Lockdown Food - no.3




Post viral recovery can be a long haul.  We seem to have lost the concept of convalescence, of the need to understand that full recovery from illness can take a period of  time, that needs to be accepted and catered for in every sense. 

Helen Garlick searches her cookery book library for dishes to tempt and nourish invalids and convalescents...



Lockdown Food - no.2


War time diaries and recipe books are good reading too, not because we have to cope with shortages but it’s good  for us to remember how much more difficult shopping and cooking was in both World Wars. Also, it's inspiring, now that we need to think twice about making trips to shops,  to see how people concocted meals of what they had to hand...

Read on for extracts from Few Eggs and No Oranges:  The Diaries of Vere Hodgson  1940 – 1945. Published by Persephone Books


Lockdown Food - no.1


Lockdown 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.

Here are two poems, one about the iceberg lettuce and the other about the humble onion.


Food in Literature

Helen GarlickHelen Garlick loves both food and reading. In this new series for Talking of Food, she chooses food-related extracts from some of her favourite authors and books.

PART ONE: In the first part, Helen includes extracts from Livia in Laurence Durrell’s Avignon Quintet, from Moby Dick by Herman Melville, and from a short story by MFK Fisher.

PART TWO: For the second part, Helen chooses extracts from Just William by Richmal Compton, the poem This is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams and a food-related parody, and another extract from Livia by Laurence Durrell.

PART THREE: Extracts from The Leopard by Giuseppe Lampedusa, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf, and Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert are Helen's choices for the third part.

Discovering Fine Wines with Friarwood Wines

generic vineyard

In this new series, Talking of Food have teamed up with Friarwood Fine Wines to bring you articles of interest in the world of wines.

The second article in the series is on the history of the wines of Austria.

The first article in the series is on the wines of Tuscany

Another Glass, Please - no. 6



Richard Dudley Craig talks about the forgotten grapes of the Loire and in particular Fié Gris, its near extinction and subsequent revival thanks to a few enlightened winemakers.

Read on...

Another Glass, Please - no. 5



Have you heard of Tempranillo Blanco? Has anyone? It’s something of a trick question, as before 1988, the answer would have been an emphatic ‘no’.

Richard Dudley Craig gives us the lowdown on this 'delicious mouthful'.

Read on...

Another Glass, Please - no. 4


Vouvray-Sec-2016 main

Richard Dudley Craig declares this Vouvray Sec to be a "smashing summer wine". 

Read on...

Another Glass, Please - no. 3



Cà dei Frati


I had lunch the other day with a fellow wine importer at the Brackenbury in Hammersmith (a lovely local restaurant) and, most generously, he brought three wines with him for us to taste.  All were excellent.  However, the stand-out bottle was the Lugana 2016 from Cà dei Frati, an estate located in the north-west of Italy, a tiny area between Lombardy and the Veneto.

Read on

A new series by Richard Dudley Craig

Another Glass, Please - no. 2


Court Garden

Court Garden


 It wasn’t my intention to review another sparkling wine quite so soon but when something so special, so impressive and, frankly, so much of the moment comes along it would be a crime to let it pass....

Read on

A new series by Richard Dudley Craig

Food Acupuncture: the vitamins

This week Professor Alpar looks at Vitamin B7.

She introduces the series in the video below.



Read about the various vitamins in general. Professor Alpar has covered Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5 B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E and K, their sources in foods, their functions, and questions of deficiency and toxicity.

Read a brief biography of Professor Alpar here.


Food Acupuncture

In the "Food Acupuncture" series, Professor Oya Alpar writes about the vitamins that are essential to our well-being, and where we get them from.


 Read the introduction to the series here.


The Most Wine-derful Time of the Year 2017

The Most Wine-derful Time of the Year

 holly 100


We’re less than two weeks from Christmas Day and only the most organised amongst us will have decided upon what to drink with our seasonal bouffe.


Richard Dudley Craig gives us his top independent picks for Christmas 2017.


Read on..

A Year in Chicken Soup - Cock-a-leekie

chicken soup right

A Year in Chicken Soup

Cock-a-leekie 2



Join Hattie Garlick for the final instalment of A Year in Chicken Soup. After twelve months of culinary globetrotting via soups from Cambodia to Syria, Mexico to Nigeria, she returns to these shores for a final get-together with friends old and new round a soothing bowl of cock-a-leekie.


