Gift of the Maggi

Because I have to perform physical labor today, it has turned hot in Los Angeles. Because nobody’s left in the house to give me the stinkeye, I’m battling the swelter with the michelada.

(Rhetoric break. “The michelada” being, of course, an odd sort of synecdoche: I make myself appear respectable by referring to, I guess, the platonic form of the michelada–which is conveniently singular. But that singular “the michelada” clearly (and now explicitly) stands in for the “5 or 8 or 10 micheladas I’m going to sink before the overeager sun goes away” that is the real object. Language was invented by drunks.)

The michelada has gone mainstream since the last time I extolled it, and it is in fact its NYT writeup I come before you to tweak.

The topic is Maggi seasoning. It gets its due in the greylady’s kind of breathless/authoritative way:

One of the great things the Mexicans know about that we don’t is Maggi Seasoning, an extract of wheat gluten that tastes like soy sauce that’s been wrung out of a grilled steak. They put it in almost everything, which is why almost everything they eat tastes great. Maggi is a key player in the better micheladas — just a few drops — and so procuring a bottle amps your game exponentially from mere soy sauce or Worcestershire.

I only want to mention that “— just a few drops —” in my experience has no warrant. A little of this stuff goes a long way, but a lot goes even farther. If you’re like me, you’re using a cheap, watery beer that can soak up all the flavor you can throw at it, and this Maggi does the trick. So don’t be shy just because the Times dude is making it sound like third-world alchemy that you just might imperialistically ruin if you get too enthusiastic. Worst case scenario is you need to add more beer.