Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Are you a Purist when it comes to Cappuccino?

More froth than liquid, the Italian cappuccino can be swallowed in seconds, and according to purists should leave a smear of milk on the inside of the cup. Stirring the beverage to mix the milk with the coffee that lurks in the bottom should not produce an overall brown color, but streaks of coffee in the pure white foam. A white mustache is obligatory after drinking.

According to many Italians, the light brown color is similar to that of the robes worn by Italy's Capuchin monks, hence the name, while others credit Capuchin monk Marco D'Aviano with the invention of the drink, after he discovered a sack of coffee captured from the Ottomans during the battle of Vienna in 1683. D'Aviano was beatified in 2003 for his missionary work and miraculous power of healing.
There is no debate over when a cappuccino is drunk. Italians line up every morning in bars before steaming, shiny coffee machines to gulp down their coffee, possibly returning for a another cappuccino after a late  night. One allowed variant is the caffe-latte, usually served in a tall glass, with extra milk added (the way my grandpa would drink coffee). Only tourists take a cappuccino or caffe-latte after lunch, as Italians believe the milk plays havoc with digestion.

Yes, the Italians are right about milk playing havoc with digestion after lunch; speaking from my own experience. I prefer my cappuccino at breakfast... guess that makes me a purist. 

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