In Pellegrino Artusi’s Italianissimo – Italian Cooking at Its Best (La Scienza in Cucina e L’arte di Mangiar Bene) a wonderful volume, which is the classic Italian cookbook, translated into English from the 1910 14th edition, the last one prepared by Artusi himself, Artusi includes a letter written to...
Archive for category: History
Even in classical times, Sicily was well-known for its agricultural produce. The Phoenicians introduced grape vines from the Middle East to Sicily where previously only wild grape vines had grown, and the Greeks, who followed, brought with them the latest grape-crushing technology as well as new varieties, such as...
The image of Archimedes leaping from his bath with a cry of Eureka (Greek for “I have found it”) is, despite the efforts of generations of physics teachers, not based in fact. While testing a gold crown suspected of being a mere alloy, Archimedes realised that the mass of water...
The relationship between wine and medicine in the Renaissance is interesting and has its foundations in the ancient texts of Hippocrates, Discorides (his De universa medicina provided an analysis of some 500 plants with medicinal value) and Galen, as well as the writings of Hildegard von Bingen in her Physica which...
Sebastião José de Carvalho e Mello, Marquis de Pombal and Count of Oeiras (Lisbon 1699 – Leiria 1782), held the position of Secretary of State of the kingdom of King Dom José I from 1750 to 1777. A representative of this enlightened despotism, he experienced first hand Portugal’s...
Sixtus IV, the successor to Paul II, would doubtless, if he had the opportunity to comment today, prefer to be remembered for transforming Rome from a medieval city to a Renaissance city, with the jewel in the crown being the creation of the Sistine Chapel, which was built...
In conjunction with my D.H. Lawrence poem about pomegranates, I thought I would share a little of the Greek myth of Persephone and her link to the pomegranate. Zeus and the goddess of crops and harvest, Demeter, had a daughter who they named Persephone. One day while she was collecting...
Alfonso Quijano, a member of the minor nobility form a little village in La Mancha, has read too many books on chivalry. He imagines that he is a knight too, and he sets out on a crazy quest. The powerful novel El ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la...
Table manners at the end of the Middle Ages were appalling.Everyone ate out of the same pot. Meals were served in one large chunk, from which everyone present cut a piece fro themselves. Poultry was not carved up before being put on the table. and people pulled even...
Here is a little history about Dom Sebastião, the sixteenth king of Portugal….. Dom Sebastião, born in Lisbon 20 January 1554 was the sixteenth king of Portugal and the seventh of the Avis dynasty. He was the son of Prince Dom João, who himself was the son of...
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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