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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Erika"
To: phaedrus
Sent: Saturday, December 06, 2003 11:01 AM
Subject: Recipe for bicerin

> Hi, Phaedrus!
> I'm looking for the recipe of an drink I had in Venice at the Cafe
> Florian.
> It's called a bicerin, and as far as I can tell, it's made with coffee,
> chocolate and cream. Possibly steamed milk, and I don't know if they use
> cocoa powder or regular chocolate or what. Apparently each cafe is guarded
> with its recipe, which originated in the town of Turin in Italy. It is God's
> own cafe mocha, with the cold cream on top and the hot chocolate on the
> bottom, one mixing up into the other as it picks up the coffee on the
> way...mmmmmm. I would love to know exactly how it's made, because my
> feeble attempts are obviously wrong. Thank you!
> Erika

Hello Erika,

Well, the exact recipe is, as you say, a secret, even from me. I searched everywhere that I could think of, but could not locate an actual recipe.

Bicerin dates from the 18th century and originated in Turin, Italy. The drink was a favorite of Alexander Dumas. The name "bicerin" comes from the Italian word for glass, bicchiere, but in its diminutive form ("a little glass").

It consists of three layers in equal amounts:

1) The bottom layer is strong Espresso Coffee.
2) The middle layer is sweetened Florentine hot chocolate, which is made with water rather than milk.
3) The top is frothy real dairy light (whipping) cream.

One particularly florid description of it is this:

"It is served in tiny, elegant espresso cups, wherein its toothsome liquid layers graduate from black on the bottom (strong espresso coffee), chocolate brown in the middle (thick, sweetened dark chocolate), camel brown above that (chocolate combining with cream), and finally, on top, the lightest whiskery cloud of frothy cream with a little leaf shape trailed through its trembling mousse."

The key in trying to make it at home would be in staying as close as possible to the exact ingredients, without substitutions.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Janet" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2003 6:04 PM
Subject: ham kielbasa

Hi Phaedrus,

I've been looking for a recipe for a Polish sausage made from ham, might be
called krakowska.  It may also be a Ukrainian recipe.  I've searched through
google with no results.  I used to buy it at a butchershop outside of
Jeannette, PA, where they made their own sausage.  They have been out of
business for a number of years.  The name of the store was Olijnik"s.  This
was one of their homemade sausages.  It was a larger sausage, maybe 3" in
diameter and really tasty.  We make our own kielbasa every year for
Christmas and Easter and would like to try this.  Hope you can help!

You have a most interesting site!


Hello Janina,

I was only able to find one recipe, so I hope it is a good one.



Ingredients For 10 Lbs.
1 Cup of Ice Water
5 Tb. Salt
2 Tsp. Instacure No. 1
2 Tb. Powdered Dextrose
2 Tb. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Ground White Pepper
1 Tsp. Coriander
2 TB. Ground Mustard
1/2 Tsp. Marjoram
10 Lbs. Boneless Fresh Ham

Krakowska, or KK as it is sometimes called, is made of fresh legs or what is
commonly known as fresh hams. The hams are boned and the lean meat is kept
separate. The hams are made as lean as possible and ground through a 1-1/2"
grinder plate or cut into 1 to 1-1/2" chunks. The trimmings from these hams
can be used in this sausage if you can grind them very fine. In most cases,
it is best to use the lean meat, as it makes a much nicer sausage. You may
add up to 20% lean pork butts or pork shanks if available.

Place meats in the mixing tub and add all the ingredients. Mix well until
all the spices are evenly distributed. Stuff into fibrous casings 2 to
3-1/2" in diameter by 24" long. Place into cooler overnight.

Place in a preheated smokehouse at 130º F with dampers wide open for 1 hour.
Apply a heavy smoke, gradually increasing the smoker temperature to 160-165º
with dampers 1/4 open. Keep sausage in smoker until you reach the desired
color or until sausage reaches 152º F internally. If you are using a steam
cabinet, you may remove the krakowska from the smoker when the internal
temperature is 130º F. Cook in steam cabinet until internal temperature of
152º F is obtained. When sausage is cooked, place under cool water shower
until the internal temperature is reduced to 110º F. You may leave at room
temperature for 45 minutes or until desired bloom is obtained. Remove to
cooler and hold overnight.

Karjalan Piirakat

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2003 10:58 AM

> On the 16 hour train ride (in those days) from rovaniemi to helsinki I had
"karjalainen pirakkoita" (maybe the spelling isn't quite right, after more
than 30 years in Mexico my Finnish is getting rusty around the edges),
Anyway, they're a  sort of flat turnover of rye flour filled with rice and
topped with scrambled egg (Please Note Real European style fluffy, creamy
scrambled eggs, not the hard fried mess served up as such in the USA (and
here in Mexico as far as that goes).
> Regards, David. Mexico City, Edit this message as you wish.

Hello David,

See below.


