This week's image is a lovely naive painting a tad hidden in Trattoria da Carlo in Orvieto where I had the second best meals in Italy last year..the best being at Benito Osteria in Rome. Carlo mixes deconstructedish dishes with plain old round the kitchen table ones but all deeply satisfying flavour, texture and visual-wise. I am hoping to get up a foodie excursion to Orvieto for their food and wine festival in October 2016 and am open to expressions of interest in joining me.
Also, if you have anyone you think might like to be on the Compost email list, please direct them my way.
And thanks for contributors to this week's ed.
Food and Words
A shameless plug for Barbara Sweeney’s 4th wonderful fest of food and falderol J Je suis desole that I will not be there this year L
‘I’ve got judges who love them’: in defence of the deep fried Mars bar
‘Birthplace of the World Famous Deep Fried Mars Bar,” the banner announces. It’s vast, proud, and as of this week under threat. Welcome to The Carron Fish Bar in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where 20 years ago – so the legend has it – two pupils from the local academy challenged each other to eat a load of random battered stuff, resulting in the Scottish delicacy (or culinary embarrassment, depending on who you talk to) known as the deep-fried Mars bar. Aberdeenshire council refuses to share The Carron’s pride and has demanded the banner’s removal.’
As some of you know, I tried one earlier this year and I LOVED it. Oily, gooey, hot, gushy...everything you want in the worst of indulgence. It needs no defending. And I love someone who is not ashamed to say ‘ “I would draw the line at Minstrels and Maltesers,” he says. “Too small. But other than that, I’ll deep fry anything.”
Faith, Philosophy and Food
‘In these last weeks of Ramadan we hear how those of Muslim and Jewish faith navigate this and how it affects their everyday lives. We also hear from a vegan how her personal ethics have influenced her food choices and the knock-on effect that has had in where she lives and works.’
July 11 ep of Radio National’s Blueprint for Living, The discussion starts at around 53:00. A nicely pitched exploration of the personal and the convivial.
The lunchtime revolution at a school for children with autism
‘He also handles the more refined dietary requests, like those of a 15-year-old boy called Finn who for a long while favoured things that were black, like Oreos and burnt toast. “He used to burn his own toast which would bring the fire brigade,” Ragan tells me. “Now they phone us up when there’s an alarm and ask whether Finn has been burning the toast again.” At lunchtime, Lucio makes the toast for him, gently reducing the level of burn so that now it is merely a shade of brown.’
A truly inspiring story which needs no commentary from me.
Researchers at Oregon State University have found a new seaweed that tastes like bacon and has twice the nutritional value of kale
I am not sure that any vegan I know is hanging out for things that taste like bacon.
I, on the other hand, am TOTALLY hanging out for someone to invite me round for a Bacon Bowl. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/bacon-bowl-recipe-2014-1
Lunch at Dunkin’ Don’t-nuts
Meanwhile in India..I hope you can open the link...the descriptions of the burgers are more than OTT.
Read this and you’ll never eat a ready meal again
‘Irish authorities were equally shocked to discover that a pizza bearing the label 'country of origin Ireland' in fact contained 35 ingredients that had passed through 60 countries during preparation and packaging.’
Ta to Sarah Benjamin for directing to me to this article. I haven’t eaten a ‘ready meal’ in many many a year and am in no danger of doing so in the near future but already get the chills when I visit my mum in the nursing home and see the gloop she gets some times.
Barbara Sweeney commented on the article in another forum:
‘I don’t think it would be too far from the commercial reality of food manufacturing here. The only reason why it wouldn’t be is scale. I’ve been looking at the increase in heat and serve dishes onside at Woolies in Potts Point and wondering about them - what ingredients are used, how old the ingredients are, have they been irradiated etc. John’s example can’t be compared to the meals referred to in the story, which is more about Lean Cuisine or other packaged meals, which really do look like the dog’s breakfast. Buying someone else home cooked food from a deli is still home cooked food, like eating at a friend’s house. Local food manufacturers would definitely be buying in single components of pre-prepared ingredients - peeled, chopped frozen vegies for example, mashed potato for gratin toppings etc. This specialisation has seen big growth in commercial catering in last few decades. I know that most yogurt and pie makers here – including organic – cannot get enough locally produced fruit purees for their products and so buy in from Europe.’
And John Newton also commented:
‘I remember some years ago a UK ready meal company came bursting onto the scene, promising 'home made goodness in every bite' or some such crap and exited some six months later. For a Short Black piece I asked the company guy what went wrong. He told me the main reason was that most people in Australia can cook, whereas in the UK they couldn't. True or false?’
How Greece’s Debt Crisis Is Impacting It’s Wine Industry
And thanks to Helen Greenwoood for directing me to this article. Interesting info on Greek drinking patterns and alcohol tax system as well as a look at the impact of the financial crisis.
‘One of the large issues looming for Greek wineries, beyond the difficulty of sales, is the approaching harvest. Many wineries are having trouble sourcing the bottles they need from abroad and shipments of bottles can require significant lead time to purchase. With bank transfers out of the country recently on hold, many Greek wineries are wondering if they will have enough bottles for their wine. Winemaker Yiannis Paraskevopoulos of Gaia Wines notes that most bottle suppliers have stopped delivering, or are requesting to be paid in cash, up-front. This is especially challenging for Greek winemakers like him who make wine in regions, like Santorini, where harvest may be as early as August.’