February 16, 2011
There are barely any recipes of fish on this blog, however I love eating fish. I find it a stunning ingredient, much more interesting and subtle compared to meat, with few contestants in terms of complexity of flavour and texture even in the vegetable world (a few mushrooms, maybe?). I am not intimidated by fish as an ingredient: I have a handful of family recipes up my sleeve that are tasty and foolproof. I grew up eating fish. Both my parents cook it with skill, but it was usually my father who wore his apron on Saturdays to cook today’s catch from the market. When we visited our grandparents, it was a fish feast.
Nothing like fish brings me to pure, unadulterated gluttony. I might be able – under extreme circumstances – to be fed up of eating chocolate, or pasta, or cheese, or oranges, or heaven forbid! maybe even pizza, but nothing would ever stop me from being the one who polishes off that monumental fried baby squid dish.
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October 12, 2010
No, I am not referring to the broccoli – I am talking about the Italian region, Calabria. The other day I borrowed a beautiful cookbook on Jewish cooking all around the world. The book (this is the UK edition – I have it in German) is laced with beautiful pictures by Peter Cassidy and contains sad and interesting stories. The numerous recipes come literally from all corners of the world. Actually the sweets looked like you could die for them, but I am trying to lose weight, so no cakes, for a while (sad, sad world, I know). So I leafed and leafed drooling over the sweets and trying to ignore them at the same time, until I found a stew that looked a bit unfortunate, because it had no picture. The recipe background sounded interesting. Originally from Syria, the family moved to the UK. The story behind the recipe is a funny one: a mother in law trying to sneak some aubergines into the food prepared for her daughter’s husband, who did not like them. Apparently if you peel the aubergines and cook the stew long enough, you are not able to tell what is in it anymore.
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October 4, 2010
In the relatively small town where I live, there are many foreigners. More foreigners than ‘original’ Germans, possibly: I asked a friend of mine if she had heard about integration problems here, and she laughed and answered: well, possibly some Germans have a few difficulties …
The Italian community is one of the largest, and they have been here for roughly two generations: I meet people more or less my age (20-30), who will tell me ‘Anch’io sono Italiano!’, proud of their origins, and then switch back to German , because actually they were born here and the Italian they speak is the home version, rich of dialect influences, which I often don’t understand.
The guy who sells me potatoes every Saturday, together with his German girlfriend, is the smiling and friendly son of a Sicilian couple. A few weeks ago a new type of potatoes appeared, called ‘La Ratte’, twice as expensive as the normal ones. Salad potatoes, long and twisted. Of course I had to try a few – this is potato heaven after all! ‘You are going to see’ – he told me in Italian ‘these are the Ferrari of the potatoes’ – and then he added laughing, in German ‘though I would probably sell more if I told the Germans they are the Mercedes..’
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August 11, 2010
Thanks to Melissa, I found out the Silk Road Gourmet. The blog is beautifully written and extremely informative, and a peak into the recipe’s list convinced me I needed to own the cookbook as well. I found the layout by countries very interesting, because I could quite easily find out that some of the spices and flavours combinations are very distinctive for a country’s tastes, even though many of the ingredients are common.
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