by Enzo Coccia
When I rip the November page out of the calendar I start thinking about what to give my guests for Christmas. Last year there was the “N-ration” which, created along the lines of the namesake food ration survival kit made by Dr. Ancel Keys, included flour, oil and San Marzano tomatoes. The year 2014, which for me was full of commitments and big satisfactions, from the opening of the Fissler Academy cafés in China to the party for my first twenty years of business at via Caravaggio, and also from the great experience at San Sebastian Gastronomika to my participation at the Grand Tasting of Paris, not forgetting the many new things presented by La Notizia, respecting the tradition, involves the Christmas beer as a gift.
The limited edition and the refined decorations make these bottles dressed as Santa Claus, some absolutely collectible, a special present.
Brew on the arrival of the first cold winter days, for giving a plus when the thermometer drops and warming the hearts during the holidays, the Christmas beers, far from being a recent invention, drive us several decades back, perhaps even to the origins of the beer.
What is certain is that the first toast with Christmas beers seems to have been made in Medieval England, where people produced a hot drink fermented with roasted apples, nutmegs, ginger and sugar or honey. It was called lambswool for the froth floating on the surface. And some time earlier, there was also the “wassail”, a mulled wine, beer or cider.
Strong, to fight the low temperatures, with a warm and dark flavor, a rich aroma, fruity or spicy, tied with the history of peoples and cultures, these beers do not follow a fixed recipe, but give the brewer the possibility to expand his horizons and explore, year after year, other tasty combinations, just like when the creativity leads me to invent new brilliant ingredients harmonies for my pizzas, as the latest new entry, the murzillo with pistachio and mortadella.
Among the many different beers you can find on the shelves, to my most loyal customers I give the one brewed by Menabrea, a brand that those who dine at La Notizia know well. It is red, it has a rich creamy top, malted and caramelized aroma and taste, the beer produced by the historical company from Biella to celebrate these days.
I just have to send all the friends the dearest wishes from me and La Notizia staff.