Feb 20 2021

I’ve been living in the dark

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 23:32

Among my friends and some closer acquaintances, I am known to be a good cook. Hell, even I thought for a long time that I am a good cook.  I can make a killer stake, a killer cheesecake and other things. But there is one thing I always had trouble with. Soups. Whatever I tried, they always seem watery and like there is some ingredient missing.

I mean, being Romanian, I’m not really good at soups. We don’t have many types of soup in our culture… only a lot of types of ciorbă. The Romanian ciorba is a type of sour soup, that is soured using something called borș, that is a liquid that consists of water in which wheat or barley bran have fermented. I remember my mother putting sour cherries, or sour cherry branches in it too. Making borș also requires a putină which is a wooden barrel, shaped like a cone; if you want to get the flavour and the sourness right that is.

It’s no surprise that after leaving my parents’ house I’ve never actually tried to make borș myself. I did try sour soups though, and I tried to get them sour with lemon, or apple cider vinegar. It’s just not the same thing. They are still pretty tasteless.  So, I cheated. When I wanted to make some kind of soup, I always added some kind of store-bought enhancing flavour or broth.  Or I added garlic. Garlic makes anything taste like food of the gods.

But a few weeks ago, my life and my way of cooking changed.

I like mushrooms a lot. But no matter how I made my mushroom cream soup, it just never tasted mushroomy enough. I tried using frozen mushrooms. I tried using fresh mushrooms. I tried using a shitload of mushrooms. I also tried frying them first. Nothing seemed to work. Until a few weeks ago when I tried a new recipe. What this recipe has different than whatever I tried until then, is the fact that requires some wine. I tried it and, oh, my imaginary entity, my soup was pristine.  The mushroom taste was so intense it felt like heaven on my tongue.

I was savouring it and just could not believe it that I’ve lived for so long without knowing that wine enhances flavours. French and Italian people know this, this is why they put wine in everything. I think the only way I used wine when cooking before, was to make some sauce for pasta or steaks. I never thought that it makes everything taste better. A short while after my magical mushroom soups, I found this video:

And I am hooked. From now on, wine will forever be present in my kitchen. I feel like I’ve been living in the dark this whole time.

The best part? Romanian ciorbas are better with wine too. No need for borș. I currently have a lentils ciorba in my fridge, that I am so proud of and I can’t wait to have some for lunch tomorrow.

In case that anybody is still in the dark about cooking, like I was until recently, when something tastes like it’s missing something, it’s probably missing wine. Try it. And don’t worry about the alcohol, just let it boil a little and it will be gone.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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One Response to “I’ve been living in the dark”

  1. Alinutza says:

    Pacat de sticat vinul in mancare , vinul se bea sec intotdeauna , foloseste bors de putina in preparate contine complex de b-uri in plus este autentic romanesc 100%.

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