The Hapsburg Emperor Charles V (Carlos I) of Spain ruled over an empire over which it is said, the sun never set. In the 16th century, his ships bought gold and silver from America to Seville, making Spain the superpower of Europe. The conquerors of the ‘new world’...
Archive for month: September, 2014
One herb you may never had heard is Cretan dittany – origanum dictamnus – the name being derived from the Greek óros (mountain), gános (jewel) Dhíkti (a mountain range in Crete) and thámnos (bush, branch, twig), and describes a bushy plant about 20cms tall with circular, wooly, gray-white leaves on thin stems....
With some nostalgia, Rome occasionally commemorates Angelo Valiani, a character who made his name at the end of the 19th century as a master of the cold buffet, first at the station of his native town of Orbetello, later in Grosseto, and finally also in Rome. His speciality was...
This weekend as part of our football celebrations, I decided I would cook up a beer cake for the ‘boys’ so that they could have a piece of cake with their beer if they so desired. Seemed to be a sound proposition as there wasn’t any cake remaining by...
The famous bridge of Avignon was built in the 12th century by St Bénézet, but was abandoned in the 17th century after having been swept away on several occasions by floods of the Rhône. But who was this ‘saint’ and how did he come to build this bridge? For...
I recently was asked to make the most divine of chocolate puddings I could come up with for a friend’s birthday. The only specific instructions I received were that it had to include chocolate, caramel and rum and it had to pack a flavour punch not to be forgotten. Now I’ve...
This piece is attributed to Francesco Michele Tramezzino, Venetian printers, as well as friends and publishers of the famed Bartolomeo Scappi on the publishing of his 1570 Opera – The Art and Craft of the Modern Cook – and is worth sharing… “To the Readers The main purpose of good...
Domenico Romoli, a contemporary of Bartolomeo Scappi (see a previous blog entry), first had published in 1560 his Singolare dottrina which was an accumulation, much like Scappi’s work, of his professional knowledge and wisdom in the keeping of a house. In Book 1 of this work which he is writing to a younger...
Now that spring is here, at least in my part of the world, and the days are warmer and longer promising things to come, I start to look for dishes which are fresh, light and above all, colourful. Of course salads are a key feature of menu planning, but...
One of Venice’s Renaissance masters was Vittore Carpaccio (1465 – 1525/26), an Albanian painter who studied under Bellini. While he is probably best known for his cycle of nine paintings, The Legend of Saint Ursula, he also painted two paintings of St Jerome’s monastery which are well worth viewing...
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
- The pelican fountain that becomes a fountain of wine….
- A Donatello head of Virgil’s horse, Palazzo Carafa, Naples
- Codex Gigas or The Bible written by the Devil!!
- A lock in Milan designed by Leonardo da Vinci
- Who was the Marquis of Pombal?
- The curious sculpture of Ancient Rome’s “Man of the Forests” – Venice
- The mystery of the magic Square, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
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