since the 18 participating restaurants range...

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The Beerhunter: You’ve Got to Try Sour Beers
Apr14

The Beerhunter: You’ve Got to Try Sour Beers

Who’s up for a fresh glass of saccharomyces cerevisiae? I’ll take one! Though, personally, I like to mix this yeast variety with water, hops, and barley. Combine those four magic ingredients and you’ve got yourself a beer — tastier, and much easier to pronounce. But first, a beer science moment. As far as yeast cultures go, saccharomyces is predictable. It loves doing exactly what it is told, which is to convert sugars from the malt...

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Food Deserts in Springfield: How many buses would you take to buy groceries?
Apr14

Food Deserts in Springfield: How many buses would you take to buy groceries?

For many residents of Mason Square a full week’s grocery shopping — picking up fresh fruits and vegetables, stopping by the butcher, buying some fresh bread, eggs, or pasta — means taking two buses to get to the Big Y across the river in West Springfield and cramming seven days’ worth of food into the PVTA’s per-passenger limit of three bags before taking another two buses home. God help you if you’ve got a kid in tow. Eat well and...

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