A few months ago I was asked to develop a class around a group of stained glass windows at the J. Paul Getty Museum from the Canterbury Cathedral. (They're now at The Cloisters in NYC and totally worth seeing before they head home). I was stumped. The windows were stunning, but fine dining doesn't exactly come to mind when thinking of medieval England.
With the end of the Roman Empire, the culture responsible for the first western cookbook with the 5th century's De re coquinaria (On the Art of Cooking) attributed to Apicius, the widespread understanding of high cuisine and fine dining was destroyed. The influence of Apicius may have lingered in modern day Italy and Spain, but not in England. That said; the rich, heavily spiced dishes and bizarre sauces that flavor the Middle Ages weren't the absolute norm, even among the upper classes. I was surprised to learn that simple salads and vegetables were common fare among all classes of society, even though in many ways they were considered an inferior menu item. Vegetable dishes are hardly ever mentioned in medieval cookbooks because the pure simplicity of their preparation - raw tossed with oil and vinegar - often meant that precious vellum or parchment (expensive in an age before paper and the printing press) wasn't wasted on recording the recipes. Some cookbooks go so far as to point out that "the ability to prepare vegetables is common knowledge and further instructions are not necessary". Raw salads were considered an excellent way to begin a meal.This Shaved Root Vegetable Salad is inspired by those stained glass windows. Its preparation is simple but the outcome is as gorgeous as stained glass.
Shaved Root Vegetable Salad
For the salad:
1 red beet
1 golden beet
1 celeriac (celery root)
3 carrots (preferably colorful heirloom)
1 fennel bulb
1 bunch red radishes
1 apple, unpeeled (Gala, Braeburn or Fuji are good options)
For the dressing:
1 garlic clove
juice of one lemon (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Scrub vegetables, remove peel from carrots and beets. Cut fronds and bottom of fennel, discard. Cut fennel in half lengthwise, remove outer layer and discard. Remove tops from radishes and wash the radishes well. Cut apple in half and de-seed.
2. Using a large knife, remove all out layer of the celery root and discard. You should just have the white flesh showing.
3. Using a mandolin, carefully slice all vegetables except for radishes, into paper-thin slices. Slice radishes individually to the same thickness of the rest of your veggies. Place in separate bowls and make the dressing.
4. In a mortar and pestle, mash the anchovy, garlic and a pinch of salt to a paste. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir to break up the anchovy paste. Beat in the mustard. Whisk in the olive oil, a little at a time. Season with the pepper.
5. Dress each vegetable pile separately to keep the beets from turning everything red, or toss them all together in a bowl. Beautiful and delicious either way! This salad is better the longer it sits in the dressing.
Apple's mobile operating system, iOS, is great for many reasons. Chief among those reasons is the fact that so many fabulous applications reside on the platform. iDevice users probably wouldn't be so enamored with their iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads if not for numerous high-quality apps available to them on the iOS App Store.
Among the many amazing third party apps available to iFans are made are cooking applications. Now, these food apps aren't just cookbooks repurposed for a digital format. They are aimed at making you a better performing, more confident cook in general. These apps are interactive and show you, rather than just tell you, how to throw together some delicious dished. Below is a list of some of the highest user-rated and most popular cooking and recipe apps on the App store today. Be sure to check them all out... your tastebuds won't regret it.
A new survey of American consumers provides some potentially surprising findings that indicate American food shoppers are very mindful about what they place into their shopping carts, and it’s not just about price and taste. While food commercials on television constantly bombard Americans with offerings that focus on price-point and convenience, a 2014 survey by Cone Communications found that people care about where their food comes from and how it is produced. In a poll of more than 1,000 people from a broad cross-section of the shopping public, 77 percent of respondents said sustainability was an important factor in deciding what to buy, while 74 percent said buying locally was a significant factor.
Understandably, food safety is something that 93 percent of shoppers consider very, or somewhat, important when making food purchasing decisions, slightly outweighing concerns over nutritional value (92 percent). Interestingly, though, while 74 percent of consumers indicated buying locally is a consideration in making decisions, fewer, at 54 percent, said buying organic is a consideration. Evidently shoppers are prepared to spend extra dollars to support their “buy-local” sensibilities, with 66 percent of those surveyed saying they would pay more, and sacrifice variety, in order to purchase locally-produced foods. The top reason provided for buying locally is that people want to support local businesses and communities, which they deem more important than the potential environmental or health benefits of doing the same.
