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Susan in FL

Strega

59 posts in this topic

I love Strega. Anybody else? I have good Strega memories... even have a Strega poster, matted and framed on the wall in my bedroom.

Just a walk down memory lane, after a nice cup of espresso and a Strega tonight...


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I've heard of strega and been intrigued by it...but have never tasted it.

Is there any way to describe it's taste? Similar to anything else?


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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There's a bakery here in Philadelphia that makes their "special" cannolis with a strega flavored whipped ricotta filling and they dunk the ends of the canolli shells into dark chocolate before filling them. Oh yeah! These babies are DELICIOUS!

I don't believe I've ever tried Strega straight. We had a bottle of it gathering dust on the bar at Striped Bass for so long, I transferred the bottle to the Pastry Dept. and told them to think of something fun to do with it.

It smells like a vanilla and herbal sort of infusion, but not sweet like Tuaca or Licor 43, more with a bitter edge to it like a digestif. It's certainly intriguing.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Is there any way to describe it's taste?  Similar to anything else?

It is much to my surprise that I like something licorice-flavored, since I don't like licorice. Last night I tasted the black Sambuca that my husband had and it tasted horrible to me. But the licorice flavor of Strega is very smooth and soft, in my opinion, and you can get the flavors of many of the herbs it is made of (like around 70!), including mint, fennel, and the saffron which gives it the yellow color. It is strong and intense, yet delicate and not overly sweet... I just love having it with espresso after dinner, which my Italian father taught me.

Please let me know if you try it!


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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It smells like a vanilla and herbal sort of infusion, but not sweet like Tuaca or Licor 43, more with a bitter edge to it like a digestif. It's certainly intriguing.

Thanks for 'reminding' me of Strega. Have heard of it and been intrigued; the flavor descriptions make it only more so.

I see Susan in FL's post also as I am writing. I also am on a narrow precipice when it comes to licorice flavor. I've had trouble with Sambuca the last time I've tried it--almost an involuntary gag reflex!!! Which really irritated me; I mean, my mind was telling me that espresso and Sambuca were a classic combination but my body just wouldn't have it!! As a kid also, the only flavor I hated was licorice (Dad got all the black jelly beans :smile: )

But--I now love fennel, enjoy Pastis, love Herbsainte in Sazerac's....so I think I will like Strega. I guess it would be safest to order a glass at a restaurant first...

The most of I've heard about strega before this was as a sometime additive to certain dessert preparations (soaked into a cake, is one I remember).

KatieLoeb: do you remember what bakery has the strega cannolis? (I live out West now, but visit Philly quite a bit and have a good friend there).


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I just love having it with espresso after dinner, which my Italian father taught me.

Please let me know if you try it!

Susan in FL: Do you add the strega to the espresso or sip it along side?

(When I Had the 'tough' Sambuco/espresso experience, I think it was added in--- to make a "corrected" espresso...


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Susan in FL: Do you add the strega to the espresso or sip it along side?
I sip it along side, always. They compliment each other, but I like to appreciate each. I think you will like it, since we had similar Sambuco reactions. :smile:

Those cannolis do sound wonderful... I wish they would remain intact, in the mail!


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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There's a bakery here in Philadelphia that makes their "special" cannolis with a strega flavored whipped ricotta filling and they dunk the ends of the canolli shells into dark chocolate before filling them. Oh yeah! These babies are DELICIOUS!

Yum.

I too am a fan of espresso with a pretty cordial glass of Strega. In a long ago life when I worked for a private club I learned of this appreciation from one of the members.

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Hmmm... Liquore Strega doesn't taste so licorice-like to me. I taste black pepper, a few other things hard to define... and maybe the slightest hint of anise. Then again... the bottle I have is one I found unopened in a crate of my grandfather's stuff that he bought when he was living in Rome back in the 50s. Maybe it changed with age.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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KatieLoeb: do you remember what bakery has the strega cannolis? (I live out West now, but visit Philly quite a bit and have a good friend there).

Varallo Brothers

1639 S 10th Street - Philadelphia, PA

215-952-0367

The "Strega Special" cannolis are positively the most addictive things ever. On a side note, the other pastries, cakes and cookies from Varallo's are also delicious and priced very low for the quality. They also do awesome gelato in the summer time! :cool:

Shoot me a PM before your next trip out here. I'll buy you a drink at my bar and you can test drive some of the new wines or the cocktails I just perfected for the new wine list and specialty cocktails list. :smile:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Hmmm... Liquore Strega doesn't taste so licorice-like to me.  I taste black pepper, a few other things hard to define... and maybe the slightest hint of anise.  Then again... the bottle I have is one I found unopened in a crate of my grandfather's stuff that he bought when he was living in Rome back in the 50s.  Maybe it changed with age.

Very strange that you didn't taste licorice... perhaps it is because of the age. In my experience, I haven't liked it as much when it gets old.


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Varallo Brothers

1639 S 10th Street - Philadelphia, PA

215-952-0367

The "Strega Special" cannolis are positively the most addictive things ever.  On a side note, the other pastries, cakes and cookies from Varallo's are also delicious and priced very low for the quality.  They also do awesome gelato in the summer time! :cool:

Shoot me a PM before your next trip out here.  I'll buy you a drink at my bar and you can test drive some of the new wines or the cocktails I just perfected for the new wine list and specialty cocktails list. :smile:

Thanks KatieLoeb, for the delicious tip on the strega canoli and wonderful invitation to check out your latest offerings at Rouge's bar! I'm sure they're great! :smile:


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Oh, yum, are we talking about anise boozes?

