Tuesday, 6 February 2007

drinking (not that kind).

I've been trying to make this recipe since I found it in Gourmet Vegetarian, a magazine that I suspect no longer even exists. My magazine, Vol 2 No 3, was published in 1999, and it's taken me that long to find one of the ingredients: cherry syrup. Excitingly, I found it on Friday, at the Adelaide Lebanese Bakery. The recipe is for a drink called Poloudeh-sib, meaning 'shred of the apple'. It directs to peel and grate three apples, and add enough water to form one litre total of liquid. Add a dash of cherry syrup and chill for half an hour. Serve with a dash of rosewater or vanilla, and serve within three hours, before the liquid begins to ferment.

The verdict? Well, it's nice, but I'm not totally sure it was worth waiting 8 years for. Also, I really hate recipes that instruct a 'dash' of this, especially when they're referring to things like rosewater which can totally take over if the instruction is misinterpreted. So, I made a few different versions. Firstly, I put in about 4 tablespoons of cherry syrup to the litre. As it turns out, I don't think the syrup actually adds much flavour, it acts more as a general sweetner. In the light of this, I suspect some Bickford's blackcurrant cordial would work just as well. In my mind, a 'dash' equates to the smallest amount you can quickly pour straight from the bottle. In the case of the syrup then, I guess a 'dash' is fair enough, especially since you'd definitely want to adjust this for taste. In the case of rosewater or vanilla, a 'dash' is complete overkill though. I found the right amount for a (collins sized) glass of the drink to be about 4 drops of rosewater, or slightly more of vanilla (although I was using fake vanilla essence, less might be needed of proper vanilla). Actually, in the end I decided that a combination of rosewater and vanilla was the nicest - about two drops of each. I imagine it could work with a little Turkish tourist tea mixed in, or maybe with orange blossom water, but they're probably sacreligious suggestions, and you didn't hear them from me.

It pretty much tastes as you'd imagine - sweetened, liquidy grated apple. I think it would be lovely with some Persian food, but as a drink on it's own, I found it a little flat. I guess like most accompaniments, it would tend to taste better in conjunction with the appropriate meal. For a hot day like this though, it was quite refreshing, and certainly a more interesting way to try and get your apple-a-day down. Actually I suppose it's quite interesting as a drink in itself, because it's obviously got a lot more texture than your average apple juice. I thought it looked quite pretty - a mauvy-brown colour with bits suspended in it, but I can imagine it might not be very appetizing to some.

Anyway, not the amazing discovery I'd hoped for, but not half bad either. At least it's one to tick off the list.

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