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.

The Rich Tradition: Italy

Elisabeth Luard spends time in Friuli among the Friulani, who have preserved their linguistic and cultural identity through centuries of war and invasion as the plateau has provided access to the wealth of the plains of northern Italy to the many forces who have invaded Italy throughout history.

The traditional cuisine of Friuli is based on polenta, rather than pasta, and Elisabeth is shown both how it is made in the family kitchen, how a star chef serves up the peasant polenta to his discerning customers, and how it is served at festivities for the whole village. Apart from maize for the polenta and for feeding the cows and chickens, asparagus, that is white asparagus, is a local cash-crop, which, apart from being enjoyed locally with a 'sauce' of  boiled egg, is exported over the pass to the markets of Vienna.

As all over Europe in rural communities, every household keeps a pig, with some of the meat being preserved in the form of ham and salami. The prosciutto of San Daniele from Friuli is as highly regarded as it's cousin from Parma, and cheese made from the farm's cows provides a main source of protein in a mainly vegetable-based diet with little meat. The farmers have set up a co-operative to turn their milk into cheese and butter, each farm's contribution of milk being carefully documented so that they get the right quantity of cheese and butter in return. Other local specialities follow, and then a brief look at the local wood-carving art and traditional dancing.

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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.