One of the greatest perks of being a seasoned food stylist is the opportunity for travel around our fantastic, compelling and awesome world. In January I had the pleasure of working in Buenos Aires and stayed at the Park Hyatt Placio Duhau in the beautiful Recoleto section of town. It was a hot summer's day as I sat at the upper terrace garden restaurant immediately after checking in. I ordered an iced green tea to go with my lunch. I was surprised and delighted with the presentation of the tea in a large tulip glass with its carefully placed lemon slices nestled into the ice, all sitting on a silver tray service with an accompaniment of simple syrup, should I choose to sweeten the tea.
I recalled summer evenings as a child with my family ordering iced tea, which arrived unsweetened with packets of granular sugar. You could put as many in the tea as you liked with no evident sweetening, due to the undissolved sugar at the bottom of the icy glass. Simple syrup, used frequently by bar tenders, is sugar and water boiled until dissolved than cooled to add to cold liquids. I had never seen it served with iced tea at a restaurant before, though I have personally used it when hosting parties. I thought it a very elegant solution at this hotel named by Travel & Leisure as the top business hotel in Latin America for 2010.
When my shrimp salad arrived I was equally impressed both visually and in flavor. Unfortunately, I only had my old cell phone to capture these images. If you ever have a chance to visit Buenos Aires, I'm sure you will find it rich in beauty, history and culture. Where else do you see people spontaneously break into a tango in the street?
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