Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Seafood firm opens new £6m factory

Scotland's oldest independent seafood manufacturer is anticipating a bright future just 17 months after its existence was threatened by a devastating fire.

At 6.30am on December 5, 2005, a mechanical failure caused a blaze which razed to the ground the Joseph Robertsons (Aberdeen) warehouse in the Torry area of the city.

With its production facilities wiped out the future looked bleak for the company, which was founded in 1892, and its 85 employees.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Finally, butch lesbians get their own cookbook

By Julie Bindel

Food is a difficult issue for lesbians. The assumption that we are all vegetarian, or even macrobiotic, can lead to some awful meals cooked for us by heterosexuals. A US book, to be published later this year, is set to make matters even more complicated.
The Butch Cookbook, edited by "two butches and a femme" - Lee Lynch, Sue Hardesty and Nel Ward - is a collection of recipes "for the butch on her own, or the butch cooking for a femme who doesn't cook or is not in the mood". (The terms "butch" and "femme" to describe lesbians are old-fashioned, but there still exists a thriving subculture that celebrates the old ways.)


Food can be artistic - but it can never be art

By Jonathan Jones

If canned shit can be art, why can't gourmet food be similarly elevated? Actually, there is a reason why, but it's not as obvious as Spanish art critics appear to think. The critic of El Pais choked on his morning churros at the news that Ferran Adria, chef- proprietor of the celebrated Catalan restaurant El Bulli, has been invited to participate in the Documenta art show in Kassel, Germany, this summer. He must have spent decades with his head in a bowl of Guernica stew (an entirely black mixture of beans and meat - never order a dish because it sounds like a painting) to find this in any way surprising.


Seasonal eating: beetroot

The Guardian

By Kate Carter

Beetroot. The root of the beet. Beta vulgaris. Doesn't exactly resonate with romance, does it? But actually, since Roman times beetroot has been considered a potent aphrodisiac. Murals featuring beetroot have been found on the walls of Pompeii's brothels, and seeds and other traces uncovered in the excavations there (insert your own Vesuvius eruption gag here).
The plant's aphrodisiac qualities have been attributed to high levels of the mineral boron, which is thought to play a key role in the production of human sex hormones. So forget your oysters and your ginseng, beetroot is the true food of Aphrodite.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The delights of cookery writer Elisabeth Luard's new Spanish recipe book

If Elizabeth David opened our eyes to the delights of Mediterranean food, Elisabeth Luard put it firmly on the table. As Britain's most venerable cookery writer is honoured by her peers, Richard Ehrlich explains her magic ingredients - and introduces recipes from her latest book.


Going Global

Supermarkets have traditionally ignored the needs of ethnic-minority customers. Now, though, they are increasingly filling their shelves with juniper sausages, golabki and pickling mango. Humayun Hussain takes a trip down the aisles

It is not very fashionable to be excited about supermarkets - and if golabki, flaki, poppyseed bread or juniper sausage feature highly on your shopping list, traditionally there has been very little to be excited about. Supermarkets rarely stack their shelves full of your favourite tripe soup or cabbage dish. Or, rather, they didn't use to.
Last September, Tesco and Sainsbury's decided it was time to cater to the estimated 600,000 Poles living in the UK (and with a disposal income of £4bn a year, you can see why). Five months after the pilot was launched, Tesco announced that Polish food was the fastest-growing "ethnic" food range in the UK, and now Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose are also improving their ranges, with food from other east European countries in the pipeline.


What is the Mediterranean diet?

By Aida Edemariam

In the daily barrage of conflicting health advice, one theme stands out - eat a Mediterranean diet, and you will live a longer, healthier life. The latest addition to a list that includes reductions in childhood asthma, hay fever, and Alzheimer's is a 12-year study from the US which claims that eating the Mediterranean way can halve the risk of serious lung disease.
But 21 different countries border the Mediterranean - so where exactly is this fabled diet to be found? Greece? Italy? Lebanon? Minoan Crete? Paul Gayler, executive chef at the Lanesborough Hotel in London and author of the book Mediterranean Cook, declines to be specific. If he had to choose one typical country with a typical diet? "I suppose Italy." Then he qualifies it. "Spain and Italy. Or southern France."


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Veggies beware!

Mars bars will soon be a no-go area for vegetarians - the manufacturers are to add rennet to the recipe. But what other unlikely products contain animal-derived ingredients? Laura Barton investigates.

