so the food fair thing was okay. “Only okay,” i say to people when they ask, “not great, not bad, about what i expected.” this is a response carefully calculated to numb any further curiosity they might have, so i needn’t go into what i have already decided are the uninteresting finer details of the experience, beyond such cursory reportage as it being mostly food vendors representing restaurants in the vicinity of the Old Port, who i imagine had to pay through their already rent-ravaged noses for the privilege, and accordingly there were very few free samples, but some inoffensively priced portions to be had.
note to the Senegalese people, however: most people don’t know what you eat in Senegal, and thus are unlikely to pay 10$ for the privilege. maybe a five dollar plate, people? i still have no idea.
anyway, there was a moment where i said to myself “I love my work,” because really it is only this blog that provides the pretext, however thin, to justify my doing something like eating jerk chicken, hot balkan sausage, escargots and a churro for breakfast on a sunday morning when i’m running on 3 1/2 hours of sleep in the first place. i wouldn’t normally do this, believe it or not, which i know you don’t, but i swear i would stop short, just short, of that sort of honestly pretty unforgivable indulgence.
yet there i was, doing my duty. to you. standing in the hot sun on the hot cobblestone streets dripping hot dulce de leche on my already pretty foul-looking sneakers. feeling pretty good about myself, my momentary victory over the body which upon the onset of digestion was going to exact all hell of vengeance, damn my professionalism.
and i must say, if out of a paper cup is the wrong way to try escargots for the first time, it didn’t happen to hurt in my case. i’ll admit that in response to the lay critique that pretty much anything tastes good if you smother it in herbed garlic butter (true), i don’t know how convincingly i can argue that i am now able to describe the tastes of snails. but i’m pretty sure i liked them qua them and not merely for their preparation. kind of a seafoody (clam?) in taste and texture, with a faintly woody, mushroomy note, i thought.
and good lord did i feel like a nice white wine would have set them up right, no foolin’.
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in other news, if you’re looking for a cheap rosé that doesn’t taste like fucking candy, the Vivolo di Sasso is not bad. drier than we, the rosé-distrusting public tend to think of that style of wine being, and exactly as refreshing and lightly fruity as would be required to begin to turn us around on the matter. (don’t worry, it’s not the colour it looks on the SAQ website)
seems that, made with Pinot Grigio – one of those subtle in-betweeny grapes that isn’t red and isn’t quite white (more or a purply grey, hence the name), it’s a style of wine common to the Veneto region which is sometimes called an orange wine, in lieu of a rosé. these are lighter wines made from white grapes where the crushed matter is left in contact with the skin for longer than is usual for a white, resulting in a very attractive darker hue. generally speaking, whether made from “red” or “white” grapes, with white wine the skin is removed almost immediately, whereas for red it is left to sit a bit, from which contact reds derive their colour and tannininess. most rosés, as i understand it, are produced by leaving the skins in for less time than usual for a red wine, just enough to impart a little colour and flare. or just from a plain old blend of red and white, which is frowned on i guess. not that i’d know personally, being incapable of frowning.
the Vivolo has somewhere between a faint orangeiness and a bit of salmoney pink, which shows very nicely next to the frankly undignified shocking pink of a lot of the rosés on the shelves. given it turned out for the best, i’m not ashamed to say that it was mostly the colour that motivated our decision in the end.
but whoa, don’t be fooled. don’t (like i did) drink this Vivolo and like it and say to yourself “hey, maybe i’m wrong about this rosé stuff,” and go out and drunkenly buy a bottle of some nauseating plonk with a pair of women’s legs on it from a private wine shop in toronto which is suspiciously open on a main street after the LCBOs all close. no, don’t do that. shit’ll only end in heartbreak/burn. and you’ll be left sitting in the dark behind the baseball diamond, a little sickened and embarrassed, like so many nights before.
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PS: the couple of reviews of Strut Risqué Rosé (i said i was drunk, alright? get off my case) i’ve perused seem to not think it such a bad buy as did i, but honestly, if you’re already uncertain about rosé, this isn’t gonna help.