Elderflower Cordial – making the perfect summer drink

Paul Howard Articles, Blog, England and Wales, Food, Recipes

Elderflower

Elderflower Cordial – making the perfect summer drink Right now, I can’t think of a more quintessentially British summer drink than Elderflower cordial. The Elder (Sambucus nigra) is in full bloom in summer, so why not do a bit of easy foraging and make Elderflower cordial yourself? It’s swift and easy*. The result is brilliant refreshment when you don’t want …

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Macarons and Recioto – Wine & Cake #2

Paul Howard Articles, Blog, Food, Italy, Recipes

Macarons and Recioto

Macarons and Recioto – Wine & Cake #2 Welcome to the second article in an occasional series about pairing wine with cake. This time it’s Macarons with Recioto della Valpolicella, the classic sweet red wine from Italy’s Veneto region. Macarons Who invented Macarons? There are rival claims aplenty. While proto-versions have Arabic origins, France and Italy both claim it as theirs. One …

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Wine and Cake – the first of an occasional theme

Paul Howard Articles, Blog, Food, Italy, Recipes, Sparkling Wine

Wine and Cake assortment

Wine and cake – the first of an occasional theme Let’s try some word association. If I say the word wine, do you reply with cake? No, I thought not. Pairing wine and cake together only occurred to me on a miserable winter afternoon. Given the current spate of storms battering these shores (Storm Xena Warrior Princess* will be along …

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Artichoke Sauce with Spaghetti – effortless sophistication

Paul Howard Articles, Blog, Food, Italy, Recipes

Globe Artichoke ©Wikipedia

Artichoke Sauce with Spaghetti – effortless sophistication Globe Artichoke is tricky to pair with wine, and the usual culinary advice is don’t. Putting them together usually results in metallic or bitter flavours. It’s why the dressing for globe artichokes often employs the sharpness of lemon juice or vinaigrette. Wine-friendly they’re most certainly not. However, marinating artichoke hearts changes their flavour …

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Gin the Ultimate Companion – New Book Review

Paul Howard Articles, Beer & Spirits Reviews, Blog, Book Reviews, Recipes Leave a Comment

Gin the Ultimate Companion

Gin the Ultimate Companion – New Book Review Gin, the Ultimate Companion is a new book by Ian Buxton, published on 7 October 2021. The subtitle is “the essential guide to Gins, Flavours, Cocktails, Tonics and More”, and, as we shall see, it lives up to this description admirably. It may be the only book on gin that you’ll ever …

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Nas-cëtta, Part 2 – twelve Novello producers and their wines

Paul Howard Articles, Blog, Italy, Organic, Recipes, Sustainability, Wine Tasting Leave a Comment

Nas-cëtta

Nas-cëtta, Part 2 – twelve Novello producers and their wines Nascetta, Part 1, looked at the rediscovery of Nas-cëtta. Local producers rescued this semi-aromatic white grape variety, which survived only in Novello in Piemonte. In 2010, the Langhe DOC exclusively authorised the production of white wine in Novello using only 100% Nascetta grapes, creating a dedicated subzone called Langhe Nas-cëtta del Comune …

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Summer Pudding – a classic dessert

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Summer Pudding

Summer Pudding – a classic dessert Summer Pudding is a classic dessert for the British summer. Here’s a super-easy recipe that makes a Summer Pudding serving six, inspired by Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book – which is a great read. Redcurrants and Blackcurrants are the two essential soft fruits for Summer Pudding. If you have a handful of Whitecurrants, Loganberries, Raspberries, Tayberries …

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Porchetta – An Italian Food Classic

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Porchetta Van at Greve-in-Chianti

Porchetta – An Italian Food Classic One of the joys of cuisine in Italy is finding mobile food vans selling hot Porchetta, especially on weekends and national holidays. I recommend that you ask if there’s a van visiting nearby wherever you stay in Italy. It might be at a market or village celebration. Sometimes the regular vans are pitched on the …

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Lockdown Linguine – A Recipe for Social Distancing

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Lockdown Linguine

Lockdown Linguine – A Recipe for Social Distancing Lockdown Linguine is a delicious, simple pasta recipe, which also happens to be brilliant with a bottle of white wine, and it only takes 10-15 minutes to make. It’s Italian-style, though I don’t know if there’s an Italian name for it.  Here it’s called Lockdown Linguine, as much for the alliteration as anything. …

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Tuscan Salad: Insalata di Fegatini di Pollo

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San Gimignano Anteprima, Tuscan Vernaccia white wine

Tuscan Salad: Insalata di Fegatini di Pollo Here’s a simple Tuscan salad recipe that’s cheap, quick and easy. I first tried it in a restaurant in San Gimignano while attending their Anteprima, where the new Vernaccia wines are previewed and judged. However, it’s also available in many UK Italian restaurants. While the English translation is Warm Chicken Liver Salad, that simply …

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