Metamorphosis (temporary)

Dear Faithful Followers of this blog, I will not be continuing this blog as such for the time being. As some of you may be aware, I have embarked on a 6-month odyssey around the Italian islands. I have created another blog, asummerintheislands.com, in which to record the course of this splendid adventure, its high […]

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A Cause for Celebration

In spite – because of? – its name and the national range of its contributors, Petits Propos Culinaires is one of those preposterous, brilliant, unmistakably English publications. It is, according to the press release that unfurled on my desk last week, ‘the longest-running English-language journal devoted to food and food studies in the world’. Considering […]

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Lie of the Land

I came across this statement in a wine catalogue the other day – ‘Made from 55% (by volume) terres blanches, where the marl gives pretty, floral, spicy aromas with freshness and lift, and 45% terres rouges, where more clay gives a firmer-fleshed wine, with more tannin and grip’. Does it? Does it, really? Is there […]

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Good intentions

You know what it’s like. At least, I hope you do. I started off this blog with the best in intentions. I was going to keep at it weekly if not daily. Then there was a bit of slippage. The weekly entries turned into monthly entries. And then then the intentions slipped a bit more, […]

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In search of the new ciabatta

It all began with ciabatta. In the mid-1980s, quite suddenly, ciabatta became the bread of choice for all smart, gastronomically aware households. You couldn’t go out for dinner without finding loafs of ciabatta sitting pertly on the bread board, torn up for dunking into small bowls of olive oil, sliced and piled high with chopped […]

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The Year of the Tomato

As far as I’m concerned, tomatoes are an autumn fruit in this country. I know there are those masters of nature who manage to produce their own magnificent crops in time for summer, but I’m not among them. My tomatoes always begin to ripen about halfway through September. Thanks to the genial nature of autumn […]

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Verbiage

The Roman Catholic Church used to have an Index of books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum) that the powers that be thought the world would be better off not reading. It was abolished in 1966. Although such censorship might not be seen consistent with contemporary freedom of thought and expression, I think the Catholic Church was onto […]

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