Is there even a better word than sud? FYI, it means ‘south’ in Italian. And whyyyyy is ‘sud’ such a beautiful word? I mean, the word itself isn’t beautiful but what it connotes is. We’re talking about roughly anywhere South of Rome in Italy, including Sicily (where my folk come from) and Sardinia (odd sheep-herding people live here with gorgeous rugged landscapes and beaches… jokes!). But yes, the south is everything you think of when Italy comes to mind and much, much more. But for the purpose of this blog, I’ll just cut to the chase:
The south of Italy–in particular, Napoli, is where Italian coffee was truly revolutionized. This is the place where the Neapolitan method of brewing coffee was created, using the ‘moka’, machinettta, or caffettiera (depending on the way you prefer to say it) to brew finely ground espresso beans over a small chamber of water that gets percolated to the top chamber. (Here is a link on how to prepare coffee in this way just so I can illustrate a bit better what I’m trying to get at).
…Let’s get back on track here. SUD! Tonight after dinner, I decided to go with a very close friend to Sud Forno, located at 716 Queen Street West. Basically this is a place I’ve been wanting to go to for a while and since I’ve decided to show you all the beauty of coffee, I decided, “why not now?”. Sud is a Terroni-owned bakery (a terrone in Italian is an insult to southerners because we supposedly work the Earth, i.e.: we’re farmers). Anyway, as soon as you enter the front door, the robust smell of espresso permeates the very air you breathe–it’s quite beautiful actually. The atmosphere screams modern, urban Italian, which very much excited me. Let’s be honest, how many times have you been to an Italian establishment and it’s tacky or gaudy as hell? The shelves were stocked with interesting artisanal Italian products such as jarred, pickled vegetables, home-made pasta, and specialty flour for all of your (authentically Italian) baking needs. On one station straight ahead as soon as you walk in, there is a ‘pizza al taglio’ counter where you can order pizza and other quick foods. But to be honest, my eyes went straight to the dolci–the sweet stuff. There’s a reason Italians are known to live the Dolce Vita, you know? Apart from the lifestyle of “Dolce Far Niente” (see what I did there?), Italians make BOMB desserts…
…And let’s take off from there; that’s exactly what I ordered: un bombolone di nutella (a “big bomb” filled with nutella), and a caffè macchiato. Need I say more about the bombolone? We’re here for the coffee so let me start by saying that caffè macchiato literally means “marked/stained coffee”. So basically it’s a short espresso with a ‘stain’ of warm, frothy milk. Soooooo, I’m guilty of breaking a “commandment” of coffee culture in Italy (ordering anything with milk after the morning), but I felt like for you to best understand the varieties of Italian coffee better, it was necessary, like ripping off a band-aid to let your wound heal (or something of that sort). The macchiato was perfetto. The milk was literally a drop in my coffee, enough to stain it, and not enough to overpower the bold taste of the coffee, which was, in my opinion, probably the best coffee I’ve had in North America. The serving was typical, in an espresso cup, but I wanted it in a cappuccino mug instead, so I could have more. The bitterness of the coffee complimented the sweetness of my bombolone.
What else can I say? Anytime I get the chance to order in Italian, I’ll take it. Everyone behind the counters spoke to me in Italian, which really goes to show you the authenticity of this quaint, but busy spot.
And alright, I’ll admit it for a second time, I broke another so-called commandment: I didn’t drink my coffee in a quick shot and went about my evening. Instead, my friend and I took our treats upstairs and sat down and read an interesting article about the US elections in the New Yorker.
I guess rules are meant to be broken.
Sud is awesome, and I loved every single thing about it. Go try it and let me know what you think.
Also, read more about the “Commandments” of coffee culture in Italy (according to The Telegraph), here.
Ciao for now.