30 March, 2010

San Pellegrino Chinotto

Chinotto is a small, bitter citrus fruit common to southern Italy.  It's an important flavor compound in many Italian bitters and, along with some herbal extracts, is also the basis for a strongly-flavored cola-like drink of the same name.  There are several brands of chinotto sold in Italy, but the most common one found in the US is by San Pellegrino.  I love the stuff.  The rest of my family hates it.

Some people compare it to Coca-Cola, but that's not really a fair comparison to either beverage.  Coke is sweet and lighter in character; chinotto is bitter, with herbal notes and a hint of citrus behind it all.  If I were to compare it to anything it would be Moxie - that old New England favorite that is, much like chinotto, an acquired taste.



Shamrocks and Shenanigans said...

I love this, so hard to find though!!!

BD said...

Like you, I love this stuff but my family hates it. Can only find it in one place in a family-owned Italian store an hour away from me. Worth the drive to stock up.