There's nothing finer on a hot, swampy Houston summer's day than a swigaroonie of anise liqueur straight out of the freezer with a cold Shiner Bock to chase it.

If strega is equivalent to Ouzo, Arak, or Raki, then I'm all there.


Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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Oh, yum, are we talking about anise boozes?

There's nothing finer on a hot, swampy Houston summer's day than a swigaroonie of anise liqueur straight out of the freezer with a cold Shiner Bock to chase it.

If strega is equivalent to Ouzo, Arak, or Raki, then I'm all there.

There really isn't an equivalent to Strega. It is complex with 70 herbs and spices. Strega is citrus based (I think oranges) and aged in oak barrels. I don't get too much of an anise taste either, althought it is very subtle and a part of the whole experience. Angelica, an herb interestingly believed to ward off evil spirits, may be what makes that soft licorice flavour as it is used in making Strega. As previously noted, the saffron lends its lovely colour.

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Was introduced to this at Troiani in Seattle. They have a specialty cocktail that starts fresh and strong and ends like a whisp of dessert (is it appropriate to lick your glass at the bar?):

"Strega Cocktail

Mezzaluna vodka, Strega (a floral liqueur made of herbs, flowers, and spices)

Crème de Cacao, fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice, light vanilla cream float"

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Still sounds yummalicious. I'll have to check it out next time I'm at an upscale liquor store.


Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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Still sounds yummalicious. I'll have to check it out next time I'm at an upscale liquor store.


Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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I am also a big fan of Strega and I'm surprised that no one has likened it to Galiano, which I think it tastes much like. I like them both and both are very herbal and taste of anise. Both are great for making a Gold Cadillac (Strega or Galiano, white Creme de Cacao, half and half, shake and pour into cocktain glass and enjoy!). I have very fond memories of my relatives in South Philly having small glasses of Galiano or Strega after dinner with dessert.


"Nutrirsi di cibi prelibati e trasformare una necessita in estasi."

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i4134.jpg

We finally found a bottle of Strega, for the first time since we moved to Florida. That would be Trails Liquors, in Ormond Beach, for anybody in the Daytona Beach area who might be trying to find it. We got one of those gift boxes, with two pretty little liquore glasses free with the purchase. It was in a restaurant that we enjoyed it in January, when I made the original post.

Life is good.


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Aren't some of those promotional goodies or giftbox sets great? I love them and have collected many of the glassware give-aways.

Adds to the enjoyment, no? :cool:

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Strega has been one of my most favorite after dinner drink for over 30 years. I was shown how it first should be lite. Two people that drink it together will stay together, that is why it's named "witch".


Carman

Carman's Country Kitchen

11th and Wharton

Philadelphia, PA

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I vaguely remembered this thread -- or Susan mentioning Strega on the dinner thread? seems possible -- when I saw Strega on sale at the liquor store today, and even though it was only one of those barely-sales ($1 off the normal price, I think), that was enough to convince me to buy it.

It's weird. That's not a bad thing, I'm just saying it's one of those things that tasted almost completely unfamiliar -- despite a lot of familiar components -- and my immediate reaction to a friend, "something died in a bag of candy," probably came out all wrong.

I like it ... I think. I think I'll pick up a taste for it pretty quick. I tasted mint or something mint-like before the anise, and vanilla, and I don't know what else. I had a few sips straight and then diluted it with club soda, and it's sweet enough that I welcome the dilution. I keep thinking there's a funkiness that reminds me of Luxardo Maraschino, but I may just have that on the brain because of my frustration over the NH liquor store not carrying it.

What else goes with it? I realized when I bought it that this was not something that would lend itself to a thousand different kinds of cocktails, like the Sazerac Rye I'd gone into the store for, but other than the Strega cocktail upthread, what else would be good?

Coffee? (Kahlua?) Vanilla liqueur? I would say Coca-Cola -- everything seems to go with Coke -- if not for the sweetness.

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All right! Glad you tried it. I have never mixed it with anything, but I love it next to espresso, as mentioned in the beginning of this topic. Some like it mixed into the cup of espresso.

Your reaction reminded me of my first taste of Campari recently, and now I'm sipping on that pretty regularly.

After the revival of this topic, I'm ready for some Strega after dinner some night soon.


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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All right!  Glad you tried it.  I have never mixed it with anything, but I love it next to espresso, as mentioned in the beginning of this topic.  Some like it mixed into the cup of espresso.

Your reaction reminded me of my first taste of Campari recently, and now I'm sipping on that pretty regularly.

After the revival of this topic, I'm ready for some Strega after dinner some night soon.

Exactly -- I almost compared it to the first experience of Campari but I didn't want to imply that I thought they tasted the same ... but I can see there being the same learning curve. The first time I had Campari, I didn't at all know what to think except that I didn't hate it. The second time, I wondered what it would be like without gin (these first two times were in Negronis). The third time, I was hooked, and as often as not I drink it straight now.

I suppose that's why I'm grasping for mixers, it's just strong -- I haven't got an espresso maker, but I think I may try it with or alongside some strong coffee.

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It should come as no surprise that Franny's in Brooklyn, home of the Fernet-and-Seven-Up cocktail, also has a great strega cocktail (called Il Sole). I wish I could remember what's in it. Strega, lemon juice, mint, maybe some soda, maybe even some gin . . . .


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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