albania mountains cheese

On the Albanian cheese road

“Eternal Albania, bearing its tragic destiny with dignity, as he had come to know it not only from its epic poetry but also from the inn up there” – The File on H, Ismail Kadare It’s not the church bells that ring in the beginning of a new day, but the familiar methodical toll of

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At the hearth, where our story begins

It’s the sweet, mellow smell of heating milk that hits you first. That and the warmth of a just stoked fire, bringing sharp relief from the chill in the rest of the house and a sign that the day has begun. It takes a second to locate the source of such welcome comforts until you

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The witches of Ulez, Albania

The other reason women wanted daughters was to keep their memories alive. My mother and my mother-aunties told me endless stories about themselves. No matter what their hands were doing – holding babies, cooking, spinning, weaving – they filled my ears. – The Red Tent, Anita Diamant This is to heal a sore throat, you drink

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foraging palestine

The power of wild greens

It was still daybreak when I took off. I passed by the orchards, made the rounds of the beaches, gained a fleeting acquaintance with the locale’s water, soil and air, and collected fragrant wild herbs that made my palms smell of savoury, sage and pennyroyal – Zorba The Greek The Spring Equinox has just passed

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Fire, pestle and soul in rural Thailand

The pestle and mortar is as rudimentary in the Thai kitchen as a kettle is in the UK, and already Jan Son is pounding out its familiar rhythms into a fragrant paste of chillies, galangal, salt and garlic. Of the meals I share with this family in rural northern Thailand, chilli mixes of varying strength,

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True simplicity in Jan Son’s Thai kitchen

The best methods of food preparation preserve nature’s delicate flavours. The art of cooking begins with sea salt and a crackling fire. When food is prepared by someone sensitive to the fundamentals of cookery, it maintains its natural flavour. True culture is born within nature, and is simple, humble and pure. – Masanobu Fukuoka A

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New beginnings and exciting projects

Just a quick note to say hello from The Forgotten Pantry (formerly wonky veg blog), and to give you a bit of a flavour of what’s in store for 2019. For those of you who’ve been following for a while now, you’ll know that I spend any trip I can seeking local home-cooks to cook

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quince

The fruit we forgot

Slatko od dunja | Quince preserve. Peel and slice a kilo of quince into cubes. Heat a kilo of sugar with a small cup of water until it forms a golden caramel. Add the quince, tilting the pan to coat in the caramel. Don’t stir. Cook until softened. Transfer to clean glass jars. The first

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palestine yoghurt

Lessons in lateral cooking from Palestine

Haifa brings out a lump of what looks like hard, white cheese. It’s kishik. Dried salted yoghurt. She slices it thinly and it crumbles into salty shavings. It’s very salty actually, with a flavour and texture that makes me think of Parmesan. “This is baladi yoghurt”, she says. What she means is, it comes from

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Food, land and nationhood. A recipe from Ramallah

Baladi is an important word in Palestine. It sits somewhere between the English words of local, original, from-the-village and authentic. It is tied to notions of place and belonging, and it’s a word that’s used a lot. This is baladi food, I was often told. It’s Palestinian, it’s from here. Baladi food, in a land

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