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Seeking Tiki Ingredients and Worthy Substitutes


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#31 Chris Amirault

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 05:55 PM

The syrup has gotten better, a little thicker, a little more flavorful. I whipped up a basic tiki drink using it tonight to see what it was like in a beverage, and it turned out pretty good:
2 oz white rum
1/2 oz 151 demerara rum
3/4 oz lime
3/4 oz lemon
1 oz papaya syrup
scant 1/2 oz demerara syrup (careful: you may need only 1/4)
2 dashes Angostura
Meanwhile, I spent a good hour trying to find passion fruit in any form. Even the nectars had been cut with pear or orange. I'll keep trying, but, damn.

edited to add the info about passion fruit. -- ca

Edited by chrisamirault, 14 April 2008 - 06:05 PM.

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#32 KatieLoeb

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 10:36 PM

Chris - check the Latino section of the supermarket. Goya has a Passionfruit nectar in cans that has served me well in the past.

Edited by KatieLoeb, 14 April 2008 - 10:36 PM.

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#33 Chris Amirault

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 04:05 AM

I live in a Latino neighborhood and hit several stores. The Goya products are all mixed with something else, or so it seems. More searching to come!
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#34 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 09:07 AM

I live in a Latino neighborhood and hit several stores. The Goya products are all mixed with something else, or so it seems. More searching to come!

View Post


I've got some Goya Passion fruit juice in a bottle, lists water, sugar, passion fruit pulp, citric acid, ascorbic acid, and acacia gum. I think that's about as pure as you're going to find the stuff. It works really nicely in drinks, and the bottle helps it keep better than the canned by virtue of being recloseable. I think it costs about $1 for a 16 oz bottle.
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#35 bostonapothecary

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 09:49 AM

I live in a Latino neighborhood and hit several stores. The Goya products are all mixed with something else, or so it seems. More searching to come!

View Post


I've got some Goya Passion fruit juice in a bottle, lists water, sugar, passion fruit pulp, citric acid, ascorbic acid, and acacia gum. I think that's about as pure as you're going to find the stuff. It works really nicely in drinks, and the bottle helps it keep better than the canned by virtue of being recloseable. I think it costs about $1 for a 16 oz bottle.

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but how tart is it? its probably balanced as a drink not as a modifiable kitchen product... your getting "passion fruit cocktail" like "cranberry cocktail" not nearly unadulterated passion fruit juice...
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#36 eje

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 10:09 AM

I know you can sometimes find fruit concentrates for making juice drinks in Latino groceries. I've seen passion fruit (Maracuja) and other interesting things from time to time.

Also, if you don't mind the shipping from Hawaii, Aunty Lilikoi sells pure passion fruit juice and passion fruit syrup:

Aunty Lilikoi, Passion Fruit Products

Some of the fruit puree people who target restaurants and pastry chefs also make pure passion fruit puree. For example Perfect Puree of Napa:

Passion Fruit Concentrate

And, oh yeah, funkin has recently been making an effort to get into US bars with their products, including passion fruit puree:

funkin website

I dunno if they are also targeting retail outlets.

Edited by eje, 15 April 2008 - 10:18 AM.

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#37 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 11:08 AM

I live in a Latino neighborhood and hit several stores. The Goya products are all mixed with something else, or so it seems. More searching to come!

View Post


I've got some Goya Passion fruit juice in a bottle, lists water, sugar, passion fruit pulp, citric acid, ascorbic acid, and acacia gum. I think that's about as pure as you're going to find the stuff. It works really nicely in drinks, and the bottle helps it keep better than the canned by virtue of being recloseable. I think it costs about $1 for a 16 oz bottle.

View Post



but how tart is it? its probably balanced as a drink not as a modifiable kitchen product... your getting "passion fruit cocktail" like "cranberry cocktail" not nearly unadulterated passion fruit juice...

View Post


I've never had straight passion fruit, but yeah, it's roughly analagous to cranberry juice. However I think in both cases those juices are made into sweetened cocktails due to excessive acid levels in the fruit. With the possible exception of the various purees (particularly the Perfect Puree one) I doubt that any of the products mentioned here are pure, unadulterated passion fruit, which I think would probably be prohibitively expensive.
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#38 bostonapothecary

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 11:13 AM

I live in a Latino neighborhood and hit several stores. The Goya products are all mixed with something else, or so it seems. More searching to come!

View Post


I've got some Goya Passion fruit juice in a bottle, lists water, sugar, passion fruit pulp, citric acid, ascorbic acid, and acacia gum. I think that's about as pure as you're going to find the stuff. It works really nicely in drinks, and the bottle helps it keep better than the canned by virtue of being recloseable. I think it costs about $1 for a 16 oz bottle.

