Saturday, May 7, 2016

Wine and Food of the Giro 2016: Kittel, Effen Vodka and Parrano Cheese

Where are we?
Heading 190 kilometers from Arnheim to Nijmegen.

The Giro site says that Arnheim:
located in the province of Gelderland, lies on the banks of the Nederrijn river. It was disputed by different powers, and suffered from warfare throughout its history, most recently during World War II, when the Allied and German troops confronted each other during operation “Market Garden” in September 1944.

Their cooking suggestions of the day: Arnhemse meisjes (Arnhem cookies), jams and fruit juices, Achterhoekse eiercake (sweet egg cake), Gelderse rookworst (smoked sausage), Gelderse Stimp Stamp (smoked sausage stew), Betuwse appelkoek (apple cake)

As for Nijmegen: The city, located in the province of Gelderland, a few kilometres away from the German border, is thought to be the oldest city in the Netherlands. It was first settled by the Romans, and it became famous for the treaty of the same name, signed in 1678, when the European powers came together to find a solution to the everlasting warfare that was affecting the Old Continent. Unfortunately, the agreement was infringed just a few years later.

The stage: A breakaway of Fraile, Berlato, and Tjallingii on an expected sprint day. With 90 kilometers to go, they still had seven minutes to go over the peloton. Hey, with about 81 kilometers to go, Eurosport was talking about wine from the Netherlands. If only I could have found some.
 A quiet stage so far. But a windmill:
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 7, 2016
Germany! Briefly at least. And the King of the Mountain competition of the day won by Fraile.Twenty five kilometers to go and the gap is under one minute. A sprint was looking likely. Berlato though would remain out alone solo as long as possible. With fifteen kilometers to go, he had just about a minute. With just under ten kilometers to go, he was caught. For the record, without Cavendish here, I'm hoping for Griepel in the sprints. With the win, to the surprise of absolutely no one: Kittel and he made it look very easy.
Stage: Marcel Kittel

GC:Tom Dumoulin

Wine: Effen vodka
Effen is made from premium wheat from Northern Holland. They say that "of all base materials used to make vodka—grapes, potato, corn, soy grain, rye—wheat contains the purest kind of starch. The result is a silky, smooth liquid and the best vodka you can buy."  
My Giro cocktail:
1 shot vodka, 1 shot rhubarb shrub, sparkling water to taste
A shrub is fruit, vinegar and sugar. They make for lovely drinks with or without alcohol. Plus they are a great way to deal with excess fruit--a common problem after a summer market visit. Find out more here.  

Food: Parrano is aged for five months, developing a nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano flavors with the firm, smooth texture of a young Gouda.What to do with it? Going again for the "mash-up" theme, so a kind of Cacio e Pepe. To be precise, this recipe from Epicurious.

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