Vodka

Three delectable and luxurious veal dishes from Italy -with which to impress your friends, i Vitello Vincenzo, 2 Vitello alia Piemontese con Tartufi and j Vitello Tonnato.

Vodka is the national drink of both Russia and Poland. It has a long history – it is supposed to have originated in medieval Russia as a sort of local aqua vita (vodka means, literally, little water) distilled from the cheaper grains available at the time. Nowadays, although some vodka is still produced from RYE, MAIZE and BARLEY, most eastern European vodka is distilled from potatoes.

Until the second world war, vodka was definitely an eastern European drink, although since that time its popularity has spread to the West, particularly to Great Britain and North America. Tastes differ, however, and there are now two basic types on the market – one type produced in eastern Europe and catering basically to Russian and Polish palates, the other distilled in the West and catering to British and North American tastes. The eastern European product is stronger-tasting, can vary in colour according to the many spices, herbs or other flavourings added to it (there is even a Polish vodka called Zubrowka said to be flavoured by bison-grazed grass!) and is made primarily from potatoes. Vodka distilled in Great

Britain or North America, on the other hand, tends to be made from grains and to be tasteless and flavourless.

In Russia and Poland vodka is drunk ice-cold and neat and is also the traditional drink to serve with caviar. In the West vodka is used as a base for cocktails such as BLOODY MARY and VODKA MARTINI or drunk with orange or lime juice or tonic water.

Vodka Ice Cream

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