View Post



but how tart is it? its probably balanced as a drink not as a modifiable kitchen product... your getting "passion fruit cocktail" like "cranberry cocktail" not nearly unadulterated passion fruit juice...

View Post


I've never had straight passion fruit, but yeah, it's roughly analagous to cranberry juice. However I think in both cases those juices are made into sweetened cocktails due to excessive acid levels in the fruit. With the possible exception of the various purees (particularly the Perfect Puree one) I doubt that any of the products mentioned here are pure, unadulterated passion fruit, which I think would probably be prohibitively expensive.

View Post



the puree i get for the bar is excessively tart and quite a lot of fun to mix... its only on the verge of being prohibitively expensive but so worth it... i can't quite recall the brand, its some kind of french puree company, but i highly endorse it... turning it into a syrup would only limit your options... i like it best contrasted with kola nut tonic...
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#39 Chris Amirault

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 07:43 PM

Success:

Posted Image

The ingredients in this Paraguayan passion fruit drink are passion fruit, sugar, and water. It's tart and not too sweet at all. I've got to figure out how to balance it out in drinks, because the recipes I'm working with all call for syrup, and it's more tart, I think, than whatever Jeff Berry used in his books.

Of course, now that I finally have passion fruit, I had to grab my Intoxica! and experience what Berry compares to the Rosetta Stone of tiki drinks: the original Beachcomber zombie.

Posted Image

Cheers.
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#40 Chris Amirault

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 09:28 AM

Just back from Thailand, where someone really should set up a tiki bar worthy of the astonishing fruit there. You'd also have access to Havana Club rum, though a lot of other needed ingredients seem impossible to find. Freshly extracted coconut milk is a wonder, and though it took some searching, one can find passion fruit juice (though no passion fruit).

I post mainly to share a tale of woe, however. I bought a bottle of passion fruit syrup from a remarkale baker in Chiang Mai and was dying to try it. Out of fear that it'd leak, I didn't open it to taste it before our flights back, and the fine gentleman responsible for protecting Thai airways safety deemed it illegal and tossed it. :hmmm:
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#41 eje

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 10:01 AM

Just back from Thailand, where someone really should set up a tiki bar worthy of the astonishing fruit there.
[...]

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Sadly, the same can be said of just about everywhere else on the planet.

But, like they say, Tiki Bars aren't really about the drinks. More about escaping from your every day life.

As someone who enjoys both good drinks and escapism, I think that's a cop out. But such is life.

If yer looking for good drinks, most Tiki Bars are not the place to look.

Edited by eje, 18 June 2008 - 10:10 AM.

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#42 tikibars

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 03:14 PM

But, like they say, Tiki Bars aren't really about the drinks.  More about escaping from your every day life.
As someone who enjoys both good drinks and escapism, I think that's a cop out.  But such is life.
If yer looking for good drinks, most Tiki Bars are not the place to look.


Back in the day, Tiki bars WERE the place to go for both escapism and excellent drinks.

Although it is true that most Tiki bars serve crappy drinks these days, it is also true that most regular bars serve crappy drinks too.

I feel that percentage-wise, your chances of getting a good drink in a Tiki bar are about equal to your chances of getting a good drink in any other bar.

In other words, maybe one bar in twenty can make a good Sazerac or Sidecar, and maybe one Tiki bar in twenty can make a good Mai Tai.

The problem isn't Tiki bars in particular lowering their standards, it is ALL bars lowering their standards.
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#43 eje

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 06:48 PM

Well, there is the volume/percentage problem, which makes it hard to judge.

In San Francisco, for example, there are probably several hundred bars, but only maybe 3 tiki bars.

So to get a good Mai Tai, you might have to go to tiki bars 6 cities (well, Alameda, unless you ask them to make you a Mai Tai at Slanted Door, Beretta, or Flora)?

But the second point I'd make is that it seems like Tiki bars have very heavily bought in to the "mix" idea. Very few are embracing the idea of fresh fruit. Even freshly squeezed lime or lemon.

As Chris is pointing out, how weird is it that there is this plethora of fresh juice and fresh fruit, but you can't get a drink made with it. It is the same in Hawaii. There is a ton of fresh fruit stands and smoothie stands, yet the moment you step into a bar, all they serve are premade mixers.
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#44 feste

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 10:56 PM

Funny; I'm veering towards obsession with the idea of making a cream of coconut substitute for Coco Lopez that can do justice to the tiki cocktail recipes I love so much. I'm having trouble with the coconut milk going off too quickly.