Another of the study’s findings is that despite industry resistance to labeling genetically modified (GMO) foods, consumers want to see companies step up their level of transparency about how food is produced. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed said they wished companies would disclose information and educate consumers about GMOs in their products — especially as 55 percent of people didn’t know whether GMOs were good or bad for them, and 51 percent didn’t understand what GMO food is.
Though sustainability is important for more than three-quarters of American shoppers, with 81 percent keen to see more food options that protect the environment, when those surveyed were asked to select their top concern in making purchasing decisions, sustainability didn’t trump other priorities. Fifty-four percent picked family satisfaction — that is, what products their family most enjoys eating — as the most important thing; 41 percent picked health and nutrition, while sustainability was selected as the top concern by only 5 percent.
It seems unthinkable but in a major US city, thousands cannot get to places where fresh, affordable food is availableIn most of the world's densely packed urban areas, you can pick up fresh produce at a stall on the way home from work or buy bread, meat and staples at the cornershop across the street. But in sprawling metroAtlanta, where the model is megamarkets surrounded by mega parking lots, few of us have the option of a quick dash to the store.
When you're trying to figure out what to fix your young children for dinner and you realise you need milk and eggs and a bag of salad greens and chicken breasts, and you have no choice but to load everyone in the minivan and drive five miles through traffic to get to the store, you're feeling the impact of US development patterns that have made Atlanta the third-worst urban food desert in the country (behind only New Orleans and Chicago).
Living in a food desert doesn't just make it tough to get your daily servings of fruit and vegetables. A 2011 Food Trust geographic analysis of income, access to grocery stores and morbidity rates concluded that people who live in metropolitan Atlanta food deserts are more likely to die from nutrition-related sicknesses like diabetes and heart disease.
In Atlanta, the ninth-biggest metropolis of the world's richest country, thousands of people can't get fresh food, and some are getting sick as a result. Which raises a simple question: why can we build multimillion-dollar highway systems and multibillion-dollar stadiums, but not more grocery stores? If we can build a museum dedicated to a soft drink and one that celebrates college football and another that trumpets civil rights, can't we help our neighbours with what seems to be a most essential and basic right: putting an affordable and healthy dinner on the table?
When you talk about Atlanta's food deserts, you have to talk about the three themes entwined in every civic issue in this region: race, class and sprawl. The fact is, food deserts are more prevalent in non-white neighbourhoods. In poor communities, food is more expensive and there are fewer healthy options. Ironically, much of the local produce prized by the city's finest chefs is grown in urban farms in poor neighbourhoods – produce that is often trucked across town to farmers markets in wealthier enclaves. But of all the factors that contribute to Atlanta's food-desert problem, none is more important than transportation. Our low population density combined with a lack of comprehensive public transit means many people simply cannot get to places where fresh food is available.
European cuisine, or alternatively Western cuisine, is a generalised term collectively referring to the cuisines of Europe and other Western countries, including (depending on the definition) that of Russia, as well as non-indigenous cuisines of Australasia, Latin America, North America, and Oceania, which derive substantial influence from European settlers in those regions. The term is used by East Asians to contrast with Asian styles of cooking. (This is analogous to Westerners' referring collectively to the cuisines of East Asian countries as Asian cuisine.) When used by Westerners, the term may sometimes refer more specifically to cuisine in Europe; in this context, a synonym is Continental cuisine, especially in British English. The cuisines of Western countries are diverse by themselves, although
there are common characteristics that distinguish Western cooking from
cuisines of Asian countries
and others. Compared with traditional cooking of Asian countries, for
example, meat is more prominent and substantial in serving-size.Steak in particular is a common dish across the West. Western cuisines also put substantial emphasis on grape wine
and on sauces as condiments, seasonings, or accompaniments (in part due
to the difficulty of seasonings penetrating the often larger pieces of
meat used in Western cooking). Many dairy products are utilised in the
cooking process, except in nouvelle cuisine. Wheat-flour bread has long been the most common source of starch in this cuisine, along with pasta, dumplings and pastries, although the potato has become a major starch plant in the diet of Europeans and their diaspora since the European colonisation of the Americas. Maize is much less common in most European diets than it is in the Americas; however corn meal, or polenta, is a major part of the cuisine of Italy and the Balkans.