A Year in Chicken Soup - Hassan's Shakriya

Shakriya 5

A Year in Chicken Soup

chicken soup right

A series by Hattie Garlick



Have you read Only in London, by Hanan Al Shaykh? There’s a passage in it that describes one of the main characters, freshly arrived in the UK, making a to-do list.

‘This is going to become my country’ she writes, ‘I’ve stopped living a temporary life’. And so, she must learn to speak English properly, look for a job and.... read on


A Year in Chicken Soup - Bengali Chicken Curry

bangladeshchicken soup

A Year in Chicken Soup

A series by Hattie Garlick




Eid Mubarak! As I type, the smell of toasted spices and marinated meat sinews through the window, open to the cold air just a fraction of a gap. Below, small groups gather excitedly on doorsteps before disappearing within, behind warm lit windows that glow enticingly in the darkness.  (read on)


A Year in Chicken Soup - Ghanaian Nkatenkwan

chicken soup right

A Year in Chicken Soup

Ghanaian Soup 2



Join Hattie Garlick at Hackney's Ridley Road market to find the ingredients for her latest recipe, a soup so substantial that, as you can see above, it was served with knife and fork... (read on)

A Year in Chicken Soup - Mexican Pozole


mexican pozole

Hattie Garlick


A Year in Chicken Soup


with La Jacana

I’ve had to source some difficult ingredients for previous chicken soups – a kosher boiler chicken, memorably, and pepper from a particular province of Cambodia. This has to rank as the trickiest, though. For Mexico’s contribution to The Year in Chicken Soup I had to find a baby of less than 40 days old. .... (read on)chicken soup

A Year in Chicken Soup - Da's Cambodian Chicken Soup



cambodian soup 8s

chicken soupA Year in Chicken Soup


A new series by

Hattie Garlick




As Cambodians wake and shake their dreams from their slumbering limbs, they face a real working day that is likely to revolve around rice. According to a recent report by the New York Times, 80 per cent of the population work on the paddies. Which explains why Da, a Cambodian now transplanted to the urban fringes of London, says that Chicken Rice Soup — or borbo sach moan — runs in her veins. … (read on)


A Year in Chicken Soup - Jewish Penicillin

Jewish soup ingredientschicken soup

A Year in Chicken Soup

A new series by Hattie Garlick




A friend’s grandmother, a holocaust survivor, recently turned ninety-five. Surveying her life, she gave the following advice to young women: “be happy every day, eat, wear a scarf and don’t marry a schmendrick.”

It seemed like a good idea to heed her tip-off, and make Jewish chicken soup the second ‘chicken soup from around the globe’ to be cooked in our Comfort Food Cafe. ... (read on)


A Year in Chicken Soup - Avgolemono

chicken soup rightHattie  Garlick 1


A Year in Chicken Soup

A new series by Hattie Garlick



The first lesson of chicken soup club is this: you do not choose your chicken soup, your chicken soup chooses you.

As soon as I announce my plans to cook a different incarnation of the classic comfort food every month for a year, the Chicken Soup Conflict erupts. “My grandmother's Jewish penicillin is THE best!!!” emails a vague acquaintance. “Mexican chicken soup! Which other country actively encourages you to take both chocolate and tequila with your cure?” texts a friend.  (read on)

A Year in Chicken Soup

chicken soup right


A Year in Chicken Soup

A new series by Hattie Garlick


I am deep within the annual existential crisis otherwise know as The January Spring Clean. Literally so: I’m up to my knees in books, flung from their roosts on the book shelves in a desperate attempt to Get Rid Of This Infernal Clutter. I lift one at random and blow a film of dust from its decorative cover... (read on)

A Landlady’s Diary - Part 1

A Landlady's Diary


Zara G. moved from a two bedroom flat to a large house in the summer of 2005.  For four years she has been landlady to students from all over the world.

"...Food is the pivotal factor, it helps break the ice and around the kitchen table is where the most meaningful and engaging conversations have taken place..."

