Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cherries and Gruyere

Last night my friends Brian ans Susie came to stay at Annie B's Spanish Kitchen. They brought with them a case of new season's cherries and warned that although really juicy, they were slightly tart. They went on to tell me that on Saturday they bought cherries and a hunk of Gruyere albeit not by design - they just came across both at a market.They started nibbling on both later that day and discivered the accidental combination was spectacular.

For some strange reason - I also had gruyere in my fridge.Obviously a ment to be fridge supply as it's not something I normally buy.If I hadn't had it, it's unlikely I'd have gone searching the shops as I thought the idea of the combo quite weird.

I couldn't believe it! The sweetness of the gruyere complimented the tartness of the cherries brilliantly.

You've got to try this!


Friday, May 8, 2009

Sherry - Manzanilla

If I could think of something like the Heineken advert from years ago, with JR Ewing preaching that Heineken could reach parts that other beers couldn't, I would do the same for a glass of chilled Manzanilla sherry.

Manzanilla is the most powerful one sip wonder that I have ever come across! The first sip goes from your ears, to the back of your throat, then down your throat, exploring avenues that you won't know are even there until you try it for yourself. The second sip is a repeat perfomance.I normally start talking again after the 3rd..............

Manzanilla is a Fino sherry, like Tio Pepe, but the difference is Tio Pepe is made in Jerez whilst Manzanilla is made in the coastal town of Sanlucar.It's all within the Sherry tri-angle. In Sanlucar, the barrels are left on the quayside, rather like whisky in Islay, soaking up the salty sea air through the wood of the casks. That's why it becomes the ideal partner for anything salty - olives, almonds, prawns dipped in salt and anchovies.

Manzanilla, like Fino, is best drunk quite soon after opening because neither are exposed to oxygen until you pop that cork and then degenerate as soon as you do. Most supermarkets in UK carry a couple of Manzanillas, some even carry half bottles which is an excellent idea. Must be served chilled - it would be like drinking warm lager otherwise.

A glistening copa of Manzanilla before lunch is compulsary at Annie B's Spanish Kitchen.

Try it - the pleasure is just sooooooooooooooooo there!