Culinary Anthropologist

Archive

  1. Flavours of Fieldwork Secret Kitchen series

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    Flavours of Fieldwork
    in association with the SOAS Food Studies Centre

    Anna is hosting a series of dinners based on anthropology PhD students’ research in Morocco, Japan, China and Greece. Each dinner will bring to life recipes and stories from fieldwork in home kitchens, restaurants, shops and archives, reveal some surprising insights into cuisines you thought you knew, and demonstrate ways in which research into food contributes so much to anthropology today. Expect welcome drinks, feasting at communal tables and a delicious night out!

     

    K Graf pic Street marketA Moroccan Feast
    Fri 21st & Sat 22nd October 2016,
    with Katharina Graf

    Katharina spent months mastering the crafts of bread-making and couscous steaming, not to mention negotiating Marrakech’s street markets. She learnt to cook like the young Moroccan women around her – by sight, sound and touch – without a recipe book or set of scales in sight. Katharina’s research interests include the relationship between cooking and gender, the transmission of cooking knowledge across generations, and how home cooking reflects broader social changes in Morocco.

    Secret Kitchen oyakiRegional Japanese Cooking
    Fri 9th & Sat 10th December 2016
    with Celia Plender

    Regional food in Japan reveals a rich variety of cooking styles, tastes and ingredients. While some of these are seen as deeply embedded in the history and cultural practices of an area, others are identified as recently invented ‘traditions’. Both give insights into the social construction of local food and national cuisine. A decade ago Celia worked in a Tokyo restaurant and has since then regularly cooked and written about Japanese food. This dinner follows a recent trip to research regional Japanese cooking.

    Goanese balichao in a Macau wet market January 2016 copy tCantonese Masala
    Fri 17th & Sat 18th February 2017
    with Mukta Das

    Take a journey into the kitchens and cafes of 19th century Canton as we explore how experiments with spices have resulted in dishes that are now part of Macanese, Hong Kong or Cantonese culinary heritage. Mukta recently spent a year in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou with professional chefs and home cooks, and in the archives, uncovering some of the ways the centuries old maritime spice trade carved deep and aromatic channels into the everyday cooking in these old cities.

    A Greek Moveable Feast
    Fri 17th & Sat 18th March 2017
    with Nafsika Papacharalampous

    Nafsika undertook fieldwork in the delis and restaurant kitchens of Athens, following the journey of Greek peasant foods of the past (such as trahanas or beef tongue) into the urban present. She is now writing up her PhD on Greek poverty and artisan foods and their relationship to national identity, tradition, heritage and memory. She is also an experienced professional cook, with a passion for old Greek cookery books.

     

    To book your place:
    All events start at 7.30pm and cost £45. To book your place email Anna by clicking the ‘book now’ button below with the following: which dinner(s) you would like to attend, the number of people in your group, whether you prefer the Friday or Saturday or could do either, and whether anyone in your group has any special dietary requirements.

    Event:Flavours of Fieldwork Secret Kitchen series
    Date(s):October 2016 to March 2017
    Time:7.30pm - 11pm
    Location:London N5 (Arsenal tube 2 mins walk)
    Price:£45
    Book now
    flagPlease read the booking terms & conditions before booking your place. Thank you.
  2. Secret Kitchen, Fri 17th & Sat 18th March 2017 – a Greek moveable feast

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    A Greek moveable feast in a secret kitchen

    This special Secret Kitchen is a collaboration with fellow anthropologist and chef Nafsika Papacharalampous. Nafsika undertook fieldwork in the delis and restaurant kitchens of Athens, following the journey of Greek peasant foods of the past (such as trahanas) into the urban present. She is now writing up her PhD on Greek poverty and artisan foods and their relationship to national identity, tradition, heritage and memory. She is also an experienced professional cook, with a passion for old Greek cookery books. Book early to avoid disappointment!

    Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you make your booking. We can offer a vegetarian menu, but please be sure to check with us if you have other requirements.

    Event:Secret Kitchen
    Date(s):Friday 17th & Saturday 18th March 2017
    Time:7.30pm - 11pm
    Location:London N5 (Arsenal tube 2 mins walk)
    Price:£45
    Book now
    flagPlease read the booking terms & conditions before booking your place. Thank you.
  3. Baklava

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    The best baklava in Turkey comes from the southeast, notably the town of Gaziantep, which is surrounded by pistachio groves and known for its master baklava makers.  Traditionally it would be made with yufka, which is a super-fine dough rather like filo, and baked in a round dish called a tepsi in a wood-fired oven.  There are all kinds of different baklava shapes – layered, rolled, twisted and coiled – and it can of course be made with different nuts – walnuts, pistachios and hazelnuts being most common.  For added flavour use honey instead of some or all of the sugar.

