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...
Archive for category: Did You Know?
One of the many books I am reading at the moment is The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826),a lawyer, who was mayor of Belley, France until he fled to the United States after the Revolution in 1793. On returning to France he was appointed a judge in Paris,...
By way of an introduction into some more history pieces I am going to write, I thought I would give you just a little history on the Croatian language…… there will be some more on this in a coming post!! The Croats speak and write Croatian, which...
Two of the most famous Greek wines have been produced on the North Aegean island of Samos and Limnos since antiquity. Samos has one of the best-known vineyard areas in Greece. The 3700 acre (1500 hectare) area of cultivation produces one of the best Muscat wines in the world....
Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), the famous Danish astronomer had a fascinating life and much has been written about him. There is however, one fascinating theory about him – that he was the father of Christian IV and the source for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Tycho Brahe lived on the island of Hven from...
Wine ceramic pitchers, known as boccali, had been in use in Italy since the end of the Middle Ages, with many of them decoratively painted. However, by the 16th century, a variant on this common piece of tableware emerged in the form of the puzzle or trick jug. The...
You will all have heard of the goddess Aphrodite but here is a little piece about her and her relationship with Cyprus…. It is said that wherever Aphrodite wandered, sweet-smelling roses grew at her feet. Many ancient myths have been woven about the birth of this goddess. Cronos,...
Do you know the story behind the black cat with the arched back that appears on the label above? Well here it is….. In the town of Zell, which is nestled on the upper Mosel River in Germany, there is a story told of a black cat and a superstitious...
Emperor Rudolf II (18 July 1552 – 20 January 1612) was an introvert, a lover of life and the ladies, an erudite scholar of the arts, and a supporter and protector of the occult – as well as a manic depressive. In 1563, the young Rudolf was sent with...
I love reading historical travel accounts and diary entries, especially about the Mediterranean and here is a small extract from Goethe about Sicily which I wanted to share with you…. Towards the end of the 18th century, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who loved travelling in Italy, kept a...
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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