Gwyneth Paltrow loves tea, especially pu-erh tea. This fine variety comes from the Chinese Yunnan region next to the Tibet border and is specially dried and fermented in humid conditions.
Like wine, pu-erh is a unique blend of tea that improves in quality with age. The most precious leaves of pu-erh can be kept to ferment for as long as twenty years: the older the leaves, the blacker the tea and the tastier it gets. Tasting a lot like medicine you will find pu-erh in many Asian kitchens, as like in Hollywood, a lot of people use it for its purification and slimming properties.
Thought of as a luxury beverage, pu-erh is also used to prepare a special version of cháyèdàn, a tea egg recipe which is very common in China. The recipe involves placing eggs into boiling water until the shell of each egg is gently cracked; then you place pu-erh tea leaves into the water, leaving the eggs to soak up the flavor of the tea. This process can take many hours as the longer the eggs are left, the darker they become and the tastier they get.
To make the eggs even more tasty, you can try adding spices like cinnamon or anise. These flavors compliment the neutral taste that comes from egg proteins.
The finished result is a perfect and sophisticated snack food that, unlike lots of snacks, may have a healthy benefit.
Francesco Martucci from I Masanielli in the Campania region of Italy has been named the best pizzaiolo in the world for a third year running. See the full list as well as all the international winners.