(Water colour by Domenicao Ramponi 1818 – Preparation in the courtyard of the Archiginnasio at the end of the 18th century.) Teriaca – a miraculous potion The legend goes that, in the second century BC, a physician-poet named Nicandre living in Colophon (Ionia) wrote a poem entitled Ta Theriaca....
Archive for category: Did You Know?
Did you know the story about the most expensive bottle of wine ever broken? Well, here it is….. In 1989, William Sokolin, a New York wine merchant, was asked to sell an extremely rare and sought after wine on consignment. The wine was a 1787 Chateau Margaux and engraved...
Bartolomeo Boldo,a doctor of medicine, wrote this of the artichoke in 1576 – “The Artichoke has the virtue of provoking Venus in both in both Men and Women and for Women of making them more desirable and helping Men who are in these matters rather tardy.” Albeit its supposed aphrodisiac...
In general, the Supreme authorities in the Catholic Church have not been conspicuously hostile to sensual pleasure, or even ascetic in their culinary habits. Whereas, at the beginning of the 13th century, Pope Innocent III was still advocating spartan living, and insisting that only one main dish was served...
Benedict (image is by Phillipe de Champaigne The Poisoned Cup of Wine c. 1643-48) was born around the year 480 AD to wealthy parents in Nursia, now the region in Umbria in central Italy. As a young man of privilege it is said that he led a life of promiscuity...
There are no written records from the people of northern Europe of 2,500 years ago so we are dependent on what they left behind to help us understand the society of early northern Europe. This is a little about a spectacular pair of wine jugs which give some...
No one really knows why the gleaming, metallic green beetle with the Latin name Cantharis vesicatoria ever came to be known as “Spanish fly”. It is assumed that the term goes back to the legendary hot-bloodedness of Spanish Latin lovers. At all events, the powered remains of the dried fly...
Paul Ricard, born in 1909 in the Sainte-Marthe district of Marseille and co-founder of the Pernod-Ricard Group, had a fascinating life, and next time you have a glass of the world famous anis spirit or one of the many other prestigious brands of this Group (such as Mumm, Martell, Perrier-Jouët, or...
Prints of Castel Nuovo up to the mid 19th century show a stuffed crocodile hanging above the main doorway. No historian has been able to provide a rational explanation of what this exotic animal was doing or when it was put there. A symbolic act, some say. But...
If you visit the Museo di Palazzo Poggi, Bologna’s main university museum, you will discover a room dedicated to the work of a 16th century naturalist, Ulisse Aldrovandi, where you will see some of the ‘18,000 varieties of unusual things’ he claimed to have accumulated. Many of his...
Welcome to my love affair with the food, wine, history and culture of the Mediterranean, past and present. Here you will find not only recipes, drinks and fabulous products, but the history of the food and culture of the Mediterranean.
My purpose is to get you to explore and experience new tastes and along the way to immerse yourself in the wonderful history of this diverse and wonderful region – from Venice to Istanbul, Rome to Dubrovnik, Athens to Crete and all places in between and in the surrounds. Be prepared to be surprised, delighted and enthralled as you take this trip with me.
- The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte
- A wonderful Greek chicken dish to share – Kotopoulo Tiganito
- Pollo Al Sugo Con I ‘Rocchini’ – A wonderful dish from Pisa
- Barcos Rabelos – the symbol of port wine in Porto
- A miraculous potion containing dried wine lees…..
- The Most Expensive Bottle of Wine Ever Broken??
- Pacharán – the sloe liqueur from Navarra
- Sidra – apple cider from Asturias, Spain
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