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Amaro, a Bitter Wonderland

August 11, 2014 , , ,

 

full flavor of dessert

full flavor of dessert

I have been reading a lot about amaros in the blogging universe.  These herbal digestive concoctions, mostly from Italy, have become a new darling star of the cocktail bar scene.  Some bloggers are making their own mixtures by infusing brandy with combinations from their own gardens.  This is super appealing to me.  Typically served after dinner to aid in the digestive process, straight up or over a couple of ice cubes, the syrupy taste is a delight with a rich dessert.  I saw a selection of amaros on the menu at Feast and decided to try one with a malted chocolate cake with rich dense creamy caramel filling. We rarely eat dessert, so sharing one slice was plenty of sweet richness for both of us.  Bob tasted the amaro, but I sipped it throughout the dessert course between bites of the dense, full chocolate flavors in the cake.  The cake was garnished with candied grapefruit peel, which added another dimension of bitter and sweet to the finish.

I have not been a fan of bitter herbs or any kind of digestive tonic.  Since making my own bitters and shrubs this summer I have come to appreciate the ways bitterness enhances both health and flavor.  The liberal use of bitters in cooking is fun, and adds extra dimension that is hard to describe, but fills out the profile of any food.  More importantly, the flavor bitter stimulates the liver to produce bile, which one needs to digest fat.  I am not sure how many grams of fat were in my cake, but it felt like pure butter on the tongue.  I am guessing the count in butterfat was very high, but we only had a few bites which we enjoyed.  The sipping of the amaro did open up kind of a new way to feel and sense the whole process of dessert.  I have had after dinner drinks with brandy, eau de vie, or coffee, but have never sipped an amaro before.  I recommend it to anyone who wants to expand their sense of taste.  It happens to be good for digestion at the same time.  Cheers, to a slightly bitter ending to your meal!

Amaro with 2 cubes of ice

Amaro with 2 cubes of ice

What do you think?

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comments

Thanks for the tip. I do like bitter anyway. But I have to admit 2 things:
1) If it comes to alcohol I am extremely boring, since I rarely drink.
2) If I do I like cocktails based on brown rum and some time ago I discovered the delight of Aperol Spritz, an aperitive which is famous in Italy and meanwhile in Switzerland.

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Brigitte Kobi

August 11, 2014

Aperol is a digestive much like these amaros..They are supposed to capture the season…like all the herbs and fruits ripe at a single time. I am getting used to bitter.

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mermaidcamp

August 11, 2014

The interesting thing for me about Amaro is that I had not heard of it before till this past year. GO FIGURE .. but I like the digestive aspect quite a bit

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Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

August 17, 2014

I may have heard about it from you, but then found people making their own…which sounds pretty cool to me..it is just infusions..

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mermaidcamp

August 18, 2014

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