Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Trouble with Sambuca

Sambuca Jelly Shot, domesticated. . . 

Some find it surprising that the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen isn't all mini blintzes and blackberry sangria.   We certainly have a great deal of fun, but there certainly is a toil component (aka looming manuscript deadline, bi or tri-weekly photo shoots, etc.), and every now and again, an extremely difficult test case.  

Sambuca Jelly Shot came on the heels of Kir Royale Jelly Shot (a bit of a prima dona, that one), and experienced escalating textural issues throughout the testing process.  
At first, too oozy, however adding even a smidge more gelatin yielded licorice-flavored shoe leather.  Use of black-tinted sambuca (versus the clear liqueur) appeared to render an improvement in texture, if we could only get past the odd "skin" which formed on the top AND BOTTOM of the jelly shot.  Two Skins?, we said. "How is that even possible!?"

At some point in the process, it became necessary to console ourselves with one of our guiltiest pleasures, an act more self indulgent than viewing a Bravo network reality show marathon in its entirety, more appalling than cheese out of a can . . . composition of rather unfortunate verse.  With that in mind, I recently came across the following, a "A Sonnet to Sambuca", which memorializes the tribulations of creating Sambuca Jelly Shot, and thought our dear readers might enjoy.  I got a bit of  a chuckle out of it, now that Sambuca Jelly Shot has been tamed.  

A Sonnet to Sambuca

The crew of Star Trek Next Generation attempts to reason with an unrepentant Sambuca Jelly Shot.  

In the onyx glass bottle, still waiting,

Sweetly anise, redolent of fennel.

Oh, Sambuca, refusing to translate,

Recalcitrant to experimental

gelatinization, will not submit.

Oh Sambuca, why do you torment me?

You congeal first too much then too little.

You battle the gelatin with glee.

Aye, the gelatin you do belittle,

forming now a black gluey alien mess.

I sob, I sigh, I quit? No - I commit.

And hope that this too will soon come to pass.

Dear Sambuca, don't be a harsh master,

let's compromise between sludge and plaster.