1 Kellogg's Frosted Wheats
2 Tango Orange
3 Sacla Classic pesto
4 Guinness
5 Müller Light yoghurts
6 Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
7 Smarties
8 Snickers
9 Bovril


Monday, May 14, 2007

A Mars Bar a day? No longer an option if you are vegetarian

Perhaps there was a sense that the major battles facing Britain's vegetarians had been won. Veterans recall the fight for better labelling along with the quest for menu choices that didn't begin and end with ambiguous lentil bake.
Yesterday, 200 years after the Reverend William Cowherd first publicly advanced the principle of abstinence from flesh-eating, senior figures in the vegetarian movement found themselves rallying the troops for one more skirmish.
On May 1, Masterfoods began using animal products in famous chocolate bars such as the Mars Bar, Bounty, Snickers, Twix and Milky Way. The taint also affects Maltesers and Minstrels, which have traces of whey - a product of cheesemaking which itself involves the use of rennet, a chemical from calves' stomachs. The recipe change also applies to the popular ice cream versions of the confectionery bars.


A different kettle of chips

By Peter Preston

What on earth are chardonnay-flavoured crisps from Yorkshire doing in Catalonia?
It doesn't take much to destroy a myth: just a bizarre object in an equally unlikely setting. Let's do that setting first. One of my favourite shops in all the world nestles under a sandstone arch in the small walled village of Ullastret, 20 miles from Girona in Spain. Basically, it's a butcher's. The meat grows fat in the fields at the back: from sty to sausage in two easy stages. But, since this is the only shop around, they do bread, veg and sundry staffs of rural life as well.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Food Of The Week: Germany's gastronomic delights

Off to see the sights? Why not mix gastronomy with history as you explore Germany's heritage, says Andy Lynes


Dishing it out: The hottest new restaurant critics

We teamed up with the prestigious Glenfiddich Food and Drink Awards to seek out Britain's hottest new restaurant critics. Here are the worthy winners.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Seasonal eating: broad beans

Is there a more versatile vegetable than the humble broad bean? Not only does it work brilliantly in risottos, pasta, stews, soups, mash, salsa and salads but - as that great gourmand Hannibal Lector reminds us - it also goes perfectly with Chianti. When dried, broad beans are more of a winter staple - Nigel Slater has some tips here - but early on in the season, when they are tiny and tender, they can be plucked from their skins and eaten raw. Which is presumably how Mr Lector prefers them.

Read more

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

When will we learn?

The Guardian

Despite our love for cookery, we amateurs, it seems, are still committing cardinal culinary sins. Andrew Shanahan asks some top chefs what makes them wince


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Artificial food colouring warning


Parents are being advised by experts not to give their children food containing certain additives until the results of a new study are published.
the additives tartrazine (E102), ponceau 4R (E124), sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122), quinoline yellow (E104) and allura red AC (E129)


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Foodies in focus

A digital photography course with a culinary twist offers holidaymakers a new way to see - and eat - their way around the Vendée. Ian White says cheese in west France.
Food and photography are the two great passions in Roger Stowell's life. As a fashion photographer in the early 1970s, Roger worked on the pioneering women's magazine Nova, where he met Caroline Conran. She introduced him to her husband Terence who was having a modest degree of success with a chain of home furnishing shops he'd started up in 1964.
Under the Conrans' powerful influence, Roger branched out into food photography and, in 1975, helped Habitat to launch the wok to a young middle-class market eager to move away from the dull image of traditional British cuisine. Since then he has worked regularly for superior glossy magazines as well as shops such as Harrods and Waitrose.


Alice Waters: Skye Gyngell cooks for her food hero

For as long as she can remember, Skye Gyngell's food hero has been Alice Waters, the visionary restaurateur behind Chez Panisse, in California. One recent, nerve-wracking, Sunday she not only got to meet her, but to cook for her.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Seasonal eating - rhubarb

The Guardian

Given that rhubarb seems so quintessentially English, you might be surprised to learn that it originates in China and Tibet. It was first imported in the 16th century for its medicinal properties as a purgative. Since the 1880s it has been grown using a method of production known as "forcing" - which sounds decidedly cruel but actually just consists of growing it indoors in the dark and warm. The process was discovered by a careless gardener who left a flowerpot on top of one of his plants, only to find the shoots grew much thinner and were much tastier. In Yorkshire's rhubarb triangle (not a joke, see here if you don't believe me) it is still harvested at night, by candlelight.