Damn if I don't love a fine tropical libation.
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#45 Tiare

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:16 PM

But the second point I'd make is that it seems like Tiki bars have very heavily bought in to the "mix" idea.  Very few are embracing the idea of fresh fruit.  Even freshly squeezed lime or lemon.

As Chris is pointing out, how weird is it that there is this plethora of fresh juice and fresh fruit, but you can't get a drink made with it.  It is the same in Hawaii.  There is a ton of fresh fruit stands and smoothie stands, yet the moment you step into a bar, all they serve are premade mixers.

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Its really sad when quality is cut down for instant profit.

In our Tikibar (TikiRoom) luckily fresh fruits are used, also fresh egg whites. Mixes are banned. And at bestbars.se, TikiRoom has no 1 position in the category drinks.

I believe strongly in in the use of fresh produce, better ingredients makes better drinks, simple as that, whether its a Tiki bar or other bar.
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Tiki drinks are deceptive..if you think you can gulp them down like milk you´re wrong.

#46 mbanu

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 07:30 PM

Meanwhile, I spent a good hour trying to find passion fruit in any form. Even the nectars had been cut with pear or orange. I'll keep trying, but, damn.

You might have luck at your local Chinese grocery.
Posted Image
Best passionfruit syrup I've ever tasted. Labeled "Condensed Passion Fruit Drink" and imported from Taiwan by the Summit Import Company.

Edited by mbanu, 23 June 2008 - 07:30 PM.


#47 Chris Amirault

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 01:17 PM

Great tip. I'll hit my sources here.

Meanwhile, I believe that it's Florida passion fruit season, so I grabbed one and made a basic syrup by whizzing the pulp of one baseball-sized fruit with about 1/4 c 1:1 simple. Still fiddling with it: it's very easy for it to overpower everything else, and the balance of sweetness is even more challenging. I'm wondering if infusing some white Jamaican rum with it would make more sense....
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#48 tikibars

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 09:16 AM

Meanwhile, I spent a good hour trying to find passion fruit in any form. Even the nectars had been cut with pear or orange. I'll keep trying, but, damn.


Making your own Passion Fruit syrup is insanely easy.

I get Goya-brand Passion Fruit pulp at my local ethnic grocery for about $2.50.

I mix that with simple syrup in a 1:1 ratio (and my simple is 1:1 sugar to water... so in other words we're looking at 1 part sugar, 1 part water and 2 parts pulp).
Shake it up real good, add a spoonful of lemon juice, and add a shot of clear rum or vodka as a preservative and you're ready to go.

Beats the hell out of anything in a bottle.
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#49 Kent Wang

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 09:48 PM

Andy, where do you buy this 1883 orgeat?

#50 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 02:39 AM

Andy, where do you buy this 1883 orgeat?

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I used to buy it at a local coffee shop, which is where I found out about them; Sweet Eugene's on Harvey Rd here in College Station. Last time I went in there to get raspberry syrup (about 6 months ago), they had all Monin products instead. Nothing against Monin, which is generally of acceptable quality, but they can't really compare to the 1883. I asked them what the deal was and the guy said the company went under or something to that effect and that they were disappointed by the forced switch. A little poking around on the internet yielded this page which seems to have a pretty complete selection of their line. I haven't tried ordering from them but the 1883 site is still up so it may have been a matter of distributor changes or something that forced the local guy to switch.

If anybody successfully orders from that link I'd love to know if it works.

-Andy

Edited by thirtyoneknots, 01 January 2009 - 02:40 AM.

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#51 feste

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:09 PM

Andy, where do you buy this 1883 orgeat?

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I used to buy it at a local coffee shop, which is where I found out about them; Sweet Eugene's on Harvey Rd here in College Station. Last time I went in there to get raspberry syrup (about 6 months ago), they had all Monin products instead. Nothing against Monin, which is generally of acceptable quality, but they can't really compare to the 1883. I asked them what the deal was and the guy said the company went under or something to that effect and that they were disappointed by the forced switch. A little poking around on the internet yielded this page which seems to have a pretty complete selection of their line. I haven't tried ordering from them but the 1883 site is still up so it may have been a matter of distributor changes or something that forced the local guy to switch.

If anybody successfully orders from that link I'd love to know if it works.

-Andy

View Post



After many recommendations I bought the 1883 Orgeat from this website. I have to say, I can't figure out what the big deal is. It seems to me to be thickened sugar syrup flavored with almond extract, just like Monin, Torani and several other brands. When I was in NY recently I tasted some from a deli that bartenders swore by and it was the same.

I know that orgeat used to be almond syrup, as in syrup made from almonds, not just extract. Does anyone in France (or anywhere else) still make it from actual almonds?
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#52 Chris Amirault

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:32 PM

Not sure about France, but a lot of people are making their own at their home or bar.
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#53 eje

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 01:43 PM

[...]

