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This is a praise to the Norbertine Abbeys in Flandres (Belgium). I have been living in a small village sitting near a canal. I use to go walking in three Abbeys, which were close by. Those are the most relaxing evening I remember from those three years. There are six Norbertine abbeys in Belgium: Averbode, Grimbergen, Leffe, Park (Heverlee), Postel, and Tongerlo. The Norbertinian order is born in 1121 in France thanks to St Norbert. "Live together in harmony, and be of one mind and one heart on the way to God" is one of the religious roles. 

The Postel Abbey was close by my house. We used to go walking on Sunday afternoon. There is a botanical garden, where monks grow herbs and flowers, and a laboratory. The monks use the herbs to produce liquor, medical syrup, and body creams. The abbey was born in 1135 as a residence for the pilgrims of the Floreffe abbey. During the 17th century, the abbey was closed. In 1797, g the french revolution, some of the buildings were destroyed and heavily damaged. To cope with the economic problems, the monks moved to the Limbug. In 1847 The monks moved back to Postel and started a small production of beer. The cheese production started in 1947 under the supervision of Padre Norbertus. In 1997 the artisanal production of cheese was moved to a small factory scale, which is placed within the abbey walls. Starting 6000/12000 of pasteurized milk, the factory can produce up to 600/1200 kg of cheese.The aging rooms can host up to 90000 kg of cheese. The cheese of the abbey has the IGP trademark, which secures the production to the specific region of Postel. Today, the head of the production is Padre Danny Caekebeke. 

There is a small shop at the entrance of the abbey. The people working there are lovely. Our favorite cheeses are the Komijn kaas, a fresh cheese aromatised with cumin; the Brokkel kaas, a two years old cheese; and the Oud kaas, a 9 years old cheese. Nowadays, the beer is produced in Opwijk. They have three types: a Postel blond, a belgian strong pale ale; a Postel double and a Postel triple.

Diapositiva1 Diapositiva2 Diapositiva3

We would like to thank talequale for the pictures and Maria for the graphic.

 

 

 

 

 

A tutto rinunzierei fuorchè a questa tazzina di caffè presa fuori al balcone...

Eduardo de filippo

Napoletan people are used to go the bar and ask for coffee, “un cafè”, at least three times per day. When I say coffee I mean the very very short and strong one. Once a Belgian friend told me: “Italian coffee is like a bomb in the mouths”. Always and I underline always it will be served with a side glass of water.

 If you want one teaspoon of sugar could be added to the cup, “a' tazzulella”. Otherwise, it is drunk bitter!

totopeppino

Il caffè si beve amaro! Amaro come la vita!                                                                                                                                                             

The coffee is drunk bitter! Bitter as life

Anonimus Italian

Ma comm' !! a vit' è già amar' ! Amaro pur o cafè? Mitt sto Succhr!

The life is so bitter already! Should be bitter the coffee too? Put the sugar in it!!

Anonimus Napolitan

The hot coffee goes straight from the machine into the cup and slightly caramelizes the sugar. Be careful when you hand your cup, most probably it will respect the rule of the three C: “Comm Cazz Coce”. Literally translated from dialect to English sounds: “ it is fucking hot”. To make sure that the coffee is drunk hot, also the cup is very hot.

When you go to Milan, the story is slightly different. If you ask for coffee you will have a very short and strong coffee in a normal cup without the glass of water.

When we move abroad the situation becomes very confused.

The question becomes:“How should I ask for coffee?”. It seems to be a simple topic but actually, it is not! If you ask for coffee in London, you will have an extremely long coffee. If you would like to drink a very short coffee, you must ask for an “espresso”. If you ask for espresso in Bruxelles, you will have an extremely long coffee. If you would like to drink a very short coffee, you must ask for “Moka”. If you ask for Moka in Italy, very likely you would go away from the bar with the coffee maker. If you ask for a Moka in Copenhagen, you will have a very long drink based on coffee and chocolate. In Copenhagen instead, you should ask for the espresso.

 

centrostorico

Many people struggle to know which is the secret of Italian coffee. Since I live abroad I always take with me the coffee from Italy. I use to drink coffee from very common brands, nothing very special. Few mounts ago I finally found out why I do not like the coffee in the north of Europe. Apparently, there are two kinds of roasting of the coffee beans. In the north, the beans are roasted to have a coffee more acidic while in the south are roasted to have a coffee more bitter. So the secret is the coffee! When you will decide to make a perfect Italian (Neapolitan) espresso (see the DoC article) remember to buy a coffee powder that is roasted with the purpose to be used in a Moka machine (check in here: Moka).

I like bitter coffee!

 Suntrust