X-Mas matters of taste
There are these december weeks... you all know them:-)
They come back every year and every year nearly everybody feels stressed again because of these litte holidays and their organisation around x-mas – be for private or business life.
Sometimes it seems to me as if the 24th of dezember is a suddenly upcoming little catastrophe nobody ever heard about and no one ever knew before... and most important impression: everybody acts like if everything not being finished before the 12/24 will never have a chance of being finished. Therefore the world MUST finish everything under every circumstance until the 24th of December or better before the 21st of December.
Gingerbread spice mix everywhere
There are a few other phenomena in our marketing driven cluture around chrsitmas concerning taste. After the first cinamon christimas cookies in September!!! my nose and tongue get bored faster and faster to smell all those – in general wonderful – spicery like cinamon, artifical orange and overdosed gingerbread spice mixes. Therefore I decided a few years ago to eat exclusively self-made cookies and not to taste any of those overdone x-mas chocolates at any of those before christmas parties anymore. That was a very good decision:-) and I´ve never regretted it, above all my culinary senses:-)
Cinamon for example is a very fine spice and furthermore one of the oldest known ones. Scientists presume cinamon to be used in China already 3000 B.C. From the 16th to the 18th century it was one of the most expensive spices. Its smell and taste are connected in nearly every mind with the experience of Christmas. Nowadays the cheaper Cassia Cinamon, used for all the industral bakery, is even considered to be harmful if you eat a whole package of cookies. But the much more expensive "Conamon Verum" also known as "Ceylon Cinamon" stays one of my favourite spices - if used modestly. For example a pinch of this original cinamon used within a vension ragout with red wine and african pepper could refine this taste ensemble around the meat in a very special way. It is often the same, be it cooking or life(style): quality and dosage are the things that really matter:-)
Another wonderful spice is cardamon. The capsules of this plant of the ginger family, originally from India, have a very strong and exceptional taste. The more aromatic Malabar Cardamon is one of those spices I like to refine my dark, selfmade hot chocolate with, after having cooked carefully the a vanilla bean in the milk first. A whiff of cardamon can also enlight good strong espresso. Therfore you have to mix it into the coffee powder and brew it together.
Last but not least: Staranis
I get to know staranis very late in my culinary life. Not being a fan of all those anis tastes known from liqueurs like the greek Ouzo or the french Pastisse, I used anis very seldom in my kitchen. This fact changed immediately after having discovered a wonderful recipe of one of my favourite cooks, Vincent Klink (www.wielandshoehe.de). He uses pestled star anis and black pepper as a cold marinade for salmon filets and leaves the fish covered with the two spices overnight in the fridge. The salmon absorbs the hot and the sweet of the two spices, smells and tastes slighty after those two different components after being marinated - wonderful! Before frying the salmon filets in butter he removes the marinade. You feel nothing on your tongue except for the soft and tasty fish. Vincent Klink really is one of those masters of the right combinations and the right dosage of spices and herbs in his marvellous kitchen. His salmon recipe is one of my favourite chirstmas dishes. This year it will be the dinner for the evening of the 25th.
So the first half year of this blog is over. I hope you enjoyed the entries and I hope you will be my readers again in 2010! Whish you all a merry X-mas and a happy new year with a lot of fine food, good moments, interesting people and new discoveries, be they big or small!
dolce vita ahoi • best wishes• mobile minds • monika ebert