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  4. Wild garlic cacık

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    Cacık (pronounced ‘jajuk’) is the Turkish equivalent of Greek tzatziki – a garlicky yoghurt and cucumber dip/soup/salad, depending on what it’s served with.  It’s a fantastic accompaniment to kebabs, meatballs and cooked vegetable dishes, and there is some evidence that eating yoghurt with meat is good for us.  It’s usually made with pounded garlic cloves, but bright green wild garlic makes a very pretty alternative.

    smwildgarliccacik0016.JPG

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  5. We ate all the pies

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    For most British tourists, Greece is essentially a succession of islands and beaches.  For us, it was mostly a succession of pies.  We’d had börek in Turkey, heard talk of burek in Bulgaria; but it was in Greece that the bourek really came into its own.

    Smsausagecheesepies0001.jpg
    For one thing, we generally avoided the islands (making an exception for Crete), and spent most of our time on the mainland, where most of the food (and wine) is – and discovering quite a different Greece from the one we’d seen before.  But for another, we quickly found that Greeks don’t really go for big breakfasts.  After our twenty-three-jam feasts in Turkey, this left us with big breakfast-shaped holes, for which there was only one solution: pies.

    OK, and cheese.  And spinach.  And quite a lot of weeds.  But if you try hard enough, you can get all those into pies too.  And we did …

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  6. Barrelled alive: Feta with a capital F

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    Smgreeksalad0001.jpgDid you know that 2008 is the official year of Feta cheese?

    Neither did we, until we read it in the in-flight magazine on our way from Thessaloniki to Crete for a conference on ‘the Eastern Mediterranean diet’.  This strengthened our resolve to find a Feta-maker and learn all about this crumbly white cheese, which most of us know from its prominent role in the ubiquitous ‘Greek salad’.  And why is it getting its own special year this year?

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  7. Roll out the barrels

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    Smbarnabyfeta.jpgToday Barnaby met Andonis Nikolopoulos, a feta cheese maker in Floka, a village near ancient Olympia in Greece. 

    Having already learnt about Munster in France, sheep’s and goat’s cheeses in Poland, and bladdered cheeses in Romania, Barnaby thought he probably knew pretty much all there is to know about cheese.  This is not the first time that Barnaby has been completely wrong.

    He was quite surprised when Andonis explained to him how real feta is made by adding live yoghurt (not just rennet) to the sheep’s milk.  He was even more surprised when he heard that the cheese ferments in tightly sealed wooden barrels – apparently it gives off so much gas that the barrels nearly explode when you open them!

    He also realised that he didn’t really know what good traditional feta tastes like – rich, creamy, tangy and salty all at the same time.  He wondered about trying to make his own feta, in fact – but now that feta has protected appellation status, apparently it’s not supposed to be made by bears.  He was quite disappointed, but we suspect he’ll have forgotten about it in the morning.

  8. Yiouvetsi – easy beef ‘n’ pasta stew

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    This has to be the easiest stew recipe I know.  The laziest cook in the world could make this, and produce something as delicious to eat as it is effortless to make.  I swiped it from Susanna Spiliopoulos of Hotel Pelops in Olympia, Greece, when we stayed with her this spring.
     
    smyiouvetsicooked0001.jpg
    Susanna has her own (very highly regarded) catering business and kindly shared some of her numerous culinary tips with us during our two day cooking spree in her squeaky clean professional kitchen.  For Susanna, good cooking is all about good oil, by which she of course means good Greek extra virgin olive oil, which in her case is pressed from her family’s very own olive grove up the road.

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  9. Yiouvetsi – easy beef ‘n’ pasta stew

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    This has to be the easiest stew recipe I know.  The laziest cook in the world could make this, and produce something as delicious to eat as it is effortless to make.  I swiped it from Susanna Spiliopoulos of Hotel Pelops in Olympia, Greece, when we stayed with her this spring.
     
    smyiouvetsicooked0001.jpg
    Susanna has her own (very highly regarded) catering business and kindly shared some of her numerous culinary tips with us during our two day cooking spree in her squeaky clean professional kitchen.  For Susanna, good cooking is all about good oil, by which she of course means good Greek extra virgin olive oil, which in her case is pressed from her family’s very own olive grove up the road.

    (more…)

  10. Spinach and cheese pie

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    We found ıspanaklı ve peynirli börek to be as common in Turkey as spanakotyropita is in Greece, and made a point of sampling as many as humanly possible, purely in the name of research of course.  They are essentially the same dish – a savoury pie made of multiple layers of ultra-thin pastry with a spinach and cheese filling.  Sometimes it’s just spinach, or just cheese, but I like it with both. 

    Smborek0001.jpgThey come in various shapes and sizes, depending on which country, region, town, village, bakery or home you’re in, and with different fillings.  The form here is nice and simple and works with the packets of filo dough we can find in shops in the UK.  I have made the filling purposefully generous in quantity and moist in consistency as I don’t like my börek dry.  The recipe is loosely based on two very different versions I had the opportunity to make with chefs in Turkey and Greece – Engin Akin in Istanbul and Dimitris Mantsios in Naoussa.

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