Persian Tea

Tea was discovered about 5000 years ago in China. In the early 17th century, tea was introduced to England and its Chinese name, tay, changed to the English name tea. In England, tea was brewed in china teapots. The English believed that a drop of milk in the teapot would prevent it from breaking and thus…

Armenian Sweet Bread (Nan-e gisu)

Makes 3 loaves Preparation time: 20 minutes plus rising time overnight Cooking time: 35-40 minutes INGREDIENTS 1 package or 1 tablespoon dry yeast 1/4th cup warm water 3 eggs 1.5 cups sugar 1 tablespoon honey 2 tsp ground mahlab 1 cup whole milk 1 cup melted, unsalted butter or Oil 4.5-5.5 cups cake flour, sifted with…

Romanesque Architecture : St-Nectaire

Regional Developments in France The emergence of Romanesque architecture was not a simple, linear process. Rather, during the tenth and eleventh centuries, the region that is now France served as a fertile experimental ground. The separate regions exhibited tendencies toward different architectural forms, and their sacred as well as secular institutions also pursued a variety…

An Omelette is Born

In 1835, during the Carlist uprising in Spain, the rebels laid seige to Bilbao. One day during the siege, the Carlist commander, General Tomas de Zumalacarregui y de Imaz, was passing a farmhouse and demanded that the farmer’s wife prepare him something to eat. All the woman had were some eggs, a potato and an…

The confused discovery of chilli. Or was it?

  The United Salad of America By Act of Congress, the phrase E pluribus unum (Latin for ‘out of many, one’) was adopted as one of the mottos on the seal of the infant USA. The phrase derives from one used in ‘Moretum’, a Latin poem attributed to Virgil (70-19 BC): It manus in gyrum;…

The World’s Most Expensive Salad

  Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 57 varieties. Not really. While riding in an elevated train in New York, H.J.Heinz was struck by a shoe shop sign declaring that it offered ’21 styles’. He was thus inspired to come up with the slogan ’57 varieties’ for his own company – even though at that stage it…

Let Them Eat Salmon…

In Old Mortality, Sir Walter Scott’s 1816 novel set at the time of the Covenanter Rising of 1679, the author describes how salmon was not always regarded as a luxury: A large boiled salmon would now-a-days have indicated a more liberal housekeeping; but at that period, salmon was caught in such plenty in the considerable rivers of…

Sketching and cooking with Julia Child

Mastering the Art of French Cooking – Volume One Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck -Chapter Five- FISH  Poisson The French are magnificent with fish. Not only is fresh fish abundant all the year round, but the art of its cooking and saucing is accomplished with great taste and skill. This chapter includes two fine…

Once upon a potato…

Food history is SO much fun! I love reading about eating habits of people in the past or even things like how people considered certain things like potatoes and tomatoes poisonous and hence, inedible at some point. There are tons of food history books and there are some I recommend which you can see at the…

Stories from the Kitchen

You must be aware of Everyman’s Pocket Classics from Alfred A. Knopf. I recently bought their ‘Stories from the kitchen’ book and loved the collection they featured. Based on a few lines from one of the stories by Lara Vapnyar, I created a comic strip illustration. The story is called ‘A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf’….

Making time to sketch

I was a bit busy the past two days or so and didn’t find the time to sketch. Today, however, I decided to just sit in the kitchen with my sketchbook and watercolor palette to draw whatever was right in front of me- in this case, dirty dishes which also make a very interesting subject….

Bon appetit!

Food is comforting. Reading about food is as comforting if not more because as you read, you become aware of that feeling (which we often define as ‘comfort’) shared by others. In other words, maybe you had an omelette at a certain time of the day with some things on your mind or perhaps nothing…