Friday, October 23, 2009

Palms and Bread

I'm not sure if these are palm trees, but they will have to do. Why palms?
Because my tea for today is the Palm Court Blend from Harney Teas.
The Palm Court is one of the places to have tea in NYC. It is at the Plaza Hotel and is, indeed, very ritzy. This tea was blended for them. Think of Cary Grant, Hugh Grant as a tea date.
When I opened the package the tea had a very pleasant winey tobaccoey scent. The leaves were, of course, mixed, from small to large. I brewed it for 3.5 minutes at 212. Sadly, the taste of the tea , while quite good, was not any sort of a stand out. Pleasant, but bland. The second cup was a bit more definitive, but still on the bland side. Somehow I can see it at a very snazzy place, where the emphasis is not on what you are drinking but on seeing and being seen, so a "background tea" would be just the thing.
I was reading the T Ching blog today and there was a nice article about pairing bread and tea. I am lucky enough to have friends from many parts of the world and it is always amazing to me how something as simple as water, flour and yeast can be so different in so many places. Just the simple addition of corn to the mix makes for an even headier variety. We had some friends from Guatemala staying with us and Maria tried to teach me to make corn tortillas. When we finished and had a stack for lunch, it was obvious whose was whose. Hers were all perfectly round and all the same size. Mine were the intermittent frills in the stack. But I could see that one could learn to do this and homemade tortillas are absolutely wonderful. I won't go into the many sorts of Indian bread there are, but they are all delicious, and good Italian bread.... And I am not even hungry!
The photo is of a very tiny round church in Forio, Ischia, Italy. If there were 50 people in it, it would feel very crowded.

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