Oxford’s Intellectual Feast

The select group of people who take part at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery expect to be intellectually stimulated, educated, and inspired, listening to lectures and taking part in discussions that dissect all sorts of food-related subjects according to each year’s theme. Ironically, however, they hardly expect to have a memorable gastronomic experience.

Last month, though, for the first time in its 30-year history, the record number of about 265 participants at the Symposium on “Food and Language” had the unprecedented and unexpected pleasure to taste amazing dishes prepared by Fergus Henderson and Raymond Blanc, among others READ MORE (at The Atlantic)

Share

Read More

The Pious Cake

Last week my hairdresser, Vagia, asked I if had a good recipe for fanouropita. I had known about St. Fanourios since childhood and his feast day, August 27, the day specially baked cakes were brought to the church. I thought the tradition was ago forgotten.

283

“Oh. You cannot believe how many cakes were brought to the church last year.” Vagia said, filled with pride for her own special fanouropita. She then leaned over and whispered that she did cheat sightly by using real butter instead of olive oil which the tradition called for. The tradition also mandated that the fenouropita be made with either seven or nine ingredients. (more…)

Share

Read More

Fresh Fava and Green Almonds

I just cut the first favas of the season. The small velvety pods, with their tiny, juicy beans, are so tender that I love to eat them whole, on the spot.

20

I still have a bagful in the freezer of the remaining large shelled favas from last year. They have a tough, slightly bitter outer skin that would need to be removed, if we decided to follow the sophisticated Italian ways–but here nobody ever peels the fresh favas. I love to stew these tender pods with lemon and wild fennel, like string beans, or I chop them and cook them with orzo, risotto-like, adding chopped fresh garlic and a handful of crumbled feta at the end. (more…)

Share

Read More