I know that orgeat used to be almond syrup, as in syrup made from almonds, not just extract. Does anyone in France (or anywhere else) still make it from actual almonds?

View Post


I believe there is a company in the San Francisco area run by a local bartender... Oh what's it called? Oh yeah, Small Hand Foods.

:raz:

That Sicilian stuff mentioned up topic, may have been the last hold out. But it doesn't look like A.G. Ferrari imports it any more.
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#54 feste

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:56 PM

[...]

I know that orgeat used to be almond syrup, as in syrup made from almonds, not just extract. Does anyone in France (or anywhere else) still make it from actual almonds?

View Post


I believe there is a company in the San Francisco area run by a local bartender... Oh what's it called? Oh yeah, Small Hand Foods.

:raz:

View Post

While I greatly appreciate the plug, Erik, I would love to have a physical frame of reference for my product. I have fantasies of getting some money together and exploring wherever it is in France that orgeat is/was made. Any ideas of a history on it?
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#55 eje

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:29 PM

While I greatly appreciate the plug, Erik, I would love to have a physical frame of reference for my product. I have fantasies of getting some money together and exploring wherever it is in France that orgeat is/was made. Any ideas of a history on it?

View Post

Sorry, yeah, it was a bit smart alecky.

My suggestion, if you're interested particularly in Orgeat in France, would be to post in the regional France forum and ask. There are a number of folks there who are quite the experts in French food traditions and history.

In addition, drop the famous Francois Xavier of FX Cuisine a note. He seems to have done a good amount of reading about food history and has always responded whenever I've sent him questions.

As I'm sure you know, Orgeat is part of the family of grain and nut beverages which seem in common to all cultures, whether it is the corn beverages of Native Americans, the oat beverages of the scotch, the rice beverages of the spanish, the Barley Water of the English, the soybean beverages of the Asians, or the Nut Sedge kernel beverages of the Egyptians. Before the invention of leavened bread, the easiest way to get nutrition from grains was to soak or cook them in water and then consume the liquid.

Orgeat, the beverage, began as a blend of ground barley and nuts, often almonds or squash seeds, cooked or soaked in water, then with the plant mass, more or less, strained out. The root of the word Orgeat is thought to be the latin word for a particular type of barley, something like "Hordeum".

The first known published use of a related word in an English Text referred to a type of Barley used to make a beverage. This was some time around 1500.

The first known published use of “Orgeat” referring to a sweetened Barley, Melon Seed, and Almond Syrup was in J. Nott’s “Cook and Confectionary Dictionary” in 1723.

Edited by eje, 13 January 2009 - 09:29 PM.

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#56 eje

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:52 PM

By the way, every historic recipe I've found for Orgeat, suggests grinding the almonds to a paste using a stone mortar and pestle, not chopping them finely with a knife, like the FX Cuisine recipe.

I kind of like the clear almond syrup, but the cloudy almond milk syrup is probably more "authentic".
---
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#57 Scott Koue

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:52 AM

Thought I would mention that BevMo is now carrying (at least the one in Colma) Pimento Dram (under the name Allspice Dram). Not cheap but you don't use much. Nice stuff.

#58 Wild Bill Turkey

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:06 AM

Andy, where do you buy this 1883 orgeat?

View Post


A little poking around on the internet yielded this page ...
If anybody successfully orders from that link I'd love to know if it works.

View Post

I ordered a few of the 1883 syrups from them (the Coffee Authority) and the service and delivery were great.

#59 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:05 AM

Andy, where do you buy this 1883 orgeat?

View Post


A little poking around on the internet yielded this page ...
If anybody successfully orders from that link I'd love to know if it works.

View Post

I ordered a few of the 1883 syrups from them (the Coffee Authority) and the service and delivery were great.

View Post


Excellent news. Not sure if I mentioned it upthread or not, but to my palate, their passionfruit syrup is even better than the lost lamented Trader Vic's (blasphemy!). 10% passion fruit juice, iirc. Orgeat and raspberry are the other must-haves, and the pineapple is really good as well. Of course all of these can be made at home, but the way I see it there exists a place for extremely high quality commercial syrups somewhere between places that dont even know what orgeat is and those with large, full-time staffs who have the resources to make their own. I happen to work at one such place.
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#60 Chris Amirault

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 05:38 AM

Wanted to report on this find:

Posted Image

This stuff is fantastic, extremely thick and flavorful. 1/2 t goes a loooooong way. As far as I can tell, it's pretty pure stuff:

Posted Image

Honorably produced, indeed.
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