Madrid is a fabulous city for eating out. For the adventurous, boundless opportunities for exciting dining exist all over the city. However, those who crave spicy food, and I mean really spicy food, are often disappointed by the dearth of options.
Some Peruvian restaurants make brave attempts to keep up their spicy tradition, but most succumb to the whims of their autochthonous diners by watering down the kick. Kitchen 154, a mecca for spicy food in the market of Vallehermoso, does a pretty good job. Cruel, there own chili brand, is pretty fiery .
The quiet and attractive barrio of Pacifico just outside the historic center of Madrid may not the place you’d expect to find one of the most exotic beers from Taiwan’s famous Taihu Brewery. But just step inside the amazing and cozy beer shop, Espuma, (C/. Juan de Urbieta 13, Local 16, 28007, MADRID, Metro L1 y L6 Pacífico y L1 Menéndez Pelayo.), and you’ll find yourself immersed in the world of craft beers.
The owners are real experts on craft beer and brewing and have started to make their own delicious beer Wit-toria. Apart from the many delicious beers for sale in bottles and, increasingly, in attractive tins, they always have two beers on tap for customers to try.
Taihu Smoked Plum Lichtenhainer臺虎烏梅
On this particular day when I visited Espuma, they had on tap Taihu Smoked Plum Lichtenhainer 臺虎烏梅. It’s a beer that doesn’t leave anyone indifferent: you’ll either love it, or find it downright weird! For me, it was weird on the first sip; then love on the second one.
It’s the use of these smoked plums that gives the Taihu Smoked Plum Lichtenhainer 臺虎烏梅 a smoky fruitiness that no other beer can match; furthermore, it has a refreshing sour tartness that quenches any thirst, even when it is 35º outside. I hope the barrel, the only one they have in the shop, won’t run out too soon!
The flavor of sour plums, smoked or sweet, is one of my favorite flavors from China and Taiwan. These sour plums, together with rock sugar and other ingredients like sweet osmanthus, are used to make a refreshing cold drink known as Suanmeitang 酸梅汤 often sold in street markets. Even though it is called a soup in Chinese, it is actually a drink. Besides refreshing, Suanmeitang is also believed to be good for your health, as it improves digestion and may inhibit the buildup of lactic acid.
The type of beer used in the Smoked Sour Plum is the Lichtenhainer. This description comes from www.beeradvocate.com:
“Lichtenhainer is also a pale beer brewed from lightly smoked malt, though only barley malt is used. The approximately 8º Plato wort is very lightly hopped and only boiled very briefly and exposed to either a spontaneously appearing or deliberately started lactic acid bacteria infection that gives the beer its weakly sour taste. The mostly young beer, which isn’t expected to be clear, is usually served from a barrel.”
Combining both smoky and sour tastes in one beer is unusual—but not unique. At least not in the past: In the first half of the 19th century, Berliner Weisse was also brewed with smoked malt”.
About the Brewery: Taihu Brewing (臺虎精釀):
The Taihu Brewery is Taiwan’s number one craft beer brewery. It has 5 five founders, three Taiwanese and two Americans. Due to Taiwanese laws forbidding brewing inside the capital, brewing takes place in an industrial area outside Taipei. However, the company has a number of taprooms at prime locations throughout the city to satisfy the demands of its thirsty customers (see below).
Apart from the amazing variety of beers, which include IPAs under the name Hop Lanterns, and a host of experimental beers including one made with Kumquat oranges, Kumquat Kölsch (金桔科隆), Taihu Brewery has also developed a Coffee IPA (blond) that uses Coffee from Kenya. This IPA is exclusively sold in Starbucks Reserve location in Shanghai.
The attractive logo below uses the two characters that make up Taihu 臺虎. Tai 臺 is for Taiwan and Hu 虎 is for tiger.
Another thing that really makes Taihu’s beers stand out are the incredible designs of the labels on the tins, created by the Taiwanese artist Yao Ruizhong（姚瑞中). Each can represents a different Taiwanese landmark. Take a look below.
The red of Wuling Maple Farm, Taichung (台中武陵): ‘Mai Xiang’ (麥鄉), or Taihu Bright Ale‘:
The blue of Si Shou Moutain, Taipei (台北四兽山): ‘Taihu IPA (臺虎IPA)’:
The purple of Beinan, Taitung (台東卑南): ‘Xiao Mai’(臺虎小麥), or Taihu Weisse’:
and the green of Guanziling Hotspring, Taichung (台中關子嶺): ‘Kumquat Kölsch (金桔科隆)’:
Cursos de chino en Madrid / Chinese Language Courses in Madrid 2013 /2014
Universidad Complutense Madrid /Learn Chinese in the Complutense University in Madrid
Curso de chino mandarin en Madrid 2013/2014
Como todos los años el CSIM (Centro Superior de Idioma Modernas) te ofrecen cursos de chino en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Las fechas son del 14 de octobre 2013 hasta el 31 de mayo 2014: 3 horas semanales. Todo/as los profesores son licenciadas y con ampliar experiencia en impartir clases de chino. Para mas informacion clic haz clic en este enlace: http://pendientedemigracion.ucm.es/info/idiomas/cursos/generales.htm
Beijing Time is the title of an exhibition that is currently being held at the Matadero (Paseo de la Chopera 14), a centre dedicated to contemporary creative arts in Madrid. The exhibition has been organised by Casa Asia.
The title refers to the fact that the whole of the vast territory that makes up China, is run according to whatever time it is in the capital; regardless of the inconvenience this causes in the far-flung border regions. For instance, when it’s 9am in Beijing, it’s only 6 am in Xinjiang. Depending on the political stance you take, Beijing Time can be seen as a symbol of unity, or the government’s attempt to impose this unity.
Last week, the Chinese community in Madrid celebrated the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Tiger, right in the centre of the city. The parade started in the emblematic Puerta del Sol (where we live), and finished in Plaza de España, passing the Royal Palace on the way.
Each year the parade seems to increase in size, both in the number of participants and spectators. In years gone by, the celebration was limited to the charismatic neighbourhood of Lavapiés, where many Chinese have their wholesale businesses. These days, the narrow, hilly streets of Lavapiés have become too small for the growing celebration.
The parade included all the usual dancing dragons, lions and people dressed in folkloric costumes. Martial arts displays, mostly performed by Continue reading “HolaChina wishes everybody a happy Year of the Tiger from Madrid.”