A Taste of Café de Olla

Mexico

Mexican Coffee
Warm, sweet and spicy, a steaming cup of Café de Olla is a perfect kick start to your day. Traditionally prepared in a clay pot (the Olla), I prefer to serve this spiced coffee in a big cappuccino bowl. Café de Olla (cah-FAY day OY-ah) is sweetened with little cones of rich, dark unrefined sugar called piloncillo which give a delicious burnt-sugar taste to the coffee, and are easily found in Mexican grocers or online at www.mexgrocer.com.

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups water
1/2 cup grated piloncillo (or dark brown sugar)
4 cinnamon sticks
2/3 cup coarse ground dark roast coffee
3 cloves
1/4 tsp anise seed (optional)

Special Equipment:
Fine sieve
Cheesecloth or French press for filtering

INSTRUCTIONS:
Place water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves in heavy bottomed pan. Stir over a medium high heat until sugar is dissolved, and bring to a boil.

Stir in coffee and remove from heat. Allow to steep for about 5 minutes.

Strain through fine sieve or cheesecloth or pour into French press and push plunger down to filter. Pour into mugs and serve. Sprinkle with anise seed if desired.

Note: This is quite a sweet coffee, so reduce the amount of sugar if you usually drink your coffee unsweetened.

Serve with: Churros or pan dulce (Mexican sweet rolls).

Savannah: Top 5 Food Experiences

1  Take tea at the Gyphon Tea Room and you’ll nibble on tea sandwiches and scones in a turn-of-the-century pharmacy with original stained glass ceiling and wood panelling. . Fresh salads are also worth digging your fork into.

2  Save some dough by sharing a New York style pizza at Vinnie Van Go Go in the City Market.

 The Pirate’s House may have been the drinking spot back in the 18th century, but it’s still a top watering (and dining) spot. There are fifteen separate dining rooms and a resident ghost, Captain Flint (made famous in Treasure Island) who is said to appear in the Captain’s Room.

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The Pirate’s House

4  Sure, fresh seafood is plentiful in Savannah, but if you love crab take a 20 minute drive to Deposito’s Seafood Restaurant (recommended by interior designer Lynn Morgan). It’s the locals’ secret spot, so shhh, we didn’t tell you.

5   Beautiful exterior window displays will likely draw you into The Paris Market on Broughton Street. Shop the French inspired wares and then enjoy a café au lait before you resume your walking tour of Savannah.

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The Paris Market

A Taste of Maria Theresia (Austrian Coffee)

Austria

Austrian Coffee

No doubt Austrian empress Maria Theresia swooned over this creamy orange-scented coffee named in her honour. Whether you are writing the next Great American novel, reading Kafka on your iPad or simply watching the world go by, a steaming cup of Maria Theresia is appropriately indulgent and certain to take the chill off crisp, spring days.

Not an orange fan? Substitute rum for the Cointreau to make a Fiaker.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp powdered sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

boiling water to warm glass

3 shots freshly brewed espresso

2 tsp sugar

3 tbsp Cointreau or rum

1 orange, zested

1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, grated

Special Equipment:

Fine sieve

Cheesecloth or French press for filtering

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Cover and chill. 

Fill glass with boiling water and allow to stand for about 1 minute. Discard water. Place liqueur and sugar into bottom of serving glass and stir.

Pour espresso over liqueur and top with a generous swirl of freshly whipped cream. Garnish with orange peel and grated chocolate.

Note: Brewed espresso can be substituted with 3 ounces strong dark coffee.

Serve with: A generous square of your favourite dark chocolate.

 

Austria is well known for its Sachertorte and Strudel, but next time you visit this dessert lover’s country be sure to try the Marillenknoedel. These delicate dumplings are made by wrapping sweet, ripe apricots in soft lemon and vanilla dough before coating them in crunchy, buttery breadcrumbs and dusting with powdered sugar. Try one and we promise you will forget you ever came for the chocolate cake.

