VIRTUAL SERIES | Our Big Food Adventure in Alphabetical Order — A


Aberdeen Rowie (flaky bread)

Through the backlit window pane of an artisan bakery, golden-brown buns are a tantalising sight, an invitation to indulge. Generally made with high-gluten flours, a large ratio of butter or lard, fresh yeast and sugar with milk, salt, and an egg or milk glaze, the ubiquitous roll of Vienna was for many years the epitome of this type of bread. In Aberdeen around the time that Viennoiserie was evolving in Paris, a flaky bread became popular with fishermen. Using the same technique for making croissants, the Rowie was neither crescent nor roll, and it was made with beef dripping. The modern version is still made with butter or with butter and lard.


Attiéké et Alloco au Poisson (cassava / couscous and fried fish)


cheese Abondance Reblochon de Savoie + Berthoud à l’Abondance (cheese gratin) + Chaussons au Reblochon (cheese turnovers) + Tarte au Reblochon (cheese pie) + Tartiflette (bacon, cheese and potato gratin) + Tourte a l’Abondance (Abondance pie)

A long time ago the monks of the monastery at Abondance in the high mountains above Lac Leman created pastures in the valley called Chablais and developed a breed of cow that would produce high quantities of milk – to make cheese. It was popular, and famous, served at high table in Avignon during the period when the popes reigned during the 1300s. During this time farmers were obliged to pay tax to landowners based on the volume of milk produced. To pay less they partially milked their cows, then went back to collect milk that was used for cheese. This became known as the re-blocher method, pinching the udder a second time.


Pepper Soup (aromatic spiced soup)


Fufu tradition (pounded cassava / plantain / yam)


Tapas (appetisers / bar snacks) + Croquetas del Puchero (juicy meat croquettes)


Turkish kebab culture


Khachapuri ხაჭაპურის ტრადიცია (cheese bread)


Arnaldo Cavallari origins of Ciabatta (slipper bread)


Ellinikoú Proinoú (Hellenic breakfast) + Kritikó Krithári (Cretan bread) + Myzithra (goat-sheep milk cheese)


recipes + Bacalhau de Cura Tradicional Portuguesa (dried cod) + Bacalhau à Algarvia (dried cod with potatoes) + Bacalhau Recheado à Algarvia (stuffed cod) + Bolinhos de Bacalhau (fish balls)

Our quest to taste the foods made with dried cod has brought us to the Algarve in the south of Portugal where the tradition that combines reconstituted cod with potato is prominent. What we find though is something sublime, baked cod stuffed in a crab shell served with roast potatoes.


Turkish archaeologists’ 4000 year old menu + Ninda Purpura / Küçük Ballı Ekmekler (Hittite, Babylon and Sumer honey breads)

The bread called ninda in ancient Anatolian, Sumerian and Babylonian societies started with a pre-ferment that combined flour ground from einkorn wheat, with honey and molasses. After a couple of days this pre-ferment was added to flour, honey and water, then rested overnight before baking early the following morning.

Various ingredients – butter, cheese, figs, honey, molasses, olive oil, peas, salt – were added to the dough to make elaborate versions in various shapes for different occasions. This was a firm dough. Hydration would have been low and not high like modern doughs.

Ancient breads had a dense texture, a closed crumb compared with the open crumb of modern breads. They were not breads with big holes like the baquette and the ciabatta.

The fermentation method is still in existence today in the Trabzon region where sourdough bread has remained popular.

According to Ahmet Ünal, author of The Oldest Dishes of Anatolia / Culinary Culture in Hittite and Contemporary Societies, Anatolia has the oldest cuisine in the world after ancient Egypt, Sumer and Babylon.

Ever since the ancient cuniform texts were first translated, the opportunity to compare this ancient culinary culture with modern methods and devices has been grasped by creative bakers, cooks and chefs. With the re-emergence of einkorn wheat in Turkish farming it has become possible to test and re-define the ninda bread culture.

We offer here the original version with only the pre-ferment and a modern version with rye sourdough and yeast.


Moors Muslims Master Bakers + Alajú / Alfajor de Medina Sidonia (spiced honey cakes) + Albóndigas en Salsa de Almendras (meatballs in almond sauce) + Almuruzia (sweet lamb tagine) + Llet de Chufes (tiger nut milk from Sent Soví cookbook)


traditional food profile


burger culture + bbq + classic + falafel + union + roadside + turkey


Laugengebäck / Laugenbrötchen {Nieules / Brezels / Pretzels} (lye breads)


chicken tradition + chicken n’ dumplins + chicken pot pie + grilled chicken tenders + homestyle chicken + southern fried chicken


Carbonara Conundrum part 1 origins of Spaghetti alla Carbonara (string pasta with pork / bacon and cheese) + Pasta all’Amatriciana (Amatrice pasta) + Pasta alla Gricia (shepherd pasta)

Ametlla de Mallorca

produce made with Mallorcan almonds + Albóndigas en Salsa de Almendras (meatballs in almond sauce) + Carquiñolis / Carquinyolis (sweet almond biscuits) + Tarta de Santiago (almond cake)

