Oct
05
2010
0

Why is Egypt such a good resource for vegan and vegetarian recipes?

egyptian vegetarian coptic churchFor centuries after the closing of the last Pagan Egyptian temple and the coming of Islam, Greco-Roman Egypt was absorbed as part of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and was Eastern Orthodox (Coptic Orthodox) Christian.  All branches of early Christianity, Eastern and Western developed a system of ‘fasting’ on certain days of the week and [&hel[more...]

Sep
30
2010
0

how do you make cardamom pudding?

making cardemom puddingHere is a fine dessert from Central Asia, mainly Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and parts of India where it is known as Firnee, a sweet, cardamom-scented pudding that is usually reserved for holidays and special events.   And while it’s not traditional, I like to serve the pudding topped with fresh seasonal fruit such as strawberries or sliced [&hel[more...]

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Sep
28
2010
2

How do you make cardamom custard?

custardCardamon custard is a traditional dessert from North Africa to the Persian Gulf and on into South Asia.  In Saudi and Gulf recipes, rose water may be added.  Cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world and used frequently in East Indian, Scandinavian, Arabic and Central African cuisines. It is an essential ingredient [&hel[more...]

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Mar
17
2010
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Do lingonberries have a traditional English name?

lingonberries or cowberriesOver the last few years lingonberry has become a fairly familiar English word. Thanks to a well-known Swedish furniture store putting lingonberry jam, jelly, and cordial on its shelves, and a few foody articles in lifestyle sections of the newspapers, many of us have a general idea that this small red berry is from Scandinavia, [&hel[more...]

Mar
17
2010
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How do you make Swedish bacon pancakes like Stieg Larsson's?

swedish bacon pancakeMillions of people in 32 countries have read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. In its homeland, Sweden, enough books have been bought for more than a quarter of the population to own a copy. There's a Swedish film version called Men who Hate Women, and talk of a Hollywood movie in [&hel[more...]

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Oct
25
2009
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Is corned beef and cabbage really Irish?

Happy St. Patrick's Day - courtesy mccun934 - CC-BYIs corned beef and cabbage really Irish? Well, the short answer is that corned beef and cabbage is about as Irish as spaghetti and meatballs. The dish was actually invented in the United States in the mid 1800's, though it was developed by Irish immigrants. Since cattle were used for milk rather than meat in [&hel[more...]

Oct
24
2009
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Did the ancient Romans have a healthy Mediterranean diet?

Mushrooms for lunch! (photo by orsorama - CC-BY)The Ancient Romans were known for their highly evolved civilization, and for their inventions like the aqueduct. They were also known to love food and eating, and they often threw elaborate banquets to impress their friends with their knowledge of food and wine and to show off their wealth. That wasn't how they ate all [&hel[more...]

Jun
07
2009
3

Is a bilberry different from a blueberry, or a whortleberry, or a wimberry?

Bilberries - tiny - but a big choice of names (Photo by mwri - CC-BY)Bilberries grow wild in Europe. Blueberries look similar but bigger, and are native to North America. That’s the short answer, but the longer truth is that there are quite a few different varieties – all cousins related to one another. It’s usual to call dark blue members of the European branch of the family bilberries, [&hel[more...]

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May
27
2009
0

Can you use flowers in food and drink?

Nasturtiums on colourful composed salad  (Photo by Sancho Papa - CC-BY)The first flower salad I ever saw was covered with bright nasturtiums like the visual treat in the photo. It impressed me with the idea that some garden flowers are not only edible, but look wonderful on food. You can grow them as well as the better-known herbs to add interesting colours and flavours to [&hel[more...]

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Feb
14
2009
0

How do you grow strawberries?

Strawberries - courtesy *clairity* - CC-BYStrawberries are an ideal fruit for the home garden. They are easy to grow, fairly pest free, require little space and are fun. Twenty-five plants should provide enough berries for a family of four. There are many varieties available. Be sure to purchase certified, virus-free plants. They may cost a little more but will produce [&hel[more...]

Jan
28
2009
0

What does smushi mean?

