Legendary Dishes | Eintopf (Alpine stew)


Alpine cookery is characterised by an enduring love affair with the traditional produce of the valleys – apples, barley, beef, cabbage, cheese, freshwater fish, game, goat, herbs, mutton, onions, pork, potatoes – which come together in soups, stews, strudels and stuffed dumplings, and sometimes in leftover combinations.

Among this tradition is the pot-stew, known collectively as eintöpf — one of the oldest traditional dishes in Europe. It started as a pot of reconstituted dried meat, greens and cereals, and over the centuries evolved with no one basic or standard recipe.

This alpine stew is now made with an assortment of flower, leaf, pod and root vegetables, potatoes, dumplings or rice, and meat (bacon, beef, chicken, pork, sausage, veal) cooked in a stock accentuated with cream, fresh or sour, or tomatoes or both for the sauce. Herbs are a typical garnish, and bread is usually served with the stew.

The ingredients are seasonal. In the homes the recipes for the stews throughout the year will be based on family tradition. This is veal and potato stew.

1.5 kg / 3 lbs 4⅔ oz potatoes whole, boiled, peeled, sliced 
600 g / 1lb 8⅓ oz whole veal piece, roasted, sliced 
160 g / 5⅓ oz butter 
1 onion, large, chopped 
15 g / 1 tbsp marjoram, chopped 
Sauce from roast veal 
Salt, pinch 
Pepper, pinch 
Parsley, handful, chopped

Brown onion in half of the butter in a wide frying pan. Turn up heat, add veal and stir into the onions. Quickly add potatoes and remaining butter. Reheat roast sauce. Turn down heat, continue to stir, seasoning with bay, marjoram, pepper and salt. Pour sauce into pan, mix and serve in a heated dish, garnished with parsley.

Legendary Dishes | Speķa Pīrāgi (bread rolls stuffed with pork crackling / bacon)


Focaccia made with ciccioli, the crackling indigenous to Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy, is a treasure losing its glitter. Štruklji, the Slovenian stretched thin dough spread with a variety of fillings, is rarely made with crackling anymore. And speķa pīrāgi, the delightful little Latvian bread buns made with crispy bacon, are also losing their appeal. So this is our tribute to a wonderful creation that we hope will make a comeback.

600 g strong white wheat flour
250 ml kefir
250 g bacon / pork belly, cubed small, fried until crisp
100 g onions, fried in lard or oil
100 g potato, mashed
1 egg, beaten
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
50 g lard / oil
30 g sour cream
30 g sour dough
25 ml milk
25 g butter
25 g sugar
25 g yeast
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp cardamom, ground
1 tsp black pepper 
Salt, large pinch

Mix sugar and cardamoms in a small bowl. Add yeast and a spoonful of flour. Heat milk to lukewarm with the butter. Pour into bowl and whisk. Leave for ten minutes. In a large bowl combine the remaining flour with the kefir, potato, egg, sour cream, sour dough and yeast mixture, add a pinch of salt. Work into a dough, about ten minutes with a wooden spoon, adding more flour if too sticky. Final dough should be loose. Turn onto floured surface, knead for 20 minutes. Leave to rise for an hour, degas with several gentle folds, and leave for a second hour. Prepare a mixture of pork, caraway seeds and onions with fresh ground pepper. Cut dough into 30 g pieces, flatten into rounds. Place a teaspoon of bacon mixture in the centre of each round, fold and seal with firm pressure from a thumb. Brush top with egg. Leave to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place on baking trays covered with parchment, bake for 15 minutes. Cover with clean linen towel, leave to cool.



Friends of Fricot Fund Appeal



Indigenous Produce + Local Food Culture + Traditional Recipes


For almost two decades we have been diligently researching the indigenous foods of Anatolia, the Caucasus and Europe

while collecting the traditional food recipes of the regions in these areas.

Later this year we will promote the fruits of this research with the publication of several books, in the establishment of the Tastes of Europe Tour and in the official launch of our project, which we call Fricot after the French-Norman word for tasty, popular dish.

