Sunday, November 7, 2010

Moscato and globe artichokes

A small experiment last night at a dinner. The globe artichoke crop here is large, so I picked 14 and after soaking to evict the earwigs, boiled them up to serve with melted butter, salt and balsamic vinegar dipping. There was a bottle of Kay Brothers 2010 moscato unopened from the dumpling dinner Friday evening, so this was the match-up.

Globe artichokes, particularly if you eat quite a lot and they aren't denatured by preserving, have an interesting impact on sweetness perception. The further you go with eating them, the effect of making subsequent food or liquid seem sweeter heightens. But what about with sweet wine, like moscato?

The effect on sweetness was as expected, but could be partly counteracted by vinegar if used in dipping of leaf bases. But there was also an impact on perceptions of bitterness and astringency which I had not expected. The moscato became sweeter following the artichoke, but an astringency also appeared when tasting the wine that had not been there when having it beforehand. Not something I have a particular explanation for, but a fascinating experiment.

And I still have around 40 artichokes still to pick of the first flush. The dry-land Mediterranean landscaping of the front yard is loving this wet year.

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