Chocolate: unless you rank among the rare creatures who don’t like it, it’s safe to assume you have already enjoyed part of your weekly share. If you’re reading this in Ireland, Germany or Switzerland, this would amount to about 200g (people with chocolate allergies and those on a diet will excuse me). Even for those who don’t have much of a sweet tooth, chocolate is a given, an obvious fact of life, together with other exotic yet very familiar goods like coffee or tea.
For one reason or another – trust me – one day you will find yourself looking for a lactose-free, gluten-free cake recipe. If you’d rather try one with a story, then save this.
Soup is the icon dish of this blog. It represents many things we like: genuine food, traditional knowledge, care, warmth. Not all the soups are made alike, however, and there’s one particular version we’d never want on our plate. Believe it or not, you’re one of the cooks.
Never take the good things for granted, especially when they’re your favourite food! I lived a spoiled life in the world’s biggest artichoke garden without even knowing, until I moved to an artichoke-deprived land in 2012.
This week As Soup As Possible takes you on a trip to Bra, Northern Italy, to discover Piedmont’s cuisine. The Piedmont region is one of the greenest in the country and the second largest after Sicily. Its majestic landscapes hold treasures of taste for foodies and wine lovers.
Last week I showed you where to have a great meal in jail. I wouldn’t be living up to Italian hospitality rules if I didn’t offer you dessert and coffee after lunch. As Soup As Possible met Pasticceria Giotto and Caffé Lazzarelle to tell you how they’re made in jail.
Some people find cooking therapeutic. Food helps us connect with each other across differences. Everybody eats. Truisms, aren’t they? But the most obvious things can be revolutionary in unexpected places. I realized that last month, when I went to jail. [Watch the video below]
For centuries, Amsterdam has also been referred to as Mokum, from the Yiddish word mokem, meaning refuge, safe haven. The city earned the nickname during times of religious persecutions in Europe, when Jews and other religious refugees would seek asylum here. It wasn’t the best of times for Dutch Catholics, who – in turn – were discriminated and persecuted on this very land, especially during the Protestant Reformation. The Yiddish nickname, together with the celebrated ‘Dutch tolerance’, stuck with the city of Amsterdam, while refugees from all over Europe contributed their skills and resources to shape the Dutch economy, society and even the city landscape to this day.
I have mentioned in a previous post how I picked up sourdough baking last spring. What defines sourdough baking and makes it critically different to any other cooking specialty is that you don’t just embark on its practice, you rather start a partnership with its material object and its very real sticky substance. It’s not an abstract hobby and it comes with all the responsibility of adopting a living being (mono-cellular as is) that needs to be looked after. You think that buying a yearly subscription to your local gym will feel binding enough to actually have you going to pilates at least a couple of times per week, but knowing that your instructor won’t starve to death if you desert your class will probably entitle you to keep watching tv-series instead. Try ignoring your cat when it’s hungry, on the other hand, and let me know what really gets you off your couch.
In the spring of 2005 I was dealing with my first real job in a communication agency. My office was in a business incubator located in a repurposed industrial site out of town; quite a charming setting, although hard to reach by public transport. As I stood waiting for my bus to the city after the working day, I would watch rows of cars leave the premises; nearly all of them left in my same direction and had no passengers. That patent waste of fuel, space, money and time (this latter being on me) kept nagging at me for a few days. As an optimistic 24 years old at the peak of her naivety, I soon worked out what seemed a common-sense solution: I wrote a friendly note introducing myself and my proposal and pinned it to the message-board in the hall of the building, positive that some of the many young and progressive people working there would respond enthusiastically to share car rides and expenses with me.