Now the research has become a serious matter. To go deeper into the food cultures of the regions, to explore the origins of native produce and local value-added products, and to reveal the stories behind the popular, tasty foods that are now typically traditional, and to make this information freely available in the public domain, we must engage specialist researchers in each country.

Ultimately the fruits of this second phase of the Fricot Project will be made on various platforms, via educational programmes, live events, multi-media and through the interaction between the people of the various regions.

This is our Friends of Fricot Fund Appeal. It will be matched by other private (and public) funding for non-profit purposes. All monies raised by the live events and profits raised through media platforms (podcasts, books, booklets and videos) will go directly to the research. Recipes will continue to be tested in our experimental kitchens, which will eventually house the lecture rooms and offices of The Fricot Project in different countries.

People Place Produce

Food connects us culturally to sensuous people, atavistic place and wonderful produce.

People ≈ Place ≈ Produce!

This translates as a fabulous tradition in every language in every region. People celebrate their creative methods of cooking and by using indigenous produce that is unique to each producer they are expressing terroir in the true sense of the word.

The term ‘show cooking’ has emerged to describe the ‘live’ action of this activity and suddenly we understand the concept of people, place, produce.

English gastronome Keith Floyd never knew how much the world had started to lose when he described the produce of Provence in the 1970s. Fifty years later we know it was the simplicity of sustainability that is celebrated by the cooking and preparation of local produce.

Italian Food historians Alberto Capatti and Massimo Montanari describe this as the desperate demand for diversity and distinctive ‘provincial’ flavours.

According to Ruxandra Lupu, organiser of Monsu‘ Fest: The Discovery of Authentic Sicilian Food (one of the Tastes of Europe Tour events), traditional dishes have always been popular at local level, where the strong connection to the gastronomic tradition is practised like a ritual.

A wind of change, like the Provençal mistral, has begun to sweep through European traditional cookery. The traditional food of the peripheries and regions has ascended the high ground, and is becoming established. This is not a surprise.

Ever since English writer Elizabeth David produced her book of Mediterranean recipes and followed it with books on French and Italian provincial cooking in the 1950s, and food scientists began to study the health of southern European communities, the traditional food of the continent has attracted the enquiring eyes of clever chefs who believed her when she claimed it was always about ‘local ingredients and traditional methods’ and separate from the manufactured illusion of haute cuisine.

With its emphasis on fresh produce, primarily fish and fowl and dairy products, vegetables, legumes, oils, salads, herbs, seeds, nuts, roots, grains, berries and fruit, on dried and cured meats, on fermented foods, on ancient methods of bread making, on old style confectionary and pastry concoctions, traditional food has become the new tourism – because it is authentic.

The Fricot Project seeks to capture the totality of the traditional food cultures of Anatolia, the Caucasus and Europe by utilising multi-media to record information on all the indigenous ingredients and traditional recipes — a simple explanation that does not reveal the complexity (and cost) of the project.


Specific Research

The Savoy Project of France, Italy, Switzerland 

The indigenous produce and traditional recipes of the alpine regions, continuing research started in the early 2000s.

The Po Valley Project of Italy

The indigenous produce and traditional recipes of the Po Valley, lakes, lower slopes and Po Delta, continuing research started in the

early 2010s.

The Monsu’ Fest Project of Sicily

The indigenous produce and traditional recipes of the island, continuing research started in the early 2000s.

Street Markets of Europe Project / Sustainable FoodSecurity

Indigenous produce and local value-added products, particularly markets associated with short chains and specific food cultures and traditions, continuing research started in the early 2000s.

Food Artisans Project

Indentifying artisans across Anatolia, the Caucasus and Europe working traditional produce to sell as value-added products directly to the consumer.

Fricot A-Z Project 

Summaries of thousands of indigenous ingredients plus entries on thousands of traditional recipes, 2020, continuing research from 2000s.

Alpine, Carpathian and Caucasus Projects

Identifying the local food traditions of these mountain regions, with an emphasis on cheese-making and cured meat production plus bread and confectionary making.


