Pacharán, the traditional sloe liqueur from Navarra, is regarded as both a sensual delight and as beneficial for the stomach and nervous system! Some resourceful medical practitioners claim that when consumed in moderation (of course), it is effective in preventing heart attacks and arteriosclerosis. Originally, this national liqueur of...
Archive for year: 2017
(Water colour by Domenicao Ramponi 1818 – Preparation in the courtyard of the Archiginnasio at the end of the 18th century.) Teriaca – a miraculous potion The legend goes that, in the second century BC, a physician-poet named Nicandre living in Colophon (Ionia) wrote a poem entitled Ta Theriaca....
Consisting of about 240 vellum pages, the Voynich Manuscript (previously unnamed) is an illustrated document believed to be from the early 15th century. Although many possible authors have been suggested, nothing about this document is known, from author and content, to the language used. It has been described as...
Here is an extract from Lawrence Durrell’s wonderful book The Greek Islands (1978) where he discusses, while in Crete, Greek wine…..I love this piece, and I am sure that you will too!! “As for drink, the controversial rezina has been discussed so often that it seems invidious to do it again....
On his return to Lisbon after discovering the sea route to India in 1498, Vasco da Gama proclaimed “Somos a gente do mar” (We are the people of the sea). Using small, light, high-powered caravel sailing ships based on an ancient Mediterranean design, 15th and 16th-century Portuguese explorers voyaged the...
Here is a little about sidra the cider of Asturias, Spain….. “The Asturians have a drink they call zythos which is made from fermented apple juice”, so wrote the Greek geographer Strabo in the first century B.C. Even the Celts had cultivated applies in this northwest region...
L’Église Saint-Michel-Du-Gast in Roquebillière has an impressive collection of esoteric, Masonic, Templar and Hospitaller symbols. Transferred to the Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem in 1141, it was reconstructed in 1533. On the wall below and to the right of the clocktower, a 666 is preceded by a recent...
Bartolomeo Boldo,a doctor of medicine, wrote this of the artichoke in 1576 – “The Artichoke has the virtue of provoking Venus in both in both Men and Women and for Women of making them more desirable and helping Men who are in these matters rather tardy.” Albeit its supposed aphrodisiac...
In general, the Supreme authorities in the Catholic Church have not been conspicuously hostile to sensual pleasure, or even ascetic in their culinary habits. Whereas, at the beginning of the 13th century, Pope Innocent III was still advocating spartan living, and insisting that only one main dish was served...
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina is recognised as the greatest master of Roman Catholic church music. His name was originally Giovanni Pierluigi – Palestrina, the name by which he became known, is a small town near Rome where he was born. He began his musical training ay the age 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
- 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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