Shilpa, a co-worker from Delhi came to visit our Italian offices and brought me this box of Indian tea. I have to say this tea is excellent: strong and balanced. It blends very well with milk bit it’s also good alone. Along with the box, she also brought me a small bag of green dry seeds. She told me the name but I can’t remember. You put one seed in the tea cup, together with tea, and it adds a good and even stronger flavor. In Italy you can’t buy anything like this, so thanks Shilpa!
This is a huge box, half a kilogram. Despite me being a tea lover (for Italian standards) it’s going to take me one year to drink all of it. I was puzzled then when I found this on wikipedia:
India is also the world’s largest tea-drinking nation. However, the per capita consumption of tea in India remains a modest 750 grams per person every year.
Here I am, just back from FEFF. I managed to watch 23 movies in 5 days. And I survived!
In the next few days I’m going to write about the movies I watched, but first I’d like to talk about a dinner we had in Udine. A friend of us, Flavia, suggested we try Osteria Lo sbarco dei pirati in the city center and I’m very glad she did. Thanks Flavia!
Lo sbarco dei pirati is a picturesque place with plenty of traditional stuff hanging from the roof, that warm feeling you get inside mountain huts and a funny owner. At first he tried to talk friulan (the local dialect) but we could barely understand what he was talking about.
After a very good goulash we ordered gubana, a traditional nut-roll cake. The owner asked if we wanted it “with slivovitz”. We said no, mostly because we didn’t know it, but that was a terrible mistake. The owner reacted as if we murdered somebody, as if gubana with no slivovitz were a criminal sin! You know, in Italy we care a lot for our traditions and if somebody tried to eat salamina without pure I would react the same. We had to quickly retreat to re-establish the cosmic equilibrium.
After eating the cake we discovered slivovitz is a strong and bitter distilled liquor and makes a great pair with gubana! Well, you have to be careful because you can get drunk eating cakes, but it’s definitely worthwhile. Eventually I researched on the pedia to find out this is the generic name for a sort of plum brandy typical of the slavic area. Good to know!
Caipirinha is basically the national drink in Brazil. Ice, lime, cane sugar and cachaça is all you need to make a good caipirinha. Because of it’s simplicity everybody can make a decent caipirinha but you need real art to make a very good one. They drink it at any hour and in any occasion, before eating, during eating, after eating, always. Sometimes they prefer vodka instead of cachaça (in that case they call it caipivodka aka caipirioska) or different fruits (e.g. strawberry instead of lime).
Lagavulin 16 years old is one of the strongest single malt scotch whiskys out there. When you pour it, you can perceive the peaty aroma even while sitting one meter away from the glass. They make it on Islay, a big rock of peat emerging from the ocean on the west coast of Scotland, and it takes sixteen unhurried years of rest, kept inside casks on the sea shore, before they allow us to drink it in all of its glory. When tasting this great whisky you can feel a rich, deep, full, long sweetness pervade your mouth, slowly followed by strong peat and finally some hints of seeweed and iodine. I discovered it when I asked the barman for a smoky whisky at The Last Drop in Edinburgh. If they think this is a typical prototype of peaty whisky, then probably it is
Today my mate wanted to cook Filetto al pepe verde (tenderloin with green pepper) and to do so he needed some cognac for the flambé. I bought a bottle of Martell. It’s not exactly the cheapest cognac out there, but it was the cheapest on the shelf. I’ve never been a cognac fan, I tend to prefer whisky (scotch), but I have to say Martell is great. Gold and copper colour; fruits, leather and sandal on the nose. When you pour in your mouth, at first you feel sweet and honey, then it turns to pure silk. Someone tried to describe the difference between cognac and whisky: cognac is like a well-dressed fine lady, whisky is like a sweat and dirty mason.