Spanish almonds are incomparable. Californians will claim their almonds are the best, why wouldn’t they? The people of Mallorca don’t need to boast, they know and if you ever get the opportunity to taste the difference you will see why, especially in their numerous confections, like garrapiñadas (caramelized sugar almonds), peladillas (sweet roasted almonds) and turrón (sweet almond honey nougat), and in the cake associated with Santiago.


terrine tradition + Pâté de Canard d’Amiens (duck pate)


soups and stews + Aalsoep (eel soup) + Snert (pea soup) + Stamppot (stew) = Boerenkoolstamppot met Rookworst (kale and potato mash with smoked sausage) + ‘Hete Bliksem’ Stamppot (apple and potato mash)

Anchois de Collioure

anchovies of Collioure

Collioure is a fishing port on the Catalan coast in south-east France. The blue anchovy is its symbol. The people of the port have anchovies in their blood, going back a very long time. The preparation process is ancestral, passed down to those who would become anchoïeuses – women who select the best of these little blue fish.

They are carefully beheaded, gutted, layered with salt in drums, and left to mature for several months. This produces a ‘fillet of dark brown colour, soft texture and with a mountain ham-like scent’. They also pack the anchovies in brine, in oil, in vinegar to produce anchovy cream, a product that has become a delicacy.


traditional foods street markets

One of the most diverse food regions in Europe, Andalusia, with its Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines and vast agricultural lands, has a rich tradition of indigenous foods. 

Throughout its provinces — Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville — food production has very deep traditional roots. Long before the eight centuries of Moorish culture introduced aubergines, rice and watermelons among other exotics, the ancient Celts and Romans perfected preservation techniques that continue to define Andalusian traditional cuisine. 

Raw produce like almonds, anchovies, aubergines / eggplants, broccoli, cucumbers, grapes, melons, olives, onions, peppers, prawns, spinach, tomatoes, tuna, watermelons and courgettes and value-added products like ham, olive oil, paprika, sherry, vinegar, wine and various sausages (cooked, cured and fresh) have left an indelible mark.

The vegetables that Almerían growers continue to cultivate undercover, the pigs that Córdoban farmers continue to fatten, the fruit that Granadan and Huelvan planters continue to raise, and the fish that the fishers of Cádiz, Huelva and Málaga continue to harvest from the seas around Andalusia indicate a strong food future for the region, despite concerns about inclement weather and sustainable fish stocks.

Arabic (Moorish) food methods remain embedded in Andalusian traditional cuisine. Gazpacho was the Moorish term for the “soaked bread” method of preparing vegetables with garlic and olive oil for soup. Originally a product of Seville, gazpacho reflected the availability of local produce in the regions, where the soup took on local flavours. The Málagan version included almonds and grapes, while other versions relied on ripe tomatoes for the essential flavour.

The Arabic influence is seen in the countless confections that mark festive periods, cakes and pastries of amazing ingenuity and subtle lightness, like the “little pigs of heaven” reinterpreted by the nuns of Guadix in the Sierra Nevada. Made with the left-over egg yolks from the wine-making process that clarified the wine with egg whites, these confections epitomise the relationship between the people, their place and their produce.

The attraction of the Al-Andalus culture has prompted cooks and chefs to look more closely at its roots. Chef Paco Morales named his new restaurant Noor, “light” in Arabic, to describe this relationship. “The goal is to purify the Arab and North African legacy in Andalusian cuisine,” he said, aware that the produce associated with that culture is now indigenious to the region, aromatics like rose petal, herbs like cilantro, spices like cumin. The introduction of “long-forgotten” traditional recipes coupled with a reinterpretation – “the personal touch” – has given Noor a culinary edge that has not been missed elsewhere, especially among those who realise the significance of this knowledge.

Cadiz was the host, in September 2016, of an initiative to celebrate the culinary expertise of the region’s artisanal producers in a series of markets. Arcos and Jerez followed as the artisans took their beers, bread, cheeses, confections, hams, honey, ice creams, jams, juices, olive oil, pastries, preserves, sauces, spirits, table olives and wild plants on tour.

It is fair to say that Andalucia has an indigenous food culture rivalled only by Anatolia, with traditional food that is the quintessence of the Mediterranean, where the fresh produce is re-created in “living kitchens” based on recipes and methods coveted by countless generations of bakers, cooks and chefs. 


cheese story

When Maria Meyer and Martin Bienerth won the hard cheese world championship with their Andeerer Traum (Andeer’s Dream) in 2010, many cheese lovers made an assumption, that the cheese made in cantons Aargau, Basel, Bern, Graubünden, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Tessin, Thurgau, Wallis and Zürich and in Germany, Liechtenstein and the USA would become popular. Andeer cheese is still an acquired taste, a diverse cheese that has not captured the culinary imagination as much as it should do.