Researcher Programme

During 2017 and 2018 The Fricot Project will seek to employ researchers to undertake grassroots (live) research in these three areas:

Baltic Sea Basin (based in Denmark);

Black Sea Basin (based in Istanbul);

Mediterranean Basin (based in Sicily);

and supplement the existing research projects. These researchers will report to a lead researcher based in alpine Switzerland, where an educational element will be complimented by an experimental kitchen.

It is envisaged that during 2019 and 2020 contract researchers will be employed in each language region.

The primary object of this research will be the identification using historical and contemporary sources of traditional recipes and the collection of information on specific local ingredients, with close attention paid to the origins of produce and products, and to the stories associated with both ingredients and recipes.

Education Programme

The educational element will operate at five levels – primary (ages 5-12), secondary (ages 13-18), degree (undergraduate and masters) and public – in league with schools, colleges and universities throughout Anatolia, the Caucasus and Europe as courses, demonstrations, field work, talks and lectures.

The public element is the Tastes of Europe Tour. This will create a sensibility for sustainable food security to become an integral aspect of 21st century society.

The focus of each event will be indigenous produce, artisanal products and traditional dishes in the context of sustainability. Each event will feature food stalls (with local, regional, national and continental produce), cookery and baking classes (for children and teenagers), demonstrations and tastings, free tastings of traditional foods, food quizzes, talks on traditional food culture and sustainable food security, workshops on marketing strategies, on producer-consumer relationships and on value-chain and short food chain dynamics, media awareness, and buffet spreads featuring the traditional food of the region, country and continent.



Sustainable Food Security

For many years we have been doing primary research on artisanal and small-scale food production, looking at the business of farming and fishing, processing and selling, baking and cooking.

We have identified bakers, beef, pig, poultry and sheep farmers, cheese makers, chef-restaurateurs, chocolatiers, fish processors, food educators, food innovators, freshwater, inshore and offshore fishers, fruit farmers, grain farmers, grocers, legume farmers, patissiers, vegetable farmers and assorted people working in small-scale and family food production at every stage, from the micro-environment to the dinner plate.

Specifically we have looked at the bio-economic and eco-social impacts, the dynamics of the value-chain system, the reasons for success and failure of artisanal food businesses, the role of the state in small-scale food production, innovative marketing, promotion and selling, the benefits of EU policy, the significance of grant-aid, the necessity for educational support, cooperative systems, strategic applications (such as centralised distribution – from small-scale producer to small-scale grocer) and the benefits and implications from small-scale food activity on sustainable food security.

Our research combines techniques from ethnography, journalism (or reportage) and sociology, with recorded interviews, observational descriptions (including photography), note taking, field science and primary and secondary documentation providing the material, initially for policy documentation and educational tools, finally for academic and mainstream publication (print and e books).

The mainstream book element (as stories and recipes in 15 cm x 15 cm pocket, and large format books) will be augmented by a broadcast element and a web element.

Robert Allen, FP co-ordinator



The Turks took these delightful Assyrian meatballs to their hearts (and stomachs) a very long time ago, and now produce numerous variations on the very old original recipe. In Istanbul the proliferation of Syrian restaurants has increased the competition to produce the best icli köfte.

500 ml / 2 cups + ⅔ fl oz / approx. 1 pint water, boiled
350 g / 11⅔ oz bulgur, fine ground
150 g / 5 oz semolina, fine ground
30 g / 1 oz walnuts, fine ground
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp salt
Semolina, coarse, for coating

Soak bulgar and semolina in the hot water, leave to rest for 30 minutes, then add the walnuts and seasonings. Wet hands and knead into a soft dough.

