One of the more curious things you can get very easily in Australia is Chinotto flavored sodas. It’s an Italian thing and you might’ve had a San Pellegrino bottle of it before but here in Sydney, it’s way easier and hella cheaper to just buy Bisleri Chinotto from every single Woolworths and Coles, which is like everywhere basically. I don’t even know who the hell drinks it but it’s always in stock, seldom on sale. Obviously, there’s a significant Italian population in Australia but we’re talking about a black colored soda that tastes like bitter orange cola with hints of liquorice. Emphasis on the bitter.

The bitterness comes mostly in the aftertaste. They drop heaps of sugar in the mix anyway so you get frontloaded with the citrus colaesque pretense before the pithy bitterness comes swelling through. It’s not insane strong but it’s enough to turn some away, of that I’m sure. I think my housemate left an open bottle of San Pellegrino Chinotto on the kitchentop.

I wonder if the more bitter aspects would still come through in a sorbet or if you made a jelly or a tart with chinotto instead of oranges. I’m a massive atypical citrus lover. Pomelos, grapefruit, calamansi, blood oranges, fingerlimes, yuzu are totally awesome. Straight oranges, limes and lemons less so. Would love to sample some chinotto fruit, buddha’s hand citron, rangpur, meyer lemon, clementines and more to name a few of the citrusy objects that have crossed my eyes in word or form. I totally regret the time I saw those freakin buddha’s hands in a grocer and not buying them cos they kinda creeped me out. I also chanced on these red finger limes near my place the other day. Pity they were almost $40 a kilo.

Gotta love citrus. Sweet, sour, bitter and juicy bursts of naturally spherified awesomeness. Great in salads, desserts, drinks and always refreshing. The rind is also awesomely fragrant. I love it when I peel or zest a citrus. It’s like one of my fave kitchen jobs ever. Citrus prep.

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