On his return to Lisbon after discovering the sea route to India in 1498, Vasco da Gama proclaimed “Somos a gente do mar” (We are the people of the sea). Using small, light, high-powered caravel sailing ships based on an ancient Mediterranean design, 15th and 16th-century Portuguese explorers voyaged the...
Archive for month: February, 2017
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...
Here is a little about sidra the cider of Asturias, Spain….. “The Asturians have a drink they call zythos which is made from fermented apple juice”, so wrote the Greek geographer Strabo in the first century B.C. Even the Celts had cultivated applies in this northwest region...
Even if their names are not immediately associated with the history of clockmaking, certain great Florentine artists did play an important role in the history of time measurement. After all, they lived in a city which was the birthplace of various master clockmaker, who would make Florence one...
There is much that is strikingly beautiful about this painting, The Venetian Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) (1528-1588) is said to have painted this c.1580 and it is currently held in Room X of the Pinacoteca at the Vatican. Here we see Helena (ca.248/50 – 330) adorned as a noblewoman, and...
L’Église Saint-Michel-Du-Gast in Roquebillière has an impressive collection of esoteric, Masonic, Templar and Hospitaller symbols. Transferred to the Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem in 1141, it was reconstructed in 1533. On the wall below and to the right of the clocktower, a 666 is preceded by a recent...
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...
The Casa de las Chimeneas (House of the Seven Chimneys) is one of the rare intact dwellings in Madrid that dates back to the sixteenth century. Until almost a century ago, a dark legend surrounded this building, which today houses the Spanish Ministry of Culture. It is said...
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...
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.
- An ode to play – A painting by Pieter Bruegel
- A return to your childhood is good for the soul
- The Siege – Arturo Perez-Reverte
- A perfect flourless dense tart cake with caramelised slices of lime
- A wonderful Greek chicken dish to share – Kotopoulo Tiganito
- Pacharán – the sloe liqueur from Navarra
- A miraculous potion containing dried wine lees…..
- A perfect Pea, Mint & Feta Crostini
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