Karjalan piirakat
Karelian rye-crusted pastries with egg butter

2 cups water
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups milk


1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup rye flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour


1/2 cup butter melted

Egg Butter

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 hard-boiled egg, chopped
pinch freshly ground white pepper (optional)
pinch ground ginger (optional)

For the Filling

In a saucepan combine the water and rice. Bring to a boil.
Stir, cover, and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the milk, cover, and continue cooking until the milk is completely
absorbed and the rice is soft and creamy.
Season with salt. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper. To prepare the pastry, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the
water, salt, and rye and white flours to make a stiff dough.
Shape the dough into a log and cut into 16 parts. Shape each part into a
On a lightly floured board, roll out each round into a 6-inch circle.
Spread about 3 tablespoons of filling evenly on each round. Fold two
opposite edges of the pastry over the filling and crimp the edges of the
dough toward the center to make an oval-shaped pastry, allowing about
1/2-inch of the crust to overlay the filling and leaving the center of the
filling exposed. Place on the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir
together the melted butter and hot milk and brush on the pastries. Bake for
10 to 15 minutes, brushing once during baking, until the pastries are golden
on the edges. Remove from the oven and brush again.

For the Pastry

In a medium sized bowl, combine the water, salt, and rye and white flours to
make a stiff dough. Shape the dough i nto a log and cut into 16 parts. Shape
each part into a round. Spread about 3 tablespoons of filling evenly on each
round. Fold two opposite edges of the pastry over the filling and leaving
the center of the filling exposed. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter and hot milk and brush on
the pastries. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, brushing once during baking, until
the pastries are golden on the edges. Remove from the oven and brush again.

For the Egg Butter

In a small bowl, cream the butter. Stir in the eggs. Season with the white
pepper and ground ginger, if desired. Serve the egg butter at room
temperature. Cool the pastries and server with the egg butter.

16 pastries, 1 cup egg butter
Karjalan piirakat

Anyone who has spent any time in Finland has undoubtedly encountered one of
her favorite foods: Karjalan piirakat. As the name obviously suggests, these
goodies are from the historic region called Karjala. Making the piirakat
("pies") is a big job, but the results are worth every effort. Ask ANYONE!

2dl water
1tl salt
2 1/2dl flour
2 1/2dl rye flour Filling
rice pudding (not sweetened at all) or
mashed potatoes (warm or cold) 
Basting liquid
2dl boiling water
50g butter

Piirakat ingredients are mixed well into a soft, firm dough that is not
sticky. (Add flour if it sticks.) Divide the dough into small equal
portions, about the size of a golf ball. (I usually divide the dow into two
portions, then roll out each into a long wand and cut into equal pieces.)
Each piece is rolled out into a paper thin round (like tortillas, but as thin
as possible. See photo, left.) Place filling in the center of each round,
spreading it towards the edges. Turn the edges over the filling, forming an
oblong, and crimp the edges very closely with fingers, leaving some of the
filling showing. (See photo, center .) (They end up looking a little like
boats; in fact, that's what my kids used to call them -"Mom, will you make
some of those Finnish boats?") Bake in hot oven (450F) for about 10 minutes,
till they start to brown on the bottom. Immediately, brush each piece with
basting liquid, top and bottom (see photo, right), stack in a pan or bowl,
cover and let stand till they are soft. Best eaten when they are still warm.
Very good with munavoi ("eggbutter"; recipe below), lunch meats, or just
lots of butter. YUMMMM!!

(4) hard boiled eggs, shelled, crumbled
butter, slightly softened
Gently mix the eggs and the butter till mixture is of good spreading
consistency. Add salt to taste.
Karelian Rice Pasties
pasty dough:

500 ml fine rye flour *)
1/2 tsp salt
200 ml water
(1 - 2 tbsp oil)
150 ml short grain rice
300 ml water
650 ml whole milk
1 - 2 eggs or egg yolks
pinch of salt
for brushing:
whole milk
lump of butter
for serving:
egg and butter spread
Start making filling by bringing water to the boil. Add rice and simmer
until water is absorbed in rice. Add milk, bring mixture to the boil and let
it cook for a couple of minutes, stirring continually with a wooden spoon.
Reduce heat  -  or turn it off completely  -  cover pan with lid and let
mixture simmer for about 30 - 40 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Filling is ready, when it has thickened into a velvety, white porridge. Add
a lump of butter, mix, cover pan with lid and set aside to cool.

Prepare pasty dough: mix flour and salt, add oil and water little at a time
and mix to get a non-sticky dough. Divide dough in 15 - 20 equal pieces and
roll them into small balls. With a tapered rolling pin, roll out balls one
at a time into very thin disks, about 1 mm thick and 10 - 15 cm in diameter.
(You could also try and use a pasta machine for rolling.) Cover pie disks
lightly with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.

