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In my last post, I referred to an interesting blog that had a cool image of the popular types of Italian coffee. I want to continue with that thread by talking about a really fun way to drink coffee, and that's with a Caffè Corretto.
As I've learned about the range of ways to enjoy espresso, they have mostly revolved around breakfast, or more exactly, any time before lunch. There is an exception with espresso being served after dinner, but I wouldn't suggest it if you plan to go to bed that night. If you want help going to sleep, I would recommend a caffè corretto. In theory this is coffee with a shot of liquor in it, and more often than not that alcohol is Grappa, but I believe you can (and should) enjoy other sleep enhancers (read: booze) to offset the caffeine.
There are many different Italian drinks I've tried to enjoy, but I can say with certainty Grappa is one that escapes the pleasure centers of my brain. To me, the taste is horrifically close to something like nail polish, but without the pleasing odor. When I painfully tried it at home, I kept thinking something was wrong. A bad batch? Low quality product? Something in my head shouted: Stop!
Try, Try Again
On a recent trip to Firenze, I was determined to overcome my better instincts and try a shot to confirm that obviously this is a delicious elixir and the garbage sold in the States was simply inferior. Nope! While I can safely say I am incapable of discerning the quality differences between Grappa bought in the US and that bought in Italy, I can say without a doubt that I really hate this stuff.
Espresso To The Rescue!
Not one to waste money, I confused the barista by ordering an espresso while I struggled with the Grappa, mixed the two, and was able to get down that nastiness. My lesson of that day was that sometimes espresso can be the solution to your problems!
If, even after this glowing endorsement, you choose to try Grappa, don't say I didn't warn you!
Dining in Rome
During my recent trip to Rome, a friend and local recommended Hostaria Dino & Tony, the selling point was that it is affordable, great quality and traditional Roman fare. Without knowing it, my friend gave a description that perfectly aligned with what I like most about Roman food, so I was excited to give it a try!
Tony or Toni
While I am still learning to speak Italian (slowly), I usually feel fairly confident in a restaurant. Tonight, however, I was tired and Dino (or Tony, not sure which) greeted me, sat me down and asked if I wanted some wine with blinding speed. I was so overwhelmed that I think I said I wanted both Red and White wine. I didn't, he understood and returned with a delicious half-carafe of Vino della Casa and water.
I hadn't realized that this hostaria didn't see the need for menus. I'm sure I was asked what I wanted to eat, or at least if I wanted what they were making, but all I'm certain of is that I confirmed I …
The next person who agreed to answer the Coffee in Italia questionnaire is none other than new friend Michele, from the awesome Instagram account Mangia with Michele. We began following her within the last year and her posts about Italian food leave us drooling (you really have to check her out if you're not already following her).
I met her in NYC a couple of times IRL, and she's just as awesome as you'd expect! She has an extensive background in the food sector after leaving her career in accounting to pursue her passion. She's traveled extensively (even lived in Switzerland for a year) but loves her Jersey roots and can't imagine living anywhere other than the NYC area. Seeing the view from her window in various posts makes me miss the big apple that much more!
Currently she's hard at work building her website; you should subscribe right away so you won't miss the launch. She's also partnered with Food Lover's Odyssey to lead a food tour o…
History (Our Story!)
Our journey from automatic drip coffeemakers to stove-top espresso makers was long, but it shouldn't have been! We received a Bialetti Moka pot as a wedding shower gift from my sister and as we had no idea how to use it, we boxed it up and dragged it around with us on our many moves. During an unpacking, we realized the handle had broken so we dumped it (big mistake but who knew!). Cut to years later, Beppe ends up with another one from a yankee swap at a work Christmas party. Again, we don't use it. Finally our drip coffeemaker breaks and as we mull over which make/model to replace it with, we dig out the Moka pot and carefully read the directions and start using it, but only as an interim solution. After a few tries, we figured out that using it is not only easy, but an espresso is so much better!
So if you're intimidated (like we were) by the newness of the whole thing, we're here to share some tips on getting started using your stovetop…