Walking briskly down the Gran Via in Madrid this month, I realised I’d forgotten to have lunch and turned into the nearest bistro which happened to be Granvia Uno. The menu was very creative and interesting and having tried the burrata with truffle oil, and an interesting spin on caramelised roasted vegetables I was asked if I would like a postre. I was just on the point of automatically saying ‘no thanks and can I have the bill’ when my eyes lit upon an appropriate-for-October looking possibility – a Dracula. I was told it was a mix of:
- Coca Cola foam – go to this post to find out why Marks & Spencers’ is better than the Real Thing
- vanilla ice cream (go here for our survey of vanilla ice creams – which are the best, and which to avoid). or you could make your own
- strawberry coulis (go here for how to make a fruit coulis)
which sounded just disgusting, but in the interests of investigative journalism I thought I had better try it! In the event it was surprisingly moreish and I was surprised to find that I very nearly finished it.
It was served, rather effectively, in a kilner jar and the waitress suggested I should eat it without delay, like a souffle, as the foam would begin to deflate.
An interesting pudding for a Halloween dinner… don’t forget to play the appropriate vampire music when you serve it! And if you want to spurge and buy a halloween present for someone both weird and lucky, you could do worse than look at this pendant, and this bracelet, both by amazing jeweller Lydia Courteille.
A bit of background on Dracula
Who was Dracula anyway? He is the anti-hero in the book of the same name written in 1897 by Dram Stoker. He wasn’t the first vampire in literature, but he was the first one of any note, the first to really capture the public imagination. It did this by playing on the fears at the time. As Dr Angela Wright writes in this month’s History Today,
“Britain’s waning imperial power is epitomised by the Transylvanian vampire who avails himself freely of old and new forms of power to invade a Britain woefully underprepared to such a threat”
People (or at least men anyway) were also beginning to be fearful of a growing awareness of female sexuality. Victorians tended to deny the idea that women had any sexual appetites whereas Dram Stoker (who was Irish by the way) describes some pretty steamy ladies. Scary stuff!