Mix egg(s) or yolk(s) in rice porridge and season with salt. Spread porridge
filling on centre of pie disks, see figure 1. Note: filling mustn't be too
runny, it should hold its shape when spread on pie disks. Raise edges of pie
disks towards the centre, pinching with your fingers

Place pasties on baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake at 255 -
300 °C (491 - 572 °F) for about 5 - 8 minutes, until brown specks start to
appear. Meanwhile, heat about 150 ml whole milk in saucepan, add big lump of
butter and let it melt. Submerge piping hot pasties one at a time in hot
milk-butter mixture and place them in large bowl. Cover bowl tightly with
parchment paper and towel, and let pasties soften for about half an hour.

Warm pasties are traditionally served with egg and butter spread. Spread
egg-butter on warm rice pasties. Pasties may also be eaten topped with plain
butter, cheese, ham or reindeer roast slices, gravlax, shrimps or whatever
you happen to like!
Pasties can be reheated in oven or toaster.

*) Use rye flour that's finer textured and lighter in colour than regular
rye flour. If this flour is unavailable, use half regular rye flour and half
wheat flour.

Egg And Butter Spread
4 eggs
40 - 60 g butter
Cook eggs in boiling water for 10 minutes. Rinse eggs with cold water and
shell them. Using a fork, finely mash warm eggs together with the butter.
Season with salt, if necessary. You can use an egg slicer to slice the eggs
before mashing. Slice them first crosswise and then lengthwise.
Egg and butter spread is traditionally served spread on Finnish Karelian
rice pasties. It can also be used in sandwiches or on canapés. Store spread
covered in refrigerator but take it out to soften before use.

Finnish Mämmi

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2003 9:18 AM

Your bugbear david from mexico city again.
When I was living in Finnish Lapland I had a dessert called "mämmi."
It looked like a paste of dark russian rye bread, possibly with malt. We ate
it with cream or a glass of thick soured milk (piimää). I've never seen a
recipe for it. Can you help? I know you can -- your site seems to be able to
do anything.

Hi David,

I was able to find a recipe for mämmi. See below.


Mämmi (Currently no known equivalence in any other language)

This is one of those suspiciousnesses Finnish kansanomaisia jälkiruokia
(ethnic dessert) that have to be taken trustingly. It's really good once you
get over the appearance. 

6 quarts water
1 lb. malt
3 lbs. rye flour
molasses to taste
1-2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. chopped orange rind

Mix the malt and flour. In a large cooking pan (with a heavy bottom if
available), heat about 2 quarts of the water and add enough of the
flour/malt mix to form a thin mixture (like velli). Sprinkle with a layer of
malt and flour. Cover the pan and place in a warm place to sweeten, about
one hour. Now mix the sprinkled flour and malt into the mixture. Add more
hot water and again a layer of flour and malt. Leave to sweeten. Repeat as
often as needed to include all remaining water, flour and malt. With the
last addition, season the mämmi to taste with molasses and orange rind. Cook
for about 10 mins., stirring constantly. Whip till cooled. Place in low pans
(ah, to have those birch bark mämmituokkoset available). Do not fill too
full, because mämmi will rise in the oven. Bake in moderate oven for about
1-2 hours. Temperatures that are too low during cooking and baking tend to
make the mämmi bitter. Baked mämmi will be cooled quickly and served with
cold cream and sugar. Hyvää ruokahalua!

Ketchup Flavored Potato Chips

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michelle"
To: phaedrus
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2003 1:27 PM
Subject: Unusual flavored potato chips in the US?

> Dear Uncle Phaedrus,
> I've been to Australia a few times and while there, tried potato chips in
> unusual flavors, like ketchup, steak, and roast chicken.  They were pretty
> good, especially the ketchup ones.  I have looked for these at home and have
> been unable to find them.  I've looked around a little on the web, and found
> some Canadian sites that sell them, but paying $15 shipping on a $1.50 bag
> of chips seems like a bit much.  Lay's makes some of these flavors of chips,
> but I guess don't sell them in the US.  Are there any US stores or sites
> that sell these?  Thanks for your assistance, now and previously.  I had
> asked for a cranberry relish recipe and you found the exact one I was
> looking for!  Thanks again.
> Sincerely,
> Michelle

Hi Michelle,

I 've seen dill pickle flavored and steak sauce flavored chips in the vending machines where I work. I think what Lay's does is to test market these flavors in vending machines first. If they sell well, then they begin selling them in larger bags. If not, then they drop them. Some of these odd flavors become popular in other countries but they don't make it in the U.S.

There are at least two brands of ketchup flavored chips sold in the U.S.: "Herr's" Heinz ketchup flavored chips and "Mister Bee". I'm sure there are others.


Herr's Heinz Ketchup chips: Herr's 1 Herr's 2

Very weird flavors, like crab-flavored chips! Keystone web

Mister Bee: Mister Bee

Site devoted to potato chips: Chip of the Month

Snyder's has some flavored chips Snyder's of Hanover

Guacamole chips and chili chips: Net Grocer



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