sabato 10 maggio 2008

Caffe 101

There are many types of coffee common in Italy, and we Italians take our caffé very seriously! It is common in Italy to drink coffee not only in the morning, but in the evenings after dinner as well. When we go out to dinner, we have such strong preferences for our coffee that we may actually drive to another location for the perfect espresso after having spent hours at a different restaurant for dinner. This is particularly amusing to non-Italians because, as we will discuss in a few minutes, espresso is a very, very small cup of very strong coffee that takes about two gulps to devour completely. So, to some who have not learned to appreciate a true and perfect espresso, it would seem absurd to drive to a different bar for such a small beverage!

When you purchase your copy of Maria Liberati’s latest book, The Italian Kitchen, here or at in a few weeks, you will receive a chapter with delicious, authentic caffé recipes. In order to truly appreciate each of them when you try them out, it’s important to have an idea of what each type of coffee common in Italy is, exactly, because the names can be a little confusing if you’re not a connoisseur (which we hope to make you into, after you’ve tried all the recipes in our upcoming book!).

So, here’s a rundown of the common coffees you would find on a visit to the beautiful country of Italy.

· Espresso – We’ve talked about briefly already. This is a very small cup of very strong coffee. Typcially the standard coffee drink in Italy.

· Cappuccino – We’ve all heard of this one. It’s strictly a morning beverage, standard espresso infused with steamed milk. Delicious!

· Caffé Americano – Coffe, the way Americans drink it, but a little stronger. It’s served in a large cup and is not as strong as espresso.

· Caffé Freddo – Iced coffee

· Caffé Latte – warm milk mixed with coffee, typically served as a morning beverage, with breakfast

· Caffé Corretto – Espresso with a shot of liquer

There are hundreds of ways to modify each variation of Italian coffee, and Italians pride themselves on their delicious and fancy coffee drinks that they serve with great fanfare. Treat yourself to a few of the great recipes you’ll find in our upcoming book, and then try to deny that you’re a coffee lover!

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