CORE (filling)
250 g / 8⅓ oz beef, double minced
200 g / 6⅔ oz onions, chopped
100 g / 3⅓ oz walnuts, coarse chopped / fine ground
4 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped (optional)
4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped (optional)
30 ml / 1 fl oz olive oil
30 ml / 1 fl oz pomegranate molasses
15 g / . oz red pepper (paprika) flakes
45 g / 1. oz red pepper paste / tomato paste (quantity optional)
1 tsp sumac, ground

Sauté onions in oil, about 15 minutes. Add the meat, break and fry for three minutes. Add paprika, sumac and walnuts. increase heat, stir for three minutes until the walnuts release their oil. Stir in the molasses and paste, leave to cool. if desired, work the herbs into the mixture. divide dough into walnut-sized pieces. Using thumb and forefinger make a cavity with thin sides in the bulgar dough. Place two teaspoons of filling inside the cavity, push down and fold dough over the filling, seal and shape into a ball. deep fr y in sunflower oil at 190ºC until golden or shallow fry in a large frying pan or bake in a 200ºC oven or boil in salted water.

Note: The pastes can be bought in jars but they are easy to make if good fresh red peppers and tomatoes, preferably Turkish, are available. for a colourful description on how to make red pepper paste go to http://www.deliciousistanbul.com/blog/2013/08/29/incredible-oven-roasted-red-bell-pepper-paste/.

Note: The crust for icli köfte is not always made with bulgar. Semolina became a crust ingredient along with nuts aeons ago. Wheat grits have also played a part while in more recent centuries potatoes have been combined with eggs and flour. Some recipes call for double-ground meat to be added to the various flours that def ine the crust. The bulgar can be coarse ground and also fine ground, the latter producing a crispy crust. The cooking method is also variable. According to Sahrap Soysal, author of A Cookery Tale, fried icli köfte are called irok, while the boiled version is known as igdebet.

This is an extract from Ice Trains and Snow Food.


Legendary Dishes | Omelette aux Fruits de Mer (fish omelette)

Omelette aux Fruits de Mer

Another omelette that lays claim to the best on the continent is this classic fish combination.

12 eggs, lightly beaten
400 g shrimp cooked
400 g crab meat cooked
4 spring onions, finely chopped
Sunflower oil, for frying
30 g shrimp sauce/soy sauce
30 g cilantro/coriander/mint/parsley
10 g chervil
50 ml cream
25 g shrimp butter
Salt, pinch
Pepper, pinch

Combine eggs, onion, herbs and seasoning in a large bowl. Pour a quarter of the mixture onto an omelette pan or wide saucepan. Tilt pan to cover the entire base and cook for three minutes. Remove and repeat to make another three omelettes.

Combine the crabmeat and shrimps in your choice of sauce, spoon the mixture onto the centre of an omelette, fold into a wrap and place in an ovenproof dish. Repeat with remaining omelettes, packing them close together.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Whip shrimp butter* into the cream, coat each omelette.

Bake omelettes for 20 minutes.

Traditionally this omelette is made with any combination of crab and lobster meat, prawns and shrimps, clams, mussels and scallops.

*Shrimp butter can be made by mixing six parts butter with one part shrimp paste.

Other Omelettes

butter, cheese, corn, eggs, ham, milk, 
onion, peas, tomato, salt
butter, cheese, eggs, flour, milk, parsley, 
salt, tomatoes

aubergines, eggs, oil, onion, 
parsley, pepper, salt

eggs, mushrooms, sour cream

eggs, oil, onions, potatoes, smoked bacon

butter, eggs, pepper, salt

1 eggs, ghee
2 bacon, butter, eggs 
3 butter, ceps, eggs, parsley
4 butter, eggs, rum, salt, sugar
5 butter, cream/milk, eggs, pepper, salt
6 anchovy purée, butter, cream/milk, eggs, 
pepper, salt
7 asparagus tips, butter, cream/milk, eggs, 
pepper, salt
8 butter, egg whites, egg yolks, 
mashed black pudding
9 aubergines, eggs, garlic, oil, parsley, 
10 bacon, butter, cheese, eggs, herbs, 
mushrooms, pepper, salt
11 cheese, eggs, mustard, olive oil, 
onions red and white, pepper, salt, 
shallots, sugar, thyme

