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What have you Learned Today?

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1327994.  Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:41 am Reply with quote

Today I learned about the special Spanish way of pouring cider.

Spanish cider isn't seen a great deal outside Spain, and even within Spain it is largely restricted to the north coast. It is rather sour compared to well known British and Irish brands, but very refreshing once you get used to that, and because it oxidizes very quickly it is usual to buy a bottle (conventionally 750 ml) between two and then have it poured into your glass an inch or so at a time.

Having never been to the north coast I knew none of this, but the bar which we visited at lunchtime had a cider promotion on, and a barman with an eccentric moustache was demonstrating the art of escanciar ta sidra ("to throw the cider"). I think he may have been Basque, because his Spanish was strongly accented and he was easier to understand when he repeated his patter in French.

This piece of YouTubeage gives an idea of the method, although the barman shown there is coming dangerously close to looking at the glass, which is considered a bit infra. Yes, quite a lot gets spilled!

1327997.  Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:58 am Reply with quote

Ha! I've never seen anything like that before.

1328000.  Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:10 pm Reply with quote

Spaniards seem to have a thing about pouring their alcohol at great heights from its eventual receptacle.

1328028.  Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:07 am Reply with quote

Which part of Spain were you in, Suze?

1328035.  Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:14 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
...and because it oxidizes very quickly it is usual to buy a bottle (conventionally 750 ml) between two and then have it poured into your glass an inch or so at a time.

This sort of thging amuses me. If the cider was *actually* prone to spoiling by oxidation then the LAST thing you would do is poor it from a great height to splash into a glass, exposing a large surface area to the surrounding air and then agitating it in the glass to maximise and energise the interaction. So it's patently just another of those bizare traditions for which there is no verifiable rational justification - like voting for Jacob Rees-Mogg.

It's like the practice of openning a bottle of wine to let it "breathe". The wine experts tell you this is exposes it to the air so the oxidation improves the flavour. It is certainly true that some reds benefit from some oxidation to soften the tannin-tones, but just uncorking a bottle will do cock-all due to the tiny exposed surface area of the wine. This is *actually* the reason for decanting reds an hour before drinking (the act of pouring aerates the wine, and a good decanter should be part-filled so that the surface area is large), and it's also why people swirl wine in the glass before drinking.

Aerated reds definitely has an effect. I didn't believe this until SWMBO bought a "Vintorio" winw aerator - it's just a sleeve you pour wine through that has splash bars and swirling features to give the wine a good mix as it is poured. The difference is very noticeable - it can improve young reds that preiously tasted too "tart", and it releases a depth of flavour in vintage wines.

But you won't get that effect by just pulling the cork and leaving it on the sideboard for an hour!


1328068.  Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:54 pm Reply with quote

Not so much "learned" today, more realised after due consideration.

Ipswich, or at least this part of it (Chantry Park), is so balls-achingly dull I cannot wait to get back to Wales! Seriously, row upon row of characterless box houses, with characterless box cars outside and, in all probability, characterless box people inside. One day, when I get my bike up and running, I will come back for the bike show and visit my brother. When that happens, I will probably make the local news just for being there at all.

1328069.  Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:42 pm Reply with quote

1328073.  Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:37 pm Reply with quote

Exactly what I was thinking when I saw them......

1328078.  Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:04 pm Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
Ipswich is so balls-achingly dull I cannot wait to get back to Wales!

You will recall Zziggy who used to post to these forums. Zziggy grew up in Ipswich, and her opinion of the town was rather similar.

But she went on to say something along the lines of "Ipswich is a shithole, but it's our shithole" - and I do know what she meant there, because I actually quite like the Medway Towns!

All the same, now that she is a grown-up Zziggy no longer lives in Ipswich.

1328079.  Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:10 pm Reply with quote

Efros wrote:

"And they all live on tubby custard and their aerials are not the same."

I cannot hear that song without calling to mind that parody, although I do not know who did the parodying.

1328084.  Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:46 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote
now that she is a grown-up Zziggy

Is that why we kids no longer see her?

1328308.  Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:16 am Reply with quote

That philhellene and Hellenophile are both accepted words for lovers of Greek culture, although neither are recognized by my spullchucker.

1328323.  Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:48 am Reply with quote

They sound like types of plastic.

1328372.  Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:31 pm Reply with quote

Today I learned a football fact. I was already aware that a representative football team from Guernsey, made up of players from the nine football clubs on that island, competes in one of the lower level mainland leagues.

In the season just starting, a representative team from Jersey is doing similarly for the first time. But the new information is the announcement that for next season, a representative team from the Isle of Man plans to do likewise.

The new team will represent the whole island, and its players will be drawn from the 26 football clubs on the island. Can a certain other club do anything about the new team's plan to call itself Man United?

1328709.  Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:28 pm Reply with quote

Today I learned that I will need a new air cleaner on the bike if I am to ride it comfortably. The big fat chrome one sits right against my shin when I am on the brake pedal, and prevents me from getting my right foot properly onto the forward "highway" pegs.


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