Iva Trčiċ and the Old Zagreb Place Great Conversations
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Croatia has been a popular holiday destination for a few hundred years, but it seems that the vast majority of people want to spend their vacation time and money in coastal Dubrovnik, Split, and on the islands. As someone who has lived and spent plenty of time inland, I’ll tell you that the capital city, Zagreb, is an absolute delight, full of a continental charm and character completely unlike the coast.
If you’re planning a visit to Zagreb, check in with my friend Iva Trčić, whose exquisite 19th century flat on British Square is scheduled to wrap up renovations by June 1, 2018. She’s looking for help with funding the project on IndieGoGo, and is offering stays in the apartment as reward for support.Check out The Old Zagreb Place on IndieGoGo.com.
I may have given up alcohol, but I do remember it.
And life does go on long after the thrill of living is gone, but I can still dance with the ghosts of exuberant merriment and joyful hazard in memory and writing. That’s nearly enough words to describe the blistering rush of endorphins and utter desperation you’ll experience when you wash down pineapple and green habañero sauce with a swig of 100 proof peppermint schnapps. This is one of the things I enjoyed doing back in the day, my family.
Here’s how it works: The enzyme bromelain lives inside the pineapple and is released inside your mouth when you chew the pulpy flesh of the fruit. It’s a little like rubbing a bottle with a genie in it, only this genie is named Bromelain and he will punch the inside of your living mouth with a thousand tiny fists in spiked gloves. Pineapple juice is a fantastic meat tenderizer for that very reason. When you eat a wad of pineapple, you can actually hear the soft tissues of your mouth being enzymatically pummeled by the genie if you listen closely. Ssshhh! Can you hear ’em? It sounds like a cheeseburger on the griddle, but not so loud or comforting. That’s the first phase. You’ve just walked to the bus stop, completing the first leg of your journey to Funville.
Now that your mouth has been roughed up, we call in the hot sauce. El Yucateco Green Habañero packs a concentrated little burst of smoky habañero flavor on the front end along with a long tail of glorious bright green heat. The stuff’s like liquid fireworks, and every bit as pretty as the fire-based ones. Put a few drops on a piece of pineapple. The capsaicin from the chiles heads right for the vanilloid receptor subtype 1, and then your mouth thinks it might have a problem. El Yucateco has just lovingly swabbed your mouth with the second coat of paint on the sensory masterpiece that will soon be your life.
The next step is where keeping it real can go wrong, so stop reading if you’re not a full fledged member of the Mouth Wrestler’s Siblinghood. There are some moves about to be executed.
It’s always Christmas when you have an asspocket of Leroux 100 proof peppermint schnapps, which good liquor store proprietors thoughtfully refrigerate with the Jagermeister. Here is a drink that will put balls on your chin. Here is a drink that will put a beard on a lady. This unsophisticated spirit packs a whopping 50% alcohol content and enough peppermint oil to bring Telly Savalas back from the dead with a full head of hair. Peppermint oil stimulates surface blood flow, provides a cooling counterbalance to the capsaicin, and also puts the minty cheer in you. The high alcohol convinces you that you need another pineapple.
You have arrived in Funville, and you are more than welcome for the directions.
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