A Taste of Kah’wah (Turkish Coffee)

Turkey

Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee (or Kah’wah) is thick, intense and all about the foamy layer that sits atop its rich, chocolate coloured depths. Made in long-handled pots originally designed to brew coffee over the hot desert sand, the hint of cardamom brings a suggestion of the Middle East to this bold brew. Since Turkish coffee is not filtered, be careful not to drink the grounds in the bottom of your cup, which are traditionally turned out into a saucer and used to tell fortunes.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup water

1 tbsp medium roast coffee, extra fine grind

1/8 tsp ground cardamom or 1 cardamom pod

1-2 tbsp sugar to taste

Special Equipment

Turkish coffee pot (a cezve or ibrik)

Demitasse cups to serve

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in Turkish coffee pot or a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.

Watching carefully to avoid boiling over, bring coffee to a simmer over medium heat. Remove pan from heat when surface is covered with foam.

Using a large spoon, scoop up foam and divide between serving cups. Place coffee back on heat and reheat until surface is covered with foam again. Repeat this process for a third time to create more foam.

Pour remaining coffee slowly into cups to avoid breaking foam, and leave grounds in pan. Let coffee sit for one minute until grounds settle. Discard cardamom pod if using. Serve at once.

Serve with: A little pillow of Turkish delight and a tall glass of water.

Ask your barista to grind beans for Turkish coffee.

A Taste of Café Sua Da

Vietnam

Vietnamese Coffee

After a long day exploring the colourful and dizzying streets of Saigon, visitors regain their cool with a tall glass of iced Café Sua Da (cah-fay soo dah). Made with rich and creamy condensed milk, which doesn’t spoil in the tropical heat, this sweet and refreshing brew is a Vietnamese classic. Use a strong French roast, or coffee and chicory blend like Café Du Monde, to get the authentic bold and slightly bitter flavour.

 

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk (Longevity brand is authentic)

2 tbsp medium coarse ground French roast coffee or Café du Monde

1 cup boiling water

1 large glass of ice for serving

Special Equipment:

Vietnamese coffee press (ca phe phin) or French press

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place condensed milk in bottom of glass. Place coffee into base of Vietnamese coffee press and screw lid on tightly. Position the press on top of the glass containing condensed milk.

Pour boiling water into press and let coffee drip for about 5 minutes. (Alternately, brew coffee using a French Press and pour over condensed milk.)

Stir coffee and condensed milk together. Pour into tall glass filled with ice and drink with a straw.

 

Serve with: A fresh cream puff or mochi (soft rice cake).

Charleston’s Top 5 Food Experiences

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ABOVE: Patrick and wife Fanny Panella warmly greet guests in the ambrosial wine bar at Bin 152.

1. If you’re looking for a great French experience in Charleston, you’ll find it at 39 Rue de Jean. Or, pair a light meal of cheese and meat with a perfect wine from Bin 152. Diners love the décor, and fortunately everything is for sale.

2. A trip to the Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square on Saturdays is sure to satisfy any craving. Come hungry and try Street Hero’s banh mi sandwiches or tacos, Charleston Crepe Company’s savoury or sweet pancakes and Roots Ice Cream’s small batch flavours like cucumber-mint, beet or caramelized fig.

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ABOVE: A chicken satay pizza with peanut sauce and cilantro? Yes. Jeff Johnson from Zahh Pizza makes it in the wood fired oven of his food truck.

3. Food trucks are gaining in popularity around Charleston which now boasts a total of eight diners on wheels. HELLO My Name is BBQ is at the Food Truck Rodeo on Saturdays (have a beer braised BBQ Pork sandwich, yum). Try a Chicken Satay Pizza with peanut sauce from Zahh Pizza. Jeff makes the dough from scratch and cooks the pizza in 90 seconds. Follow them on Facebook to find where they are headed next.

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ABOVE: Quite possibly the best dish in Charleston is the John’s Island Tomato Tarte Tatin created by FIG’s Executive Chef, Mike Lata.

4. You can’t go all the way to Charleston without eating some good ol’ Southern food. Maverick Southern Kitchens operates two fabulous restaurants on East Broad Street: Slightly North of Broad (SNOB) and High Cotton. Try the shrimp and grits at both locations. Tip: Don’t fill up on the wonderful corn bread they serve…or do. If you feel like learning how to make a Southern dish, visit Cooks right across the street and participate in a cooking class.

5. Whether you are just looking for a quick meal or a tasty coffee, visit Caviar and Bananas. First, the name is fun to say and second, it’s a beautiful gourmet store and café.