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Posts posted by maremosso

  1. Wow, are you saying that neem and mango all originated in Latin America? ( I know that cashew did, but not neem and certainly not mango).

    That's contrary to what I have heard all my life.

    Can you please substantiate?

    Botanically the mango tree belongs to the Anacardium family, the same family as the cashew.

    I found this out when planting my garden back in Goa, where I have both types of trees.

    I am afraid I cannot quote directly from the many books I have there - but will do a search when I get back.

  2. I also would like to buy a good French cookbook while I am in Paris.

    I would greatly appreciate your help in this - if you could have just one French cookbook, which one would you buy, and why?

    Thanks again, I am looking forward to your help!

  3. But I've gotten fond of pairing Shiraz with slow-cooked or smoked meats. Lots of these are red meats (assuming you don't buy the pork producer line that pig is white meat), ...

    Here in Argentina there are many good Shiraz as well. Recently I found a Carranza Shiraz that was really very good - though with a bitter undertaste.

    I also think that it would pair well with pork. But I had it with antipasti consisting of some wonderful cured meats - on the premise that the bitterness of rucola nicely sets off the flavour of bresaola drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper.

    It was a successful combination, but probably not what you are looking for.

  4. Essential Goa Cookbook, The - Maria Teresa Menezes I don't know why, I didn't like this much. Goan cuisine is really delicious and historically very interesting because of the fusion between so many cultures - Portueguese, Hindu, Muslim. There is a long and lively Goan tradition of appreciating and writing about food. Menezes somehow doesn't do this justice

  5. Even if you tried, it would be really dificult to mistake one for the other. Especially if you have ever bitten into a neem leaf. :wink:

    BTW, a twig of a neem tree is used in Bengal (and all over rural) India as a poor man's toothbrush as well. You smash one end of the twig, so it sort of flares up, and becomes like a brush. You then use this end to brush your teeth with.

    Thank you bong.

    As I have both neem and a curry leaf tree in my garden in Goa, I shall examine the leaves more closely on my return there. (I am in Buenos Aires now).

    But if memory serves me right, they are very similar.

    Regarding the company that makes the toothpaste... I am afraid it's on my personal boycott list - too many tall claims aiming to fleece the uneducated poor!

    Unfortunately in India there is not much regulation about that.

  6. It might be difficult to find many Italian brands in the States because most are small producers with little sales outside their local areas. One thing I enjoy doing whenever I go somewhere new in Italy is sampling the local espresso brands: there's always a very good one to pick out.

    Which is a pity, isn't it? I did some online research on Palombini and their website claims that they lead in the Roman market. I didn't see it served in either Napoli or Florence. The coffee in Napoli was fantastic as well, but I didn't note any of the brands, because I was quite happy with Palombini and naively believed that it would be easily available back in the US.

    I did locate an Italian market here that sells both Kimbo and Illy, and yes Illy is rather expensive and every coffee forum rants about that. But I wonder if the difference is price (almost double that for a Kimbo pack) is worth it.

    Vesnuccia, not being quite the coffee conneisseur, I find it difficult to describe what it tastes like except the fact that it really seemed like the best espresso I've ever had. The French espressos that I had tasted a week before seemed incredibly mediocre in comparison. It was dense, with good crema, didn't smell burnt (a problem with espressos in the US, especially Starbucks, yuck!), and didn't leave a bitter aftertaste. In fact it was the aftertaste that got me, it was such a wonderful lingering flavour.

    Failing buying some good beans and making it, I so wish there was an espresso bar here that even partially recreated that taste.


    Hi Swati,

    So, you've been bitten by the coffee bug, have you?

    Well, welcome to the wonderful world of Italian coffee. For us Italians, one of the most difficult things in the world to have to compromise with while travelling, is the coffee.

    By and large, we are used to 100% Arabica, with a special roast - and only Italian brands will provide this special flavour. No others will do.

    If you can't find Palombini, look for Lavazza. This brand is available world-wide, as is Illy (but this is more expensive). And you'll never look back.

    Also, the best (by far) way to make Italian style coffee at home is by using the Moka stove top coffeemaker. The brand is Bialetti, it's wonderful and it will last you for years if properly looked after (for example, do not wash it in the dishwasher!)

    By the way, we Italians say that the reason why Naples has the best coffee (and the best pizza) in Italy is because of the quality of the water.

    That, I am afraid, I can't help you with.

  7. Hi bong,

    this is a new one on me, as I never knew neem leaves were edible - are you sure you don't mean curry leaves?

    I used dry neem leaves to pack my carpets away every year before the monsoons, when I lived in Delhi. And in Goa, I use neem powder as an insecticide fand fertilizer for my plants.

  8. I have posted about EZE; many of the upscale restaurants have been cropping up in Puetro Mediro (sp?) , there are many traditional parillas - Good steak dinner in EZE is a delight. Colonia in .UR, is worth maybe a weekend -

    Re: Puerto Madero restaurants.

    Definitely skip Bice, where the main course arrives while you are still on your pre-dinner drink, and the Patagonian lamb is nuked in the microwave...

    Cabanas Las Lilas, as well. The food is good, but you can have a good parrilla just about anywhere in BA. They really should change the quality of their olive oil, which I found much too acidic for my Italian palate. The service is surly, unusual for Argentina.

    El Marisol, on the other hand, has a much more pleasant staff - and just about the only restaurant I have found in BA where the steak actually ARE served "jugosos", if that's what you like! Very good quality meats too.

  9. Dried curry leaves, although a shadow of the fresh, are significantly better when dried at home. I do this when I have too many to use. Spread them out in some sort of basket that has enough holes for air to circulate and leave them until they are dry-1 or 2 days. I also put them in the freezer. They are not so bad this way.

    I have a friend who pats his cilantro dry, chops it coarsely and then puts in a freezer bag in the freezer-it is just so-so. I keep my cilantro in a vase, with the roots in a little water, in the fridge. Cover tihs with the plastic bag you put the cilantro in when you purchased it. I usually use it up long before it has a chance to go bad. If I have too much I make cilantro chatni,which freezez beautifully.

    I, too, dry curry patta leaves - in a very, very slow oven, as when making meringues, and then just keep them in a box to use whenever I need them. They may lose their deep green colour, but none of their flavour. Dried, they can also just be crushed and sprinkled, in powder form, into any dals, soups, etc.

    As I have always found fresh cilantro, wherever I go, I have never had the need to preserve it. But at home, I also think the best way to keep it fresh is to place in a jar filled with water in the fridge. Parsley keeps well like this, too.

  10. empanadas, of any flavour...

    torta pascualina - a shortcrust pastry filled with spinach and egg

    milanesas - breaded cutlets or thin steaks

    matambre - rolled beef with various fillings

    chorizos, plain or in bread

    chivito - baby goat, plain or in bread


    faina - chick pea flour "pizza"

    morcillas - the sweetbreads mentioned above

    I'll think of more, I'm sure...

    As a newcomer to B.A., I would like to know which restaurant serves Faina', and Torta Pasqualina?

    :huh: .Thanks.

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