Read the first episode of A Landlady's Diary


A Landlady’s Diary - Part 2

A Landlady's Diary



The second episode of A Landlady's Diary:


Henry, a carnivore from Colombia...


A Landlady’s Diary - Part 3




The third episode of  Zara G.'s

A Landlady's Diary:


Yozo, a football fanatic from Japan...


If you've missed Parts 1 and 2 you'll find them in READ


A Landlady’s Diary - Part 4




Katya, a size 0 from Moscow, is the subject of Zara G.'s observations in the latest episode of

A Landlady's Diary


Earlier entries featuring Henry, a carnivore from Colombia and Yozo, a football fanatic from Japan can be found in READ


A Landlady’s Diary - Part 5




Katya has returned to Moscow so our Landlady is free to take a holiday... first stop India.

Zara G.'s latest episode of

A Landlady's Diary




A Landlady’s Diary - Part 6

landladys diary picnic

It's been a while since we've had an entry in 

A Landlady's Diary  

In Zara G.'s latest episode,  a period of recuperation leads to memories of home remedies from the kitchen.

Parts 1 -5,  featuring Henry, a carnivore from Colombia and Yozo, a football fanatic from Japan, and more can be found in READ



A Landlady’s Diary - Part 7



In Zara G.'s latest diary entry, a lady from Turin is not quite what was expected...

Parts 1 -6,  featuring Henry, a carnivore from Colombia and Yozo, a football fanatic from Japan, and more can be found in READ



A Landlady’s Diary - Part 8


a landladys diary 2



Business isn't brisk for our Landlady, Zara G, so she has time to expand on an episode from her childhood.



A Landlady’s Diary - Part 9

landladys diary



In the latest entry in A Landlady's Diary, Zara G meets Yoshi and intoduces some spice into his culinary life!




Cling Film Noir

cling_film_noir_200Kazuo Ishiguro, prize winning author of Remains Of The Day, has just voiced his sympathy and support for the disdained cliche.

With this in mind, plus our national obsession with food, here is a short piece which might have been conceived by Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett had they been alive today.

Read on..



Tobi, alias Paul Tobias, is our resident food cartoonist.  He started drawing cartoons when he was five. By eight he was drawing on the walls and signing them (the first indication of a high I.Q.).

We tried to interview Paul's teachers but they wouldn't return our calls. With artistic talent like that there was only one career path ideal for him - he became a solicitor.

There followed 30 odd (very odd) years as a lawyer practising in the High Street ( he could never seem to afford an office) but Paul never let his cartooning fade and in his spare time (of which there was precious little given the Law Practice to run and wife and three children to support) continued drawing with commissions to illustrate books, and free lance publication in the National Dailies (even once having a cartoon accepted by The National Enquirer in America).

Paul has retired from  full time practice but continues in the Law as an occasional lecturer and consultant - and yes he's still drawing.

Here's what the critics say:-
"Paul is fantastic" His Mom
"Paul's drawings are to art what Marmite is to the Space Programme" Barak Obama
"Who?" David Cameron


See his cartoons in Gallery

Fyne Time




There are 3 million oysters in Loch Fyne . That's a fact. At least that's what Andy Lynes was told when he travelled to the Highlands to find out exactly what lies below the crystal clear waters of Scotland's largest sea loch.

Read on...

Watch video


Four Course Lunatics




Four Course Compost anyone?  Melon skin, steak bones, red peppers and pasta on the menu for some of California's best fed vines.

Richard Craig discovers how natural winemaking is completing the green loop:  from the farm to the restaurant kitchen and from the kitchen back to the vineyard that produces the wine that goes back to the restaurant!

Wine Titbits


Is wine made for tasting or drinking?

Would you want to drink more than a glass?

This was a discussion I had with Tim Johnston at the infamous Juveniles Wine Bar in Paris, which has an excellent wine list that is based on the premise that you would like to order another glass!

He is obviously of the opinion that an extra glass is good for business and buys wine accordingly, yet still interestingly!

Richard Craig on Californian Chardonnay...

Richard's Beef




Richard Craig on misleading wine label terminology.

Vielles Vignes, Reserve Wine, Cuvée.  Do they have any real meaning?