Love is just a four-letter word, as sung by Joan Baez in her 1968 cover of Bob Dylan. The desire for love is a driving force behind our interactions as human beings, yet its realization is often elusive and slips away from us.
One way to reliably experience love is through food. For most of us, nothing says “I love you” or “I welcome you” better than sharing a meal or a bite to eat. Hospitality is a way to show respect for others, to share your culture and experiences, to unify and make lasting connections. This applies whether you are in a bar, a restaurant, or someone’s home.
These wonderful cookies are filled with love, nuts and chocolate. I have paired them with a beer that was created to be shared with someone you love, (if you’re single, preach that self-love!) Funk Estate’s Super Afrodisiac Stout.
#7 Funk Estate Super Afrodisiac Stout + The Best Biscuits I’ve Ever Baked
Baking was my gateway drug to cooking, among other things. These cookies are basically foolproof, and are almost as good as therapy. (I know this is a huge claim to make, but I am a massive believer in the power of chocolate.) If the cookies alone aren’t enough to light your fire, you have the added power of Funk Estate’s five aphrodisiac ingredients: vanilla, honey, more chocolate, figs and maca root.
- 1 egg (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup extra light olive oil
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup self raising flour
- 1/3 cup crumbed walnuts (I use a mortar and pestle to crumb them)
- 150g Whittakers 62% Dark Cacao chocolate
- 1 can (at least) of Funk Estate Super Afrodisiac Imperial Stout
- Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan forced oven. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Chop the chocolate block into chunks (you can use chocolate chips if you prefer but I like the texture of larger and smaller chunks of Whittakers chocolate).
- Beat egg, oil and sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy.
- Sift flours over oil mixture; then add the walnuts and chocolate chunks. Stir until well combined.
- Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and flatten slightly with a fork onto the baking tray (makes 12-15 cookies).
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack until firm.
- Enjoy with beer!
On the subject of love, a little bottle of one of my greatest loves fell into my hands this weekend: Campari.
Campari has a long history of love, passion and dedication behind the brand. A classic bitter aperitif, it was created in Italy around 1860, by a young drink maker called Gaspari Campari. It was customary in Italy during this time for each local café to be producing their own distinct aperitivos, amaros and liquers. Gaspari Campari began to sell his product to other cafes, bottled and labelled, with the savvy marketing insights of his wife Laeticia and later their son Davide.
In the early 1900s Davide fell in love with a famed Opera singer named Lina Cavalieri. She never reciprocated his love, but he followed her through Europe on her tours and eventually to Moscow, carrying his stock of Campari with him. In this way, he made Campari an international brand, supporting Surrealists, musicians and artists along the way. He engaged with a broad range of artistic styles to create posters for the brand, favouring innovative and daring images, captivating the interest of the public.
A. Funk Estate Rock Steady XPA + Campari
A departure from the theme of Opera and unrequited love, this little Funk Estate drop has more of a 70s “Free love” vibe. Rock Steady Xtra Pale Ale pairs nicely with Campari without overpowering the bitter Aperitivo flavours I love.
- 1 part Campari
- pour 3 to 4 parts Xtra Pale Ale
This beverage also works well with Panhead Quickchange XPA, or an I.P.A. such as Epic Armageddon if you prefer love to smack you in the mouth with a whop of hop flavours. I feel like Davide Campari might have been that kind of guy.
Interestingly, Davide is not the only man to have become obsessed with Lina Cavalieri. Piero Fornasetti, an Italian painter and designer, created hundreds of items featuring the Opera singer’s face as a motif; “What inspired me to create more than 500 variations on the face of a woman? I don’t know,” he admits, “I began to make them and I never stopped.”
The legacy of Campari has been handed down through the generations, as has its ongoing support of the arts. Vanessa Beecroft, an Italian-born performance and watercolour artist, created a label for Campari’s 150th anniversary. “Her label focused on the female image, coherent with her art vocation that uses women’s prototypes to project the artist’s own image. She imagined an ethereal female character wrapped in a fantastic head of hair, red, like the glass of Campari she is holding” and reminiscent of a) the reputably fiery haired Laeticia Campari b) the socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg or c) the artist Vanessa Beecroft herself.