Holy Poli Grappa!

POLI BY NAME, GRAPPA BY NATURE . . .

Grappa is almost a national treasure of our native Italy and it varies hugely from region to region.  Some, mistakenly, refer to it as Italian brandy but brandy is distilled from the fermented grape, both the juice and the lees, grappa, on the other hand, is distilled from the pomace, that is only the skins and seeds and none of the juice.

There are many distinguished families who respectfully nurture and produce their own grappa but we, quite naturally, fall in line with our namesake, the House of Poli!  The Polis have been producing grappa since the 1400s but the actual distillery was founded in 1898.  As you might imagine, they certainly know a thing or two about the many nuances and vagaries of grappa.  They are to be found in the heart of the Veneto, the region most renowned for Grappa and are not only committed to carrying on the family’s tradition of exceptional production but also to give Grappa the profile it deserves, opening the eyes of the public to its more subtle and elegant style.  So, cast aside your instant thought of grappa, akin to rocket fuel, absinthe and suchlike . . . review your approach and have a go!

We have in our time boasted a full list of grappa.  Did you know that the distillation will vary depending on the grape varietal . . . not that different from wine production really and the ageing process, in oak maybe, gives it rich amber colour and super smooth palate!

These days we have the Secca, a more dry flavour, from the Merlot grapes; the Morbida, softer and slightly sweet, from the White and Orange Blossom Muscat grapes; and the Miele, an Acacia honey infused grappa, using the honey from Piero’s Bees, (seriously, this local chap has his hives and grazes his bees in the Veneto foothills, and at 80 plus is still more energetic and fruity fit than many, thanks to the honey or maybe his grappa).  This liquor has so much pure honey distilled into it you could call it an energy drink . . .and it slips down all too well.

 So, go do your research and grapple with the question of grappa . . . meanwhile we pledge to serve the best the Poli can bring you. I may even extend the range to include one or two of the oak-aged little beauties that will transport you to a whole new level of lovely!

Ciao for Now!

 Sarah x

Posted on May 10, 2019 .

Passion for Pizza

Lino and I love to watch The Netflix series ‘Chef’s Table’; one episode in particular sought out the origins of pizza . . .  some people profess they come from the good old of US of A, even Dean Martin sings of a “Big Pizza Pie”. . . and that’s amore!!!

According to Italians, pizza originated in Napoli and Calabria, I dare you to argue the toss! 

And then there’s the argument of the toppings: what belongs and what doesn’t!

Pepperoni Pizza boasts spicy sausage on it, but pepperoni in this sense is an American spicy sausage. In Italy, pepperoni is a hot chilli pepper . . . there is not a sausage or salami called pepperoni in Italy, only in America.

At Boboli we have a much favoured Pizza, the Testa Rossa, our own version, with Salsiccia Picante, onions and chillies - very hot and spicy!!!

As for Hawaiian pizza, with pineapple and such, we dare not mention this in Lino’s presence, our chefs still share a joke over the time Freddie produced a Hawaiian version for Chef, and he jumped on it!!!! Not his favourite pizza at all!  

In our beloved Italy, I was amused to see the wurst sausage making an appearance atop a pizza, along with chips too! Even pasta Carbonara has been known to delicately arrange itself on a bed of dough!

In the end it’s all down to personal interpretations, taste and flights of fancy.  Lino endeavours to offer something genuine with the odd twist of fantasy, of course all based on wonderfully fresh ingredients and our own home-made pizza dough made with Sharpham Park spelt flour.

Posted on May 3, 2019 .

Gin . . . where to begin with gin!!

The gin phenomenon has taken us all by storm . . . in our trade, drinks are just as influenced by modern trends and fashion as food . . . so where did it all begin?

Many believe Gin to be a thoroughly British liquor . . . but it’s a kinda combo of efforts, like all good things, don’t you think?

In the 11th Century some lovely Italian Monks are believed to have been the first to use the all important Juniper berries as a flavouring in their distillations.  But then it is finally thought to have been in Holland in 1550 that the spirit we now know as Gin was first distilled for medicinal purposes.  The English got hold of it whilst fighting the Spanish and were said to take a dram of “Dutch Courage” to calm their nerves and warm them up before going into battle.

Meanwhile some 600 years on, the sheer number of different types of gin available is mind-boggling . . . the driest of London Drys, the most aromatic of Botanicals and the truly Citrusy Mediterraneans, never mind the Rhubarb and Custard, Strawberry and Vanilla, Violet, Rose Petal and even Liquorice varietals are on offer.

We have tried to keep it local and the fabulous Two Birds from Market Harborough is our brand. But we cannot resist the Italian Malfy range and more recently have taken on Toby’s Moonshine.  Toby is my brother, who has a rather fabulous wine and booze shop, Cheers, on Steep Hill in Lincoln next door to my Mum’s pub, The Wig and Mitre . . . yes, we are keeping it in the family!!!  

Anyway, back to his Moonshine: he distils it from scratch, that is, it starts life as water, which he distils with his mash and creates the alcohol base, which he then distils on further with his own blend of aromatics, coriander, juniper and citrus to produce the final product . . . what a clever chap he is, for it is delish!!

I guess the question is what will happen when the next new thing catches on, will it be Rum tum tum?? But for now, gin, this time-honoured classic, is enjoying the revolution and we are happy to oblige!

And yes, we have also embraced the rather clever Fever Tree mixers . . . our tipples lists are really worth a look and even a sample!

 Ciao for now,

 Sarah x

Posted on April 26, 2019 .