The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jan 11, 2011

Drinking Iodex

A Fernet Branca is, it appears to me, a rather poisonous tipple tasting vaguely of Iodex, and it serves admirably as the backdrop to the utterly riotously funny tale of misunderstanding, high camp, pretension and the most bizarre recipes I have yet encountered in any fiction. James Hamilton-Paterson's Cooking With Fernet Branca was longlisted for the Booker prize five years ago, and here's a description of Tuscan bread that I found particularly enticing.
There is something radically wrong with Tuscan bread. Frankly, it's a disgrace: the one thing to disfigure and otherwise classic cuisine. Even Italians from other regions make ribald remarks about it - like for instance that it's the only bread in the world to emerge from the oven already stale. This is merely a slight exaggeration. Tuscan bread is non-fattening once it is over three hours old because cutting a slice requires energy equal to the slice's calorific value. (This is henceforth known as Samper's Law.) It is a feature the Italian slimming industry should do more to promote. It now occurs to me that when Robert Graves coined his appallingly sentimental image of 'women good as bread' he may have had Tuscan bread in mind, in which case he meant the far more likely women hard as nails. 
The reason I mention this is because in the days following that first dinner with Marta I had a great craving for bland nursery food and found a good use for Tuscan bread in bread-and-milk: little bowls of pap I ate slowly with a spoon that trembled...


Agnija said...

hmm.. You have actually tasted Iodex?

Fëanor said...

Unfortunately, yes. Also root beer. Not much difference between the two.

Agnija said...

Interesting. My husband thinks root beer tastes like a certain brand of toothpaste. So, by transitivity, we have shown that Iodex tastes like toothpaste!

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