We have very close to home a great casual restaurant and bar called Meson Salvador, for tapas and other Spanish delights. The owner and waiters are warm and friendly, and we’ve been there several times for lunch and dinner. Our first meal there (and every time since), they’ve bought us after-dinner drinks (chupitos — click for a reminder of our problems with the word).
|PIONONO AT MESON SALVADOR.
(WHILE WE WATCHED BARCELONA TROUNCE MUNICH IN FÚTBOL.)
So, now I have another new favorite after-dinner drink. For me, it ranks right up there with vino dulce (sweet Sherry), vino naranja (orange wine), and caramel vodka (caramel vodka). It’s called Pionono and it’s apparently not easy to find (possibly downright impossible) in stores, but I found a website that sells it. It’s a lot like Bailey’s Irish Cream… only better (in my opinion).
Pionono is traditionally a pastry and not an after-dinner drink. Whenever I’ve told one of our friends in Sevilla about my new favorite chupito, they tell me they’ve never heard of it, although they’ve all heard of the pastry, which has been around since Andalucía was under Muslim rule and still called Al-Andalus. There are many different versions of pionono in Latin America, but in Spain it’s typically a thin layer of pastry rolled into a cylinder, fermented with different kinds of syrup, and then crowned with toasted cream (and eaten in one or two bites). The recipe evolved over 9 or 10 centuries until it became known in the 1900s by its current name in honor of Pope Pius IX (Pio Nono). In Italian, Pio for “Pius” and Nono for “Ninth.” (He was lampooned at the time as “Pio No No.”)
|PHOTO FROM WIKIMEDIA. AUTHOR: TAMORIAN|
The only problem with Pionono (the drink) is that San Geraldo really, really likes it, as well. And that means I don’t get to drink both our complementary glasses. And — although the Dowager Duchess will not approve, I’ll say it anyway — that really, really pisses me off.