Smadar be'Clil

We’re pleased to announce that next Thursday, Ayala Moriel Parfums will be co-hosting a magical evening of perfumes and desserts at Smadar be'Clil restaurant.

This is Ayala’s first event in Israel, and it is particularly exciting because it will take place in her home village in the scenic Western Galilee.

Ayala is visiting from Vancouver, Canada, where she has established a world-renown perfumery that specializes in natural fragrances, and also offers courses and workshops. Ayala collaborated with chocolatiers and tea masters to create a unique collection of scented chocolates and teas.

Guests will enjoy an evening of Smadar’s seasonal desserts with matching perfumes, all inspired by the same ingredients, some in Smadar’s own garden and orchard - such as orange blossom, rosewater, ginger and lavender. They will be further paired with organic wine from Lotem Winery.

When: Thursday, March 19th, 5-8pm

Where: Smadar be'Clil

How much: 80 NIS

Reservations: Call 054-8184345

מסעדת סמדר בכליל שמחה ונרגשת לארח את אילה לערב מתוק של קינוחים ובשמים.
נחווה ונלמד על הקשר הקסום בין טעם לריח. נזהה בבשמים ארומות מוכרות.
אילה מוריאל גדלה בכליל ומגיעה אלינו מוונקובר קנדה. היא מחלוצות הבשמנות הטבעית בעולם. הבשמים שעיצבה זכו בפרסים והוקרה עולמית. אילה מלמדת סדנאות וקורסים לבישום טבעי וקטורת, רקיחת מוצרי טיפוח, ובישול ואפייה ריחניים.
בערב המתוק נהנה ממגוון קינוחים יצירתיים המשלבים ריחות פרחים ופירות משכרים מעולם הבושם , ויינות תואמים מיקב לוטם אורגני
נריח בשמים מקוריים - כולם עם מאפיינים או רכיבים משותפים
המחיר למשתתף 80 ש"ח
להרשמה סמדר 054-8184345



The best desserts are made of three layers. And frangipane tarts definitely fit this category. I've been craving pears really badly recently (which is not a problem, really, considering that they are in season), and so I've decided to finally challenge this desserts, which is not only difficult to come by in North American pastry shops, but also seems very intimidating to master even for an enthusiastic baker like me.

I can't decide which layer I like the best - the almond cream or the fruit. For the sake of simplicity, let's begin with poaching the pears...

Poaching Pears for Frangipane Tart
To poach the pear, take 3 ripe yet firm pears, peel them and cut into halves. Scoop out the core with a melon scoop. Cook in a wine and sugar and spice syrup.
I used:
4 red (Anjou or Bartlett) pears
2 cups red wine
4 cups water
1 cup sugar (which I honestly think should have been reduced by half)
Rind and the juice of one Meyer lemon
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 whole star anise (which I think could have been reduced to only one)
- Bring the syrup to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the pears and reduce the heat. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Cool the pears while being immersed in the syrup. They can be served in any temperature in my opinion (room temperature, warm or cold), on their own, or with a dollop of whipped cream.
But if you want to turn this into a decadent and elegant pastry like pear & almond frangipane tart, proceed to making the crust... Which is reserved for the next post.
By the way - you will only need 2 pears for the tart; but it's good to have extra ones, in case a pear gets broken or mushy. Besides, the poached pears are so delicious that I guarantee you'll want to eat them on their own and 2 won't be enough!

Best served with an osmanthus oolong or a milky oolong.


Flowering Sage, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Climbing up the mountain called "Abaya" fills your lungs with clean, dry air that is redolent of oak leaves, arbutus berries, and the stronger and more prominent presence of sage, labdanum and hyssop bushes that rub against your legs with every step. In different seasons, the intensity of those odours varies. In the winter, the musty and refreshing scent of wet soil and newly wild weeds make the air feel clean and pure. Rockroses usually bloom in the winter, but their scent is nothing to write home about (there was none last time I checked).

In the spring, the sage blooms, as well as thorny bushes from the broom family, that fill the air with an intoxicating yellow aroma of wild flowers and honey. This makes for quite an intoxicating hike up the mountain trails and possibly induce a headache or a trail of sneezing: the air is over-saturated with yellow pollen (you can see these in the blurry background of the blooming sage photo above).

Rockrose Pink, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

By the time spring is over, the weeds and grasses are promptly dried up into a muted-coloured straw, and the sun becomes so strong it overheats the ground and the grass, releasing a scent that you would't think could be there. Even the rocks have a scent and it rises up to the air and radiates heat and a spicy warmth. This aroma lingers till fall time, because even though it's still positively sunny - the sun is just a tad more gentle and graceful. The aroma of sun-baked flint and sediment rocks, some covered in dead moss, and of wild herbs (hyssop, sage, thyme and white mint) that set roots in the rocks cavities or grow with less restraint in the small meadows of the mountaintops - they steep into the air like tea...

Sage Leaf, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

This is just an experience you associate with the mountains and hills of the Mediterranean, but does not have a name in our language whatsoever. But as it turns out, there is a name for it in French (this language is particularly descriptive and precise when it comes to the senses). And so, the 6th part of our Aromas of Autumn Series is dedicated to Garrigue, a term that is new to me. I became aware of it thanks to one of my customers and SmellyBlog readers known as odysseusm.

