Friday, May 4, 2018

Giro 2018 Stage 1 Jerusalem!

And once again, we have a Giro. This year starting with three days in Israel. Because, apparently, they wanted a really long transfer.

Where are we? Day one brings us a time trial in Jerusalem. The fine folks at the Giro tell me that: Jerusalem is situated east of Tel Aviv at around 750 m. of altitude on a highland which separates the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea from the Dead Sea, in the Judea area. Its climate is mediterranean. It is the most populated town in Israel with almost 900.000 inhabitants. They also suggest a few sites: The old town (UNESCO World Heritage), the Dome of the Rock (7th century), Church of the Holy Sepulchre (4th century), Western Wall, (Wailing Wall, 6th century), Tunnel del Muro (percorso archeologico), Museo d’Israele, Davidson Center (Parco Archeologico), Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial), Al-Aqsa Mosque (7th century), the Mahane Yehuda market.

Giro's suggested regional specialties: Knafeh (puff pastry with cheese and orange blossom water), Sabich (pita with aubergines, eggs and hummus), turkey or lamb Shawarma, Malabi (pudding with almonds), Sufganiot (krapfen ripieni), Blintzes.

The stage: You can read the Podium Cafe preview here. A prologue through the streets of Jerusalem, and to keep things interesting, news that Froome crashed during the recon this morning. Sitsou crashed as well and was out with a collarbone injury before the race would even officially start. 
Otherwise, a short ride around the city today that will probably not be thrilling.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the early leader was Rohan Dennis. He would spend a long day in the hot seat.

Very close to taking the hotseat from Dennis: Campenaerts, but he would miss by fractions. Froome on course and time to find out if his limping post-crash was a temporary issue or not. Also on course, Dumoulin, who was looking very fast, 19 seconds ahead of Froome at the intermediate point. Wow! Dumoulin in with a second or two to spare. Very impressive ride from him today. 


The wine: Recanati Wild Carignan 
Really, I could have chosen one of several wines from this winery that I was lucky enough to taste at a recent luncheon. But the Wild Carginan really stood out to me. 
The producer tells me that:
The grapes are handpicked, and after destemming, cold maceration, fermentation and pressing, we mature them in French oak barrels – approximately half of which are new – for 12 months. This is so the oak flavors and aroma do not overpower the exclusive flavors and aroma of the fruit. The wine is then bottled after coarse filtration alone and drunk as is – authentic, wild and Israeli. The wine has a black plum, berries and pecan taste, with a full body, balanced acidity and a long and spicy aftertaste. 
 Judean Hills – Dry Farm Vineyard (unwatered). The Carignan is trained as "Bush Vine," a trellising system used in ancient times. The roots wind and twist into the soil – to the more mineral areas – in a constant search for water, which causes the aroma and color so unique to this wine.

The food:  Since it was new to me and I love almost all custard, it had to be malabi. As for the recipe, after some googling and learning that it is also sometimes called Muhallabieh, I opted for this Ottolenghi version, from his Jerusalem Cookbook, though I was also very tempted by this version from the Palomar cookbook.

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