Angelica thrives in the colder climates of the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden – and for countless centuries was at the heart of the traditional food cultures of these countries before falling out of favour. Now that wild herbs and wild plants are beginning to feature in sustainable food systems we would expect angelica to regain its lost status.


bakery-patisserie tradition featuring breads, cakes, confections, pastries + Mini-Quiche (small savoury cheese-custard pies)


cheese + Älplermagronen mit Wirz (alpine pasta with green cabbage) + Käseknopfli (cheese noodles)

On a clear sky blue day the panoramic view from the top of Säntis is breath-taking – the Spülgenpass and Italy to the south, Lucern and the Swiss Alpine range to the south-west, Vaduz and Austria to the east, the Bodensee and Germany to the north.

The northwards view sweeps across the cantons of Saint Gallen, Thurgau and Appenzell – rolling mountains and herbal meadows dotted in summer with grazing cattle.

This is Appenzellerland: vom Bodensee bis zum Säntis, where the secrets of tending cattle and cheese-making are shrouded in family history.

The cattle farmers of these cantons bring raw milk to the 58 dairies who make wheels of spicy Appenzeller cheese, remaining faithful to old artisan recipes. Appenzeller has an unique flavour that is attributed to the kräutersulz used to bathe the wheels, that forms a natural preserving rind.

Don’t bother asking for the herbal brine recipes. For 700 years they have remained closely guarded secrets, passed from generation to generation.

Just like the view from Säntis. To know exactly where to look you must know the sweep of the landscape, and that will always be bred in the bone.


{places and recipes to be decided}

The apple is full of acids, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins … and stories. From Sinful Eve to Snow White, this juicy fruit is steeped in traditions that go back a very long time. One of the oldest cultivated foods, its association with the emotions and symbols of life is not surprising because it is also versatile. Green or red, sour or sweet, the colour and taste of the apple suggests temptation.

The ascent of the apple in Europe is believed to be the consequence of invading soldiers spitting out the pips, and the beneficial actions of birds and insects who, like growing children, crave the fruit’s energy-giving properties.

Apple plantations represent the essential elements of biodiversity like no other cultivated food. Left alone they will return to nature. Despite the wild crab apple native to the eastern Mediterranean and domesticated 5000 years ago, almost all European apples are related to the cultivated varieties, as the selective list shows (country of origin in parenthesis).

Now the quest to grow a versatile apple with organoleptic qualities is more pressing than ever. Cooking apples have been acidic and tart, eating apples sour or sweet with insufficient crunch and ample juiciness.


France Turkey + Apricot Jam + Aprikosen Brötli (milk bread rolls with apricots made with spelt) + Marillenknödelen (apricot dumplings) + Sachertorte (chocolate apricot cake)

While the Austrians of Wachau and the Swiss of the Valais / Wallis turn their delicate fruit into apricot brandy, the Turks treat the apricot like a fruit from the gods and produce a quarter of the world crop to prove it. They eat apricots fresh, dry them in the sun and extend their usefulness in various ways, because they have always known the health benefits.

beta carotene to thwart cancer,
fibre to aid digestion,
iron to prevent anaemia,
potassium to boost the heart and kidneys,
and vitamins A, C and E to keep the body functioning

Nine tenths of the dried apricot market arise from Anatolia and are shipped around the world, where they are appreciated for their nutritional value – 100 grams of dried apricot contains 24 grams of dietary fibre, one gram less than an adult’s daily requirement.

Apricots make their way into a range of baked, cooked and processed foods in Turkey. They preserve their shelf life and consequently their health benefits by making them into jam and paste, starters for countless products.

Turkish apricots are of a higher quality, primarily because they are original cultivars (native species, not cross-cultivated) and have the best growing conditions in Anatolia.

The native roxana is being developed because it is early (July), has a large fruit (80-120 grams) and is resistant to cold. Red with orange flesh, the kernel is sweet.

Armenian, Austrian, Greek and Hungarian apricots are also old species varieties.


Scampi story


Tira de Asado / Chimichurri (barbecued short ribs / parsley spice mixture)



sausage tradition + Fabada Asturiana (beans, bacon, black sausage and chorizo stew)


fish + Crab Cakes + Fried Seafood Combo + Georgia Trout + Lobster Bisque + Seared Mussels


{places and recipes to be decided}


traditional foods Pannonian wheat


Asterix and the Wild Boar + wild boar / suckling pig / spit-roasted pork emergence of charcuterie

The 11th album of the comic book series Asterix and the Chieftain’s Shield, published in 1968, saw René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo depict cured hams hanging from the ceiling of an Auvergne inn.


Aydın İnciri (dried fig)


open food bazaar featuring local produce and artisanal products


traditional foods Pirouz Khanlou on forgotten foods of Azerbaijan + Plovlar (rice dishes) + Tabrizi Kufta (meat loaf) + Xocalı As Qarası (Khojali lamb rice with apricots, chestnuts, cranberries, onion, plums / prunes, raisins, turmeric)

Baku, a Silk Road axis between Europe and Asia, had a rich food culture before the arrival of the Bolsheviks in April 1920 and Azerbaijan’s eventual assimilation into the Soviet system. Since independence in 1991 Azerbaijanis have been rediscovering their lost traditional food, especially the dishes they cooked with berries, fruits, nuts, spices and vegetables, which usually came together with rice flavoured with butter and saffron and various meats. Plovlar are back! And so is that meat loaf!