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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.