butter, eggs, smoked salmon

1 butter, eggs, cheese, artichokes/asparagus/
long beans/onions/pasta/potatoes/tomatoes/
zucchini, olive oil, pepper, salt
2 butter, eggs, ham, olive oil, mozzarella, 
onions, parmigano, parsley, pepper, salt, 
spaghetti cooked, tomatoes

bacon, butter, chives, eggs, flour, milk, 
nutmeg, pepper, salt

eggs, olive oil, onion, paprika, parsley, 
red pepper, salt, tomatoes

cheese, eggs, olive oil, parsley, pepper, 
salt, spinach, vermicelli

eggs, leeks, mushrooms, onions, peas, 
pepper, peppers, potatoes, salt

butter, eggs, onion, pepper, potato, 
salt, zucchini

1 butter, eggs, garlic, pepper, raw ham, 
2 butter, eggs, lemon juice, 
orange flower water, salt, sugar

eggs, milk, parsley, salt, tomatoes

butter, cheese, eggs, milk

eggs, feta cheese, maize flour, milk, 
olive oil, paprika, parsley, pepper, salt

Legendary Dishes | Turli Tava (meat and vegetable stew)

This mixed meat and vegetable stew has its origins in the south Balkans, but it is popular across the region, finding its way into Turkey and the trans-Caucasus.

It can be made with beef, lamb or mutton, with assorted vegetables – aubergines, green and red peppers, okra and zucchini, with root vegetables – carrots, onions and potatoes, and with beans and rice.

1 litre water

250 g onions, chopped

150 g aubergines, peeled, cubed

150 g beef, cubed

150 g lamb, cubed

150 g mixed peppers, chopped

150 g okra, cut small, soaked in one tablespoon vinegar

150 g string beans, chopped

150 g tomatoes, peeled, cubed

150 g zucchini, cubed

90 g butter, for frying

75 g rice

1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Salt, pinch

Olive oil, for frying

Sauté onions in half the butter in a large heavy-based pot over a low heat for 30 minutes.

Increase heat to high, brown meat, about ten minutes.

Pour in the water, cover and bring to a low boil.

Melt remaining butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, add a splash of oil, and sauté in succession the beans, aubergines, okra, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes.

Add vegetables to the meat pot.

Deglaze frying pan with some of the cooking water and add to pot.

Add rice, bring heat to a low boil, then simmer for 45 minutes.

Serve with bread.

Legendary Dishes | Carbonnades Flamandes / Stoofvlees op Vlaamse Wijze (beef and beer stew)

The western goulash, a sweet slightly acidic traditional dish of the low countries centred on Flanders. Chimay and Rodenbach are the preferred traditional beers for this iconic dish. Leffe Brune is acceptable. Stale bread spread with mustard was the traditional method of thickening the liquid, now gingerbread with its subtle spice flavours is used. 

2 kg brisket / shoulder beef, cut into 3 cm pieces, seasoned

1 litre beef stock

600 g onions, sliced

375 ml dark brown beer 

250 g fatty bacon, cubed

2 slices gingerbread bread / white bread, crusts removed, 
spread with mustard

60 g butter

30 g brown sugar

30 g white wheat flour

30 g mustard

30 ml olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

10 g salt

10 black peppercorns

5 g black pepper, freshly ground

5 juniper berries, crushed

Green peppercorns, large pinch

4 sprigs thyme

1 sprig rosemary 

2 bay leaves

Brown beef in half the butter and oil in a large heavy-based pot over a medium heat in batches, remove and set aside. Add remaining butter and oil to pan, turn heat to low and sauté the bacon for five minutes, then the onions for 15 minutes. Stir the flour into the onions and brown lightly. Deglaze the pan with three tablespoons of stock, then pour in remaining stock with the beer and herbs and juniper berries. Bring slowly to the boil. Add the beef, then, if using, place the mustard bread on top, mustard side down or add the gingerbread and mustard. Add the garlic, black peppercorns and seasonings, turn heat to low to medium, and simmer for two and a half hours, stirring occasionally during second hour. Sweeten with sugar and cook for 30 minutes uncovered. Season, serve with pasta or potatoes, chipped or mashed.