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Grappa as ingredient for cooking

Everybody knows that grappa is a typical Italian product, a well-known and appreciated product all over the world. What not everybody knows is that grappa is not only good to be tasted alone, perhaps after diner or when you are with friends, as it is also very good when it is mixed with other ingredients to prepare unique and amazing dishes. And if you think that grappa is only good to be added during the preparation of cakes, you are wrong: grappa, indeed, has got special peculiarities that make it perfect to prepare also first and main courses.

Grappa purists might wrinkle up their noses when this product is used for purposes other than bare tasting, and when you use grappa to cook it would certainly be better to avoid using precious grappa, which would undoubtedly lose something of its uniqueness if mixed with other ingredients, but this does not mean that grappa cannot be used in cooking. Also wine is often used to cook risotto, sauces, meat and so on, and adding a bit of grappa to a dish, exactly as happens with wine, cannot be seen in a negative way if it helps you to prepare a sublime dish.

As above mentioned, you can use grappa to prepare both savoury dishes and sweets. Let’s begin with sweets, as also people who are not expert of grappa and cooking might find it easier to associate them to grappa. Grappa is used to prepare “frittelle” for example (a typical carnival dish) but also other types of cakes, like dried fruit or chocolate cakes, and to flavour jams. Grappa moreover is not only used to make food tastier, but also to preserve it. If you have never tried fruits – cherry, peaches, grapes – in alcohol you have certainly missed a unique taste experience.

As happens with jams, grappa can also be used to flavour vegetables, like asparagus, and many other dishes. There are many recipes that include grappa, and in few lines we can make only few examples, which can excite your imagination and convince you to try and cook these special dishes. As far as first courses are concerned, you can try risotto with strawberries, prawns and grappa, a very special dish to offer in special occasions. Another interesting first course is apple and potato dumplings with grappa, which is a rich and tasty dish. As far as main courses are concerned, you can try and cook chicken breast with butter, sage and grappa, a fast and easy dish to cook, or roast beef with pepper, spices and grappa, more complicated but tasty.

In conclusion, grappa is a very useful and versatile ingredient that you can use in different situations and contexts, and not only as a drink.

by S. C.
19 june 2011, Food & Fun > Gastronomy

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