The (Italian) Artist’s Table: While Pontormo’s notes on his everyday diet is a modest and revealing account of the solitary life of an old but determined artist, a little earlier in 1512, twelve of Florence’s most famous artists and poets had formed a sort of Renaissance supper club. Known as La Compagnia del Paiuolo, members were to contribute creative, aesthetically pleasing dinners for...
Mexican Artist's Cookbook:
Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo Frida’s Fiestas is a personal account in words and pictures of many important and happy events in the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and a scrapbook, assembled by her stepdaughter, of recipes for more than 100 dishes that Frida served to family and friends… Some Notable Inclusions: Oyster Soup ...
Ingredients In Depth 3:
Ishiri (いしり), Japanese Fish Sauce… Japanese Fish Sauce, or Ishiri, from the heart of the Noto Penninsula in Ishikawa has been traditionally crafted since olden times. Ishiri has been used for generations in the traditional cooking of the Noto area. There are two general types of Ishiri, divided by the ingredients used. In the area of the peninsula that faces Toyama, the liver of the...
Ingredients In Depth 2:
Dried Bonito (Katsuobushi) - Japan… Having developed from ancient times as a dried food, katsuobushi first came to be made by smoke drying in 1674. A well-known anecdote about the birth of this method tells of a fisherman from Kishu (present-day Wakayama Prefecture) named Jintaro who was shipwrecked in a storm. After being washed up on the shore of Usanoura, Tosa (present-day Kochi...
Ingredients In Depth 1:
Kanten (Agar) - Japan… Kanten, or agar, is a gelatinous substance that is essential in Japanese confectionery. Natural kanten is primarily produced in mountainous areas, where winters are severe and temperatures greatly vary between day and night. Much time and effort goes into its production, which takes place in sub-zero conditions Most of the tengusa (Gelidium) from which kanten is...
Green Rice < Brown Rice < White Rice:
Harvesting Rice in Yunnan Province… The rice paddies, once vibrantly green, have turned brown - a signal that it’s time to begin the harvest. Rice is planted in the summer, in squared-off paddies that contain a few inches of standing water. The sprouts are grown elsewhere, and then inserted by hand into the muddy paddy soil. By autumn the stalks, called 水稻, are over a meter in...
European, Southern, Cuisine:
A taste of Bosnia in Bowling Green, Kentucky… Nip beneath the black awning at Verdi’s to find a linen-draped eatery with tin ceiling, soft lighting and fireplace. For mild afternoons and evenings, tables flanking the front door give a front row seat of the goings-on at Fountain Square Park. The menu is an internationally spiced tour de force with Bosnian-style lepina bread, German...
The Middle East of Paris:
Staying halal in Paris will not take you out of your way… While French cuisine may now be officially recognised under Unesco World Heritage, and Paris can claim to be the world’s gastronomic capital, from its atmospheric bistros and brasseries to elegant Michelin-starred temples of gastronomy, the city is also a treasure trove of restaurants showcasing food from all over the Middle...
Revolutionary Soy Beans:
The Daizu Revolution… Japan heavily relies on imported soybeans and domestic production of soy beans is actually very low. The Daizu Revolution Project (大豆レボリューション) started by Takashi Watanabe aims to grow local varieties of soybeans on a small scale for local consumption with the participation of young city dwellers. They make trips to farms to plant and harvest the beans, which are then...
Armenian Food in Armenia:
Photos of Armenian Food @ Ianyan Mag… Ianyan Mag, an Independent Online Armenian Publication founded by Liana Aghajanian has two great photo galleries of food in Armenia, here and here, including things such as dried rose-hips, walnuts steeped in syrup, donuts known as ponchiks, home-cooked dishes, food markets and roadside stands. The magazine, though, covers all kinds of things… such...
Prodotti Tipici Italiana:
Information on Hundreds of Traditional Regional Italian Products… Saporetipico.it has an online encyclopedia of literally hundreds of traditional Italian foods organized by region, a great number of which I didn’t know existed. Some examples: Salsiccia di Fegato con Miele (Liver & Honey Sausage of Abruzzo) Liquore Nanassino (Prickly Pear Liquor of Salerno) Filindeu...
BBQ in Japan:
Beer & Brats Near Mt. Fuji… Shizuoka Gourmet attends a barbecue right next to Mt. Fuji in Fujinomiya City, Japan (Shizuoka Prefecture), along with local farmers and restaurant owners. On the grill go local meats and vegetables, including a number of locally made German-style sausages, as well as beer made by a local German Beer Master-brewer who owns his own microbrewery in Fujinomiya...
Armenian Monk Preserve:
Rose Petal Jam from a Venetian Monastery… Waking up on the Armenian monastery of the Island of San Lazzaro, floating in the mist of the Venetian lagoon, is like waking into a dream itself. Water softly laps around the edges of the monastery and that is about all you can hear except for the occasional speed boat on its way to the Lido. The monks of San Lazzaro are known for their roses and...
Stracnar - pasta on a grooved board: Stracnar is a pasta native to Puglia. It is formed by rolling a sheet of dough on a carved wooden board called a cavarola. The pasta sheet takes on the herringbone pattern of the wood, which is then cut into rectangles of about 1 inch by 2 ½ inches. http://www.starlingcafe.com/?p=2290
Armenian sausage, from scratch… My aunt, luckily for me, makes her own sujuk at home. And to my surprise, it’s pretty simple, and actually borders on effortless. It’s a matter of combining a blend of spices with meat and allowing the mixture to air-dry in a cool place, away from any sunlight. Prep-time is no more than 15 minutes, tops. No sausage casings or fancy equipment ...
Indian Bread Root:
Zamia integrifolia: Coontie Cones Zamia integrifolia is a small, tough, woody cycad native to the southeast United States (Florida, Georgia), the Bahamas and the Caribbean south to Grand Cayman and Puerto Rico (possibly extinct on this island). This cycad produces reddish seed cones with a distinct acuminate tip. This plant has several common names. Two names, Florida arrowroot and wild sago,...
Seasonal Southern Cuisine:
The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook Maggie Green | The University Press of Kentucky Kentucky Fresh is about cooking in a Kentucky kitchen, in sync with the seasons and in sync with those we feed. Each chapter is based on one calendar month, and recipes use cooking methods, traditional Kentucky ingredients and locally produced foods appropriate to the season. (Source) Some Notable Inclusions: Kentucky...
Pigs of Tuscany, Cinta Senese:
La Tegamata di Cinta Senese… Tuscan blogger Emiko Davies on the ancient Tuscan Cinta Senese pig, native to the area of Siena, from which Prosciutto di Cinta Senese is produced (with the trotter left on). She describes a dish known as La Tegamata, a stew made from the cheeks and sweetbreads of the pig, cooked slowly in a large terracotta pot for which the dish is named. As well as a number of...
Before and After Satellite Images of Tornado Destruction… With each passing day I hear more stories of people who lost everything in this storm, and not just in the news. These images really put the scale of the damage into perspective. I was just in the Tennessee, Georgia, Carolina area a few weeks ago, so the images of its beauty are still fresh in my mind. It’s difficult to...