Amarone is the most fashionable Italian wine in North America. I’m in no way qualified to make such a sweeping statement, but I think the shelves of boutique wine shops offer ample testament. The wine is rich, concentrated, age-worthy, and expensive. It is by its very nature more pricey than most other wines: made from partially-dried grapes, it requires more kilograms of fruit to produce a litre of wine. The absolute cheapest bottles in Canada cost about $40, but most mid-level bottles sell for around $60. My first taste of Amarone was in the home of a self-impressed eye doctor. It was delicious.
Amarone is from Valpolicella, a small region in northeast Italy, just outside Verona. Valpolicella is an … Continue reading.
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
-Leonard Cohen, Suzanne
I remember my dad telling me that when he was little he mostly got Christmas oranges (mandarins) and nuts in his stocking. When I was younger I thought that was unspeakably lame. I now realize that oranges would have been a novelty at any time of year, but to have such a sweet fruit in the dead of winter was truly a luxury.
I’ve been trying to cultivate a deeper respect for food we bring from afar. Given the season, I’ve been rekindling the ancient occidental obsession with oriental spices. To that end, I’d like to share a story from Herodotus:
What … Continue reading.
While reading the maple syrup section of On Food and Cooking, I came across a shocking bit of information.
Even though North American Indians didn’t have metal pots until the Europeans came, they had an ingenious method for reducing maple sap to make syrup. They would leave the sap in the cold air overnight. In the morning there would be ice on top. That ice would be mostly (but not exclusively) water, so in discarding the ice they were left with a higher concentration of sugar in the sap.
After reading this, I immediately turned to the section of the book on distilled spirits, to see if there was any mention of whether this method works to concentrate alcoholic … Continue reading.