Culinary Anthropologist

other ingredients

  1. Argan oil

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    Argan oil is only produced in Morocco, the only country in which the ancient argan tree grows.  The region from Essaouira to Agadir and inland, particularly the Souss Valley, is full of scrawny, wild, drought resistant argan trees.  Families have collected, cracked and ground argan nuts for their own homemade oil for centuries.

  2. It’s all fıstık to me

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    We have found that sugar is often accompanied by nuts in Turkey, and they are as important as each other in the cuisine.  Everyone knows which region grows the best of each kind of nut, and the nuts are often named after these places.  We managed to visit several of them.

  3. It’s sweet in Turkey

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    Drinking tea all day has contributed towards to the sweet tooth I seem to have developed in Turkey, as the little glass is always served with two sugar lumps on the side.  (Except in the Southeast, where you usually get three – Southeasterners liking their foods generally spicier, sweeter and tangier than their equivalents in […]

  4. Sweet, sweet honey


    Today Barnaby discovered that in Poland they make Miodula – a vodka made out of honey.  Yes, a vodka. Made out of honey. Bears are quite keen on honey. Barnaby is quite keen on vodka. You get the picture. Today we are taking him to safety in Slovakia.

  5. Beer from the Middle Ages

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    The Czechs certainly like their beer – in fact, they drink more of it than anyone else. One of the world’s best-known beer styles, pilsner, is named after the Czech town of Plzeň; and the name of one of the most famous brands (deservedly or not) derives from the brewing centre of České Budějovice (or […]

  6. The three wise women of Weinbach

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    When we knocked on the heavy wooden door at Domaine Weinbach we weren’t sure we were in the right place.  Having had it recommended to us by our friend Jono at Chez Panisse in Berkeley (who knows a thing or two about wine), we were confident their wines would be good, but only if we […]

  7. Miso

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    Miso is Japanese fermented soybean paste.  It looks like peanut butter and smells bad.  But don’t let this put you off.  It adds an intense and savoury depth and complexity to many dishes.   It is high in ‘umami’ – the fifth (and best) basic taste, after sweetness, saltiness, bitterness and sourness.  Other umami-rich foods […]

  8. Honey

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    We all know that bees make honey from nectar.  But did you know that they ingest and regurgitate the nectar several times before laying it in the honeycomb?  Or that they use their little wings to fan the honeycomb to evaporate enough moisture from the honey so that it cannot ferment?   Honey has so […]