Mixing in many circles in London since I left university has taught me many things about life and what certain types of people do. One thing I know is that those who went to public school generally have a gap year in South East Asia. I on the other hand did not go to public school; rather my gap year was in Siberia.
Today the sun is shining and as I looked out my window in Clapham I started to sing to myself. “The hills are alive with the Sound of Music”. At times I worry about myself, but then I realise there are two types of people in this world. The sort that feel the Sound of Music is a beautiful story of love and good conquering evil and the sort that love to see the baddies fight the good ones. We may also joke in these times of austerity of some of the outfits featured in the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC that they could have been Von Trapp curtains. But today, I’m discovering Austrian Food in London.
I must admit before I start out today that I know absolutely nothing about food from Ghana. I don’t even know where the Ganahian areas of London are. All I remember from school geography lessons is that the largest artificial reservoir in the world is in Ghana. I’m excited about learning something new today, not sure what, but a willing mind and all of that. On my way to film I do my usual Google routine and find out I’m wrong. Lake Volta is actually the largest lake in the world by surface area. Not by water volume – that would make it the 4th largest. Looking back to school (not that long ago may I add) I realize that facts like this we no longer need to know, in todays world we just need to know how to Google. Does that make life easier? I’m not sure, but what I am sure of is that we need to reply to emails faster than if writing and posting a letter and that we must know how to interpret the information that we can now quickly search for. My interpretation of today is that we must be cooking with fish as I’m taking Lake Volta into consideration.
Finally the sun has started to shine in London. In true British style I left my flat this morning with a t-shirt, shirt and pullover and my winter coat. I did not have breakfast; rather I’ve been up since 5am working. Blogs do not write themselves. I’m thinking about todays shoot as I leave the flat. Waffles. A thing I have been accused of talking too much of. Not the food, more in ‘ing’.
My next stop in the World in One City brings me to a party in Peckham. It was a few weeks back and a Saturday night – there is never any time off for a food writer. When people find out what I do for work they always ask me what I think of such and such a contestant on the latest food TV show. I will let you into a little secret, watching food TV is not what I call entertainment, I live food in my work and writing for 12 hours a day, every day and would rather relax with a good documentary in the evening. Back to the party and I meet this lady called Marjo with pink and purple hair who tells me she is from The Netherlands. As we chat and she finds out what I do for a living she tells me that I absolutely must try her Dutch Apple Cake.
I’m having a double whammy of Cuba today. Not only am I finding out what Cuban food is I have to scoot off later and drive my best mate to Heathrow as he is off to Cuba for the Easter holidays. It’s April and it’s snowing in London, Cuba today is 33C with clear skies (never mind the 2 day stop said mate is having to South Beach on the way there). I find myself in Camden.
I’m sure many people think of Sweden and think of blond hair, flat pack furniture and meatballs. I think of AGA. Invented in Sweden in 1922 by Dr Gustaf Dalén to be a physics solution to provide all of the correct heat required for every function of cooking. I know the AGA cooks everything beautifully required for British food, so just to check the inventor got it correct for his own cuisine, I’m going to challenge Dalén’s work on Swedish food.
Think of Italian food and words like pizza, pasta, risotto, lasagna, linguini, Parmesan, Parma, panna cotta, and semi fredo many come to mind. Perhaps ‘Tiramizoo’ if one has too much Prosecco! Continue reading
I have heard of Azerbaijan but until last year I did not know where it was. I have to admit a private (yet embarrassing) passion. Eurovision. Yes, that boom-bang-a-banging song contest is a yearly feature on my life. Last year it was held in Azerbaijan and the now clubbing anthem of 2012 ‘Euphoria’ was the winner in the contest held in the capital Baku. That’s all I know about Azerbaijan. Rather, officially it’s the Republic of Azerbaijan. It’s between Eastern Europe and Western Asia with Russia to the North and Iran to the South. Continue reading