March is certainly coming in like a Lion; and snow in March is not what we are looking forward to. But I did see my daffodil and hyacinth bulbs coming through the ground on February 28, so have faith, this too shall pass. Speaking of bitterness, after working with Dan on one of his Craft Cocktail adventures, I was curious to brush up my knowledge of Bitters, Shrubs and Amaro which are all ingredients in Craft cocktails for the unique flavors that they impart. I took a class on Bitters years ago at Barcelona in Stamford (if you did not know, Barcelona has a robust cocktail and wine program for all staff which usually enhances the culinary experience for the guests) and I found out then that Bitters go way beyond our knowledge with Angostura in an Old Fashioned or a Champagne Cocktail! Amaro means 'bitter' in Italian and Bitters and Amaros are part of cocktail and beverage history that have their roots in pharmacies with medicinal benefits that predate processed foods, refrigeration and western medicine. Bitterness as a taste was meant as a warning, a survival technique to avoid poisonous plants and foods. This survival sense has been adapted into our culinary culture in many ways. Enjoy this caption below from Strongwater.com
“Bitterness is one of the most intriguing flavors with a stimulating quality that some people might describe as nasty or harsh. The complex bitter flavors, however, do far more for our body and vitality than one might imagine. …..the bitter flavors of leaves and roots were Nature's signal to avoid the rest of a poisonous plant. Digestion was triggered in order to move the harmful plant through our bodies as quickly as possible. Hence, when consumed, bitter herbs naturally stimulate … digestion and cleanse major organs and systems.”
Amaros are known as Digestives. I discovered the bitter, delicious and intriguing flavors of Amaro while in Sicily as it was offered at the end of the meal; a choice of Lemoncello or Amaro. Since I was familiar with Lemoncello and know it is very sweet, and after such a full and delicious meal, the sweetness did not appeal to me so I decided to try the Amaro and it has been a pleasant surprise since then. Here is another comment from Strongwater.com that supports why this flavor is different, intriguing and no longer familiar to us:
“Bitter flavored foods have long been valued for a unique ability to cleanse the body and build vitality. Studies have confirmed that getting an adequate amount bitter flavor is important for digestive balance and linked with many related health benefits. Unfortunately, these rich flavored bitter plants have been lost to sweetened and salted snacks that make up the majority of our diet today.”
Yes, snow in March can be bitter, but in the spirit of the value of bitterness as a cleanse, consider the snow as spring cleaning and spring planning! The talented crew at Events by Marylee are here to help you balance that bitterness with some sweet service. Call us today! It would be our pleasure to assist you.