Hello everyone and sorry for the lack of posts last week. We’ve been having a run of extremely hot weather, which makes me feel really ill and exhausted and makes it hard to write. I’m going to have to see if I can be a bit more proactive about scheduling posts if I want to keep up a reasonable rate of content on my blog until summer is over (and as it’s Australia, sometimes very hot weather can run well into March). I’m hoping to get some thoughts on the final episodes of Long Riders as well as some overall thoughts on the series posted this week, although this is a bit dependent on the weather.
This episode is a continuation of the events of the previous episode, where Sara talks about how much she dislikes Italian food. Morina asks about the differences between Italian and Japanese food and is told that both types of cuisines were developed using the different locally available ingredients in order for people to have a healthy lifestyle. I think that this is slightly odd because as an Australian we barely use natively available ingredients at all, but I also think it rings true. While it’s fairly easy these days to get all kinds of different foods, regional cuisine was just meals made with the sorts of ingredients that were available to people locally.
To distract Niza from the staff getting upset at Sara, he is offered some sangria. Sangria, is a kind of chilled wine drink flavoured with fruit and spices. Sangria is originally a Spanish beverage but is popular in various countries with lots of regional variants, both the type of wine used and the kinds of fruit included. I’ve tried sangria before, and while it was a bit sweet for my tastes, I can see why people may like it to cool down. Interestingly, in the EU, labelling a drink with sangria is limited to beverages with a Spanish or Portuguese origin (rather like champagne can now only be used on sparkling wines from grapes grown in the Champagne region). There’s no such limitations here and you can get all kinds of different variants for sale all named sangria.
Morina is really upset at Sara not appreciating Italian food so she enters into an impassioned defence of the cuisine. She talks about how chefs value the culture and traditions of the food they create and so people shouldn’t trample all over them. Sara (and the restaurant staff) are quite moved by the speech.
After the customers leave, we see Maro in the back of Festa writing a new recipe. He’s talented enough to tell how something will taste without trying it first, and also tells Morina that merely following the recipe won’t make you a good cook, that you need to understand the principles behind cooking. I do think that with experience you can have some idea how food will taste when it’s made, but while I can often have a good guess, especially with dishes which are similar to the sorts of things I’d normally make, I definitely don’t think that I’d be anywhere near Maro’s level (or the level of chefs in general)! The show has resumed its relaxed mood this week, which is one of the aspects which I’ve been enjoying about the series so I’m quite pleased.