Shark week

This has been a fin-filled summer. First "Sharknado 2," now the Discovery Channel's Shark Week, which launches Sunday with a schedule that gives "Sharknado" a run for the money. If there's serious science here, they're hiding it behind titles such as "Sharkageddon," "Lair of the Mega Shark" and "Alien Sharks."

Oh, who are we kidding? We look forward to Shark Week all year -- and if we can throw in some terrible aquatic puns at the same time, even better. Clearly, the Tabasco people know us well, because they've sent us a viewing party menu that includes boozy Bloodthirsty Marys and a Hook, Line and Ceviche.

In honor of Shark Week, Tabasco has devised recipes for everything from Bloodthirsty Marys to this Hook, Line and Ceviche.
In honor of Shark Week, Tabasco has devised recipes for everything from Bloodthirsty Marys to this Hook, Line and Ceviche. (Tabasco)

The latter calls for 1 pound diced tilapia mixed with a minced garlic clove and ½ cup each of fresh Key lime juice and chopped white onion. Cover and chill 4 to 6 hours. Stir in 2 teaspoons Tabasco, 1 large chopped Roma tomato, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Chill. Drain before serving, garnished with diced avocado -- and a week of hammerhead action.

Sweet challenge

Speaking of bloodthirsty cocktails, San Francisco's Scala's Bistro is hosting its third annual Bloody Mary Battle from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 24. Ten Bay Area mixologists, from Rickhouse, Honor Kitchen & Cocktails, Bergerac and more, will duke it out (shake it out?) during this fundraiser for the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. We were hoping it was for the blood bank, given the -- never mind. The food bank is a fine cause. This year's theme is "anything but red," which should make for some fun concoctions. Tickets are $30 to $40 at http://bit.ly/ScalaBistro.


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The question of whether you can call it a Bloody Mary if it's not, you know, blood colored probably depends on which cocktail origin story you believe. The great gods of Wikipedia offer up four theories on the cocktail's distinctive name. Among them: That it was inspired by Queen Mary I, whose efforts to relaunch England's Catholic Church earned her that striking sobriquet; actress Mary Pickford (wait, what?); or Mary, a waitress at Chicago's Bucket of Blood. We rather like the last one. The most bizarre theory is that when Fernand Petiot made the cocktail for customer Vladimir Smirnoff of, yes, that family, at Harry's Bar in Paris in 1920, the staff had trouble pronouncing what became -- maybe? -- the Vladimir cocktail. We've been repeating "Vladimir" in as many excruciating faux-accents as we can muster. Now we're dubious -- and our cubicle mates are annoyed. We're not sure why. Vladimir. Vuhladeemeeer. Valadimeeeeeer ...

-- Jackie Burrell, Staff


Ultimate Bloody Mary from Waterbar in San Francisco, photographed in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013.    (Mark DuFrene/Bay Area News
Ultimate Bloody Mary from Waterbar in San Francisco, photographed in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. (Mark DuFrene/Bay Area News Group) ( Mark DuFrene )