Chinotto

Sanpellegrino Chinotto

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Sanpellegrino Chinotto is from Milan, Italy. I don't know anything about this - I just wanted to try something from Italy!

Bottle appearance:
This is the cutest little soda bottle ever! It's as tall as a can - not enough in here to quench a big thirst! I have no idea what chinotto is - I am assuming it's the flavor. The label says "a carbonated citrus beverage", but the color is very "un-citrus-y".

Soda appearance:
Very dark amber/brown color, with a very low fizz. This is NOT what an American citris pop would look like - and that's probably a good thing. Our orange and lemon sodas tend to be very unrealistic in the color and flavor department. But a brown orange sounds extremely unappetising to this woman.

Smell:
My first impression is that it is like candied orange peel. Greg thinks it smells like the orange pomamders with cloves stuck in them. We both feel we are in for a hurting on this one.

First Impression of taste:
Some sort of citris - grapefruit maybe?

Second Impression:
Something deep and smokey flavored.

Flavor:
We aren't sure what the flavor is - it's very familiar, and maddengly we can't figure out what it is. We think it's grapefruit and prunes.

Carbonation:
Good tasting low carbonation.

Full Description:
Ah - the sun has broken through the clouds. What started out as a terrifying beverage has in reality turned out to be a super tastey treat! It's sort of smokey flavored, deep, and mystical. It's what all those stupid California drinks should be - good flavor, unique, and tantalizing. Too bad it's such a tiny bottle and it's from Italy - it has really grown on us!!!

Score:
No debate on this one - we all give it a five, and are spraining our toungues trying to lick the last few precious drops from the inside of the wine glass.



Chinotto Update!

I got some delightful e-mail in June 02 from the author of the Chinotto fan club web site! Click here to visit. Mr. Pentimalli taught me a lot we didn't know about Chinotto - here is what I learned from him in a nutshell:

Chinotto is not as popular as Coke or Fanta in Italy. It sounds like a Moxie - strong underground fanclub! It dates back to the 50s, and was very popular in Southern Italy. Mr. Pentimalli told me that there is a strong 70s revival in Italy, and toasting or offering Chinotto shows you are part of an "in club" and following your own drummer.

The Chinotto we tried is the most popular, but not the best. Wonder where I can get some!!! The brands tend to be very local, with the exception of Sanpellegrino, which is owned by Nestle. It is basically muscleing out the competition.

Chinotto is a citrus - nothing to do with prunes at all. It's used for soda and a few other things, and only in Italy and Argentina (most likely due to the large Italian population there).

Thank you kindly, Mr. Pentimalli!!