Gin the Ultimate Companion – New Book Review

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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

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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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Fancy a nibble?

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Fancy a Nibble?

Fancy a Nibble? While staying in Savoie in France, I discovered a genius cold hors-d’oeuvre that’s quick, cheap and easy. Here’s a colourful nibble that’s also brilliant with a wide range of wines, whether white, rosé, sparkling or sherry. What you only really need is a courgette, aka zucchini. My example of this is vegetarian, but it’s easy enough to create a …

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Seasonal Eating: soon time for Samphire

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Fresh Samphire

Seasonal Eating: Soon time for Samphire I consider myself blessed to have a Fishmonger that turns up every week at the local market. When in the season, he includes a couple of handfuls of emerald green samphire for free. In Britain, Samphire grows naturally in muddy salt-water marshes and estuaries around the coast. It’s a seasonal delicacy, at its best …

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Recipe: Spaghetti alla Norma, a real taste of Sicily

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Spaghetti alla Norma, Sicily

Recipe: Spaghetti alla Norma, a real taste of Sicily A big bowl of Spaghetti alla Norma is truly the essence of Sicilian cuisine. I first ate it in Ragusa many years ago. It’s a tomato and aubergine pasta heaven that forms a regular part of my diet. Hearty and healthy, it’s so foolproof to make that even I can do …

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Eat Amatriciana for Amatrice

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Amatriciana for Amatrice

Eat Amatriciana for Amatrice By now, many of us will have seen the devastation caused by the earthquake in Central Italy this week. The epicentre was close to the town of Amatrice. It’s famous for the Amatriciana pasta sauce central to Roman cuisine. To add insult to injury, Amatrice was preparing for its 50th annual festival celebrating their traditional dish this …

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