I debated for days about which fruit was worthy enough to be next on the wodkatopf list. There are so many factors at play and to be honest I am not sure I have enough information to consider myself qualified to make such an important decision. Quite frankly this wodkatopf is an experiment, which hasn’t exactly followed the ground rules it should have.
Originally I should have started with rum instead of vodka making it a classic rhumtopf, but alas none was to be found when I decided to embark on this journey. I will say though it brought me a certain measure of delight when I realized how amused my new Viennese acquaintances were at the thought of a rhumtopf make with vodka. I aim to please (when possible).
The guideline was to add a new fruit each month. I got side tracked a few times and forgot. So one fruit was added after two months, another after 6 weeks and yet another after 3 weeks! I have been anything but consistent.
Also, I think I am at a HUGE disadvantage, never having tried one of these firsthand. I am not sure if the flavors can each be made out when it is done or if it all transforms into a flavor of its own… Having this information would largely influence proper fruit selection processes because some are better than others at meshing into a new flavor profile where as others are particularly distinctive and much better suited for building layers of complexity.
So as I was saying, I debated for days and considered many different suggestions. From apples to oranges, even bananas… I considered textures, flavors, sweetness levels, higher propensity for fermentation, acidic content and shades of color. I finally chose pears.
Such an ordinary fruit some might say. So unremarkable when there are so many other ‘exotic’ or ‘interesting’ fruits at my disposal. I firmly believe ‘exotic’ and ‘interesting’ are relative terms. I selected pears, because a perfectly ripe- juicy-but-still-firm-in-texture kind of pear is something to be appreciated. I made a trip to the grocery store to search for the perfect specimens for my project. I found 3 pears that were about a day or two away from ripened perfection. I paid for them and took them home.
When they were finally ripe, I got out all the necessaries for the wodkatopf. I positioned everything just so and of course, took a picture. I chopped the pears and added them to my jar, sprinkled them with a bit of sugar, added enough vodka for them to swim and screwed the lid back on tight.
As the days went by I observed the pears. I must say, of all the fruits I have added, the pears have proved most interesting. The liquid in the wodkatopf is a reddish hue due to the nectarines and strawberries. I expected the pears to absorb this color and they did, but in a strange manner. The layer of pears is about an inch or so thick and the pieces floating more on top are rosy in color, the ones just below those are white and pink and the ones on the bottom of the pear layer are still white.
I have yet to understand this and have discussed it at length with a colleague… regardless of the reason, it is interesting to observe and I am glad that the fruit I chose, a fruit considered so ordinary, has decided to be the oddball in the bunch.
The culmination of this project is still a ways off and I am open to suggestions as to what to add to it. I like to think of this as a trial collaboration which I will use as a reference point to create another version, but more fine-tuned. So, readers of mine, I am off to ponder the strange behavior patterns of pears cubes floating in Viennese-inspired vodka…
Until next time…