Talking of Food is a magazine website set up by a group of people who love not only food but also the diversity of its culture. It is not bound by idealogy or momentary fads but has an open mind towards opposing views. Its contributors are often experts in their field and discuss wide ranging subjects such as antibiotics in the food-chain, the opposing arguments on GM food or the future of farming. On a lighter note see how they make noodles in China or follow Elisabeth Luard's classic series on European Peasant Cookery.

Claudia Roden

“She’s magical … she’s a doyenne … she’s the absolute first and last word on Middle Eastern, and indeed on Mediterranean cookery … and I don’t know any of the top chefs who she hasn’t touched.” So says Allegra McEvedy, herself a top chef, broadcaster and writer. And who is she talking about? Claudia Roden.

AllegraIn the plethora of available food books one would be hard pressed to differentiate one from the other in content. One towering exception is Claudia Roden who is generally regarded by most people as a great writer on food  and few people who take the subject seriously will not have at least one of her books on their shelf.

By her own admission she is neither a chef nor a journalist yet it would be hard to match her erudition. Perhaps she could best be described as a historian who looks at a country's cultural history through its diet. Her books that have specialised on Mediterranean cuisine are seminal and by resolutely refusing to pander to today's gimmicks she has become a writer for the ages.

In this unique film Claudia Roden talks of her early years in Egypt, leaving the country of her birth after the revolution in the 1950's, and why she started collecting recipes. Also Allegra McEvedy, Claudia's great friend, assesses Claudia's legacy and tells an anecdote that for her sums up Claudia Roden as a person.

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Lockdown Food with Helen Garlick

I am putting this section together during Coronovirus lockdown. We are looking at food and assembling meals in a different way, disregarding recipe books and using ingredients that that we may have disparaged in the past.

The History of the Wines of Austria

In 1985 a few Austrian wineries, part of a large, poorly regulated industry designed to produce quantity over quality, adulterated their mass-produced wines with a toxic substance, diethylene glycol (an ingredient in anti-freeze), with the intention of making their wines seem sweeter and more full-bodied. These wines were exported to Germany, and some were blended into mass-market German wines; this was discovered when German laboratories tested these wines for quality-control purposes. The scandal rocked the wine-industry. Concentrations of the substance were low enough that nobody died from the tainted wines, but worldwide demand for Austrian wine collapsed overnight.

The Trawlermen

In the 1950s Grimsby was the largest fishing port in the world.  As a result of the Cod Wars with Iceland, this once great industry has been decimated over the last fifty years. The docks, once bustling, are now desolate and left to crumble.

This film is a short tribute to the men who manned the trawlers in all weathers and conditions.