Zaatar, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

In our region, we eat, drink and breathe garrigue... For example: the za'atar bread is a flat bread similar to pita or cheese-less pizza, that is covered with a mixture of wild hyssop, thyme, sesame and sumac mixed in olive oil.

Garrigue is resinous, warm, earthy spicy aroma, herbaceous in part, and I suspect greatly impacted by the presence of cistus or rockrose on the mountains. Garrigue perfumes are those who got a prominent cistus and herbal presence - such as Song of Songs, Ayalitta and Autumn. The latter two are Chypres and both with sage. The first one is an oriental, but with so much labdanum that once applied to the skin, and especially the anointing body oil - makes my entire being smell of sunbaked mountainous rocks and roses.

Garrigue wines are redolent of baked earth and warm herbs and are full-bodied and aromatic. So it is only fitting that the winery in my village is called Abaya Winery. Winemaker and founder Yossi Yodfat explained garrigue to me as "a combination of thyme, sage, "kida" (these are the broom-related bushes mentioned earlier), "ela" (mastic), and some difrent kinds of grass. The scent changes with the season, and its more green and fresh in the winter, more herbal in the spring, and more dry, and sharp (like dry grass) in the summer".

Copyright Yossi Yodfat/Abaya Winery

Abaya Winery uses only grapes grown in the region and are suitable for the drought conditions, warmer and shorter winters, lower elevation and close priximity to the sea. They use grapes such as Sirra and Carignan. Yossi himself is a lighting designer and involved in the art community. So the space, built just next to a Medieval fortress (Mivtzar Yechiam) is used beyond winery functions - it is also an art and culture centre, and they promote emerging artists. For example: a young visual artist, Noam Dehan was commissioned to design the wine labels. Each vintage has a new set of labels.

Copyright Yossi Yodfat/Abaya Winery

Abaya's wines are red, strong and full of character. Moon-A 2008 is squeezed from Sirra, Cabarnet Sovignon and Petit Verdot grapes, aged 12 months in French oak barrels to produce a soft body, balanced acidity, and pronounced yet not overpowering woody presence and an even diffusion on the palate.

Le Rouge 2008 is made from Cabarnet Sovignon, Carignan and Petit Verdot grapes, and is also aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. This wine has a burgundy colour, a stable body, high but not exaggerated acidity, and a non-overpowering woodsiness. It is an elegant wine that is very suitable for accompanying meals.

Midsummer's Eve 2007 combines Carignan and Sirra grapes with a little bit of Cabarnet Sovignon. "It reminds me that summer scent of dry grass and summer fruits", Yossi explains how he picked the name for this limited edition wine (there are just a few bottles left). It's a massive, thick wine with deep, nearly opaque burgundy hue. It has the sweet aroma of ripe fruit, roasted coffee and earth. Rich and with a hint of spicy clove. It is warming like a midsummer's eve.

Copyright Yossi Yodfat/Abaya Winery

Bacchus and Pan

This beautiful view is from a vineyard and a winery in the Okanagan valley in British Columbia. I've heard so much about this area but it took me 11 years to actually make it up there, and learn that the "valley" really is a large and long lake, and along its shores, sliding from the slopes of the dry mountaies are scattered orchards, vineyards and ever-growing little towns and and wineries. Orchards are fast being uprooted and replaced by vineyards; apparently Canadians prefer their fruit fermented and boozed up rather than fresh... Personally I'd rather have the fresh fruit: cherries, peaches, pears and apples make the majority - but it is also possible to grow kiwis there! The area is considered to be the northern most desert in the world, although the desert is kind of scattered around... With extreme climate (very cold at night and in the wintertime; very hot and dry in the summer), little rainfall (about 30cm annually) and relatively sparse vegetation.

Turns out I came to the area just in time for the grape and apple harvest as well as the wine festival in the region. I was originally invited to teach a workshop up in Vernon, which unfortunately got canceled (but hopefully postponed to another time). The softness of a full autumn sunshine was magical, as if the sun was kissing goodbye all the orchards and people before taking a little nap for the winter. And the atmosphere was festive, with all the ripe apples on the trees like bright red ornaments, and the odour of fermented grapes like after some kind of ancient fertility ritual for Dionysus.

I've experienced my first wine-tasting there (and the second, certainly too much for one day!) and learned the difference between red and white wines is more than just the colour of the grapes, but also how it is processed. I also learned the winery jargon is something that no matter how great is my olfactory imagination, I will never get it. With due respect to this tradition which is highly connected to the development of perfume (after all, without alcohol and distillation techniques, perfumes would not be very interesting at all) - perfumery is so much interesting. I find the whole notion of describing fermented (and often sour) grape juice as "floral" or with hints of this or that unrelated fruit or spice is a little silly. At least in perfume we use more than one plant and don't need to try to find other things in it that aren't there...

And one of the most fantastic things was discovering Carmelis goat cheese artisan at the very end of Kelowna towards Chute Lake and Naramata - which turns out to be owned by an Israeli woman. They make the best Labaneh (strained yogurt cheese) I've tasted out of the Western Galilee. They also serve ice cream by the scoop (their pistachio was amazing) and their variety of cheeses is more than impressive - soft ripened cheeses, brie, blue cheese, gruyere and even parmesan type but all made from goat cheese. My love for goats has grown even stronger seeing how much variety of cheeses can be made from their milk. Plus, in case you didn't know already, I just love how they smell...
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