Focaccia bread, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar (thing)
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Fri Jul 14 2000 at 10:40:30
yet potentially impossible
of tasty ingredients which can result in a mouthwatering
or a table full of guests sporting very strange "I just inhaled cheap balsamic vinegar" expressions (similar to "
bitter beer face
"). The main and necessary ingredients are as follows:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Many of you will have already had a chance to sample this dish at a fine
or at some sort of
yuppie dining establishment
and were amazed that bread could taste so
. The combination sounds simple right? Following a few
rules of thumb
you can assure that you don't waste your time; otherwise you may be in for some surprises.
The bread is the LEAST important item.
Other people may tell you differently and while it is highly
that you find a decent round of
, as long as the
oil and vinegar
are excellent, you could dip toasted
hot dog buns
in it and come out smiling. Good foccacia will be half cooked (so you must toast it or bake it for a brief time), ever so crispy on the outside and soft and fresh on the inside. If it feels like
stale French bread
or it's even slightly crumbly, forget it. If it has been in a
, don't even think about it. Fresh
make decent substitutions.
Don't skimp on the oil.
isn't that expensive, if you are
with it you are only robbing yourself. Make sure to get
oil. If you don't know how to tell good olive oil from
olive oil, the price tag isn't it. Lift the bottle to the light and examine the neck to be sure that the glass is clear, then examine the oil for color. Yellow or clear olive oil is going to
. You want it to be as
as possible! Do not let the word "
" on the bottle disturb you, the flavor will be
and strong in the right ways (not bitter). I picked up a 500ml bottle of "Beniers Estate" for seven dollars (to give you an idea).
Bad balsamic kills it dead...
To give you an idea of the quality gradient while buying
: I have a horrid bottle that my mother bought me which is 1000ml and still has the
neon orange price tag
which says she paid 4 bucks. She was robbed. The other day, while making the yuppies nervous in a local "gourmet" grocery store; I saw a 100ml bottle of balsamic vinegar for $137.00. Don't freak out though, I snagged a decent 8 ounce bottle of FINI for eleven dollars. Though I still search for the perfect budget bottle, vinegar (at least so far) seems to be a
get what you pay for
market. Expect to blow at least ten to twenty dollars on a small bottle.
Now that the
is out of the way, note the flexibility of the dish as some of the other optional ingredients include:
(recommended)(fresh, crushed or whole cloves)
in an oven or toaster oven and cook to desired
or butter should be applied to the bread before cooking.
Cover the base of the flat saucer liberally with olive oil. Make a small puddle (about the size of a silver dollar or smaller) of balsamic vinegar in the center of the
. To eat, take bread and
at the center getting a coating of olive oil and a slight
Barely coat the bottom of the flat saucer with a
of balsamic vinegar. Cover liberally with olive oil. To eat; dab straight down firmly into the
. Pressure will determine the ammount of vinegar that ends up on the bread. Keep the levels even.
And that's all there is too it. Remember; being such an elementary and high
dish, the taste is almost entirely dependent on the quality of the
Bread Recipes that use premade bread
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