Salmon and wasabi - good for both sushi and smushi - photo by adactio -   CC-BYA smushi is a re-invented smørrebrød, a Danish open sandwich given a Japanese sushi twist. The Copenhagen chef who created smushi says he wanted a more “artistic” version of a big, chunky smørrebrød: something to compare with sushi for style, and for size too. The bread is cut into little squares instead of the usual [&hel[more...]

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Jan
21
2009
0

What is served at a Scottish Burns Supper?

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties - photo by Biology Big Brother - CC-BYJanuary 25th is Burns Night, an evening for honouring Scottish poet Robert Burns. All over Scotland, and anywhere in the world where people celebrate their Scottish heritage, there will be Burns Suppers with haggis, poetry and whisky on the menu. If you’ve heard haggis is made with a sheep’s lungs, heart and liver chopped and [&hel[more...]

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Jan
19
2009
0

How do you make soup with the colour of fresh vegetables?

Green pea soup - photo by Sara Goldsmith - CC-BYFor beautiful and nutritious spinach soup, hold back half the spinach until after cooking. When you’re ready to puree it, blend the raw leaves with the rest. You get a tempting green that’s not too sludgy-looking, and you haven’t destroyed as many vitamins in the heat. For green pea soup, preserve the colour by not [&hel[more...]

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Jan
18
2009
2

How do you grow tomatoes?

from my garden - courtesy Zanastardust - CC-BYDo you have a garden?  Then you can grow tomatoes. Do you not have a garden?  Well, you can grow tomatoes too. A few plants in pots in a sunny location can supply you with a summer of good eating. There many varieties of tomatoes, each of which differs from the others in taste, size, [&hel[more...]

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Jan
18
2009
1

How do you grow sweet corn?

Sweet Corn - courtesy The Marmot - CC-BYWhy would anybody want to grow sweetcorn?  Well, because it is sweetcorn, of course. Can anything from the summer garden be better? First, we need plenty of space that gets full sun along with adequate soil moisture and nutrients, and be sure to pick the ears at optimum maturity. Our crop will need rich soil [&hel[more...]

Jan
18
2009
0

What foods really are All American (New World)?

17 lbs of Perfection - courtesy davitydave - CC-BYWell, there are many foods which are considered all American, such as apple pie and chop suey.  However, it turns out they are not. But just what foods really are ‘all American?’  By all American, I mean those which came from the New World and are now part of the entire world’s diet. You may [&hel[more...]

Jan
18
2009
0

Is the pancake another ‘all American’ dish?

I love pancakes - courtesy R Stanek - CC-BYWhile it is true, the pancake is more common in the Western World, and considered an art form by many in the United States, pancakes can be found on griddles in Indonesia, Syria, Egypt, France and China.  Actually, just name a country and some version will be there. Pancakes are one of the original convenience [&hel[more...]

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Jan
17
2009
0

Why are chicken wings served as finger food known as buffalo wings?

Buffalo wings“Buffalo wings” are named not for the massive mammal of the American Plains but for the city in which they were first made, Buffalo, N.Y., according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. Buffalo wings were first made at the Anchor Bar in that city. According to the bar, the first ones were made on a Friday [&hel[more...]

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Jan
12
2009
1

What is a pie floater?

Gourmet interpretation of a pie floater (photo by Richard Moross - CC-BY)A pie floater is an unusual fast food meal, whose sale is almost entirely limited to two pie carts in Adelaide, South Australia, each selling a hundred or so pies per night. According to The Independent, they are sold to shift-workers, taxi-drivers and late-night drunks. The pie floater is made by tipping an upside-down meat [&hel[more...]

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Jan
10
2009
0

Absinthe, does drinking it really drive one to madness?

Sugar in Absinthe - courtesy parislemon - CC-BYIn 1912, the U.S.Department of Agriculture banned absinthe in the United States. The reason given is that it was thought to have caused insanity and hallucinations, drove drinkers to commit criminal acts and more.  In other words, it was pretty much like any other alcoholic drink. Absinthe is an anise-flavored liquor that is made by [&hel[more...]

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