Sourdough bread: the perfect demonstration that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. A staple for billions of people across the world, bread is in fact a complex product that entails a wealth of knowledge in a 3-ingredient recipe.
Of all the flatbreads around the world, there is one that in a certain region of Italy is synonym with holidays: piadina romagnola. Flatbreads are a great example of what I like to call “food universals”: they are a common element to many culinary cultures and help us understand how even the most local, typical, identitarian foods are in fact clear expressions of what humans have in common.
The weather calls for some treats, here in Amsterdam, so I made myself and my occasional guests some crunchy, rich hazelnut cookies with Marsala wine.
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.
Why accept a piece of (matcha) cake, when you can have (both the cake and) the recipe? When I started giving away my sourdough starter, last winter, I didn’t expect it to become such a surprising way to connect with people of all paths of life. In weeks, I saw my Elvira being kneaded into beautiful breads of all shapes and types by the hands of many friendly strangers. One of those pairs of hands was Yuki’s.
I hate to break it to you, but there’s no such thing as Italian cuisine… Ok, perhaps that’s a bit of a stretch, but let me clarify with a recipe that will make ripples in the fabric of space-time: piconi ascolani, brought to you by theoretical physicist Giuseppe D’Ambrosi (with a gravitational waves topping).
Being surrounded by coughing people and feeling a tad under the weather myself, I feel in the perfect mood to present you with a flu-busting soup, the second of Nina Subramani’s Indian recipes for As Soup As Possible YouTube channel. Let her Kitchen Story warm your stomach and entertain you with this spicy and distinctively South-Indian takkali rasam with toor dal.
During the Christmas holidays I reunited with my friend Nina after almost a year apart. She had moved back to South India after three years in the Netherlands and was in Amsterdam for a few days. Irresistibly, our catching up ended up revolving around food.
So your long-awaited holidays in southern Italy are over, you just travelled from 28°C sunny to 13°C solid grey in less than three hours and timely caught the Italian disease while waiting for your lift outside Amsterdam Airport. They call it il colpo di freddo, “the hit of cold”; its symptoms include chills, slightly sore throat, a mild cough or sneezing, headache, running nose, stiff neck and general asthenia. It may associate with grumpiness. There’s only one thing left for you to do: go home as fast as you can and make soup!