“I’ve spent over half my life in America. When I was a student, I had no money whatsoever and would always go to this shop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and buy stuff that was way out of date. I spent an enormous amount of time eating things out of packets. Cottage cheese with pineapple was an obsession. Peanuts are a hugely positive form of food. Travelling around the Deep South it was so much easier to stop at a petrol station and buy a bag of peanuts than to go into some awful fast food place. American fast food is disgusting – the very notion of fast food is an anathema. The point of food is to enjoy company and so if you need fast food, you just buy some peanuts. But if you’re sharing food you take a good long time over it, that’s the point.
Fairtrade, Organic, Dolphin Friendly, Rain Forest Alliance – these have all become familiar labels on our food, but back in the early Eighties, they were rare enough to be almost non-existent. It is thanks to the vision of a few Read more »
“I was born in Chippenham, Wiltshire. My father was a policeman but shortly after I was born he joined Woolworths and trained with them, so I moved around a lot as a child, living in rented rooms, then a caravan Read more »
South Somerset is not a multicultural hotspot, but that didn’t prevent Pheeraya Hill from moving there. Leaving Thailand in 1992, she first went to Haselbury Plucknett before settling in Merriott, where she and her husband, Jerry, now live. When Pheeraya Read more »
Chinese Crispy Duck has been voted Britain’s third favourite food, pipping Chicken Tikka. Ducks, once a peasant winter staple, are now bred on a massive scale. Simon Ford goes in search of those that don’t look like UFOs. The power Read more »
Dark days dishes. The time has come round again. The West-country word ‘dimpse’ is so onomatopoeically apt at this time of year, when the light leaks away so early, so abruptly, and all we can do to counter light-lustrelessness is cook hearty, gutsy, bright, light citrussy dishes and pretend. Pretend that we are in the scented orange grove that fills the kitchen when we make Seville orange marmalade or a steamed pudding dripping with an ointment of lemon, orange or lime-curd. And pretend good intention after the excesses and overkill of Christmas despite the fact that we tend to fail resolutions well before we admit we are defeated, that we have cheated.
I won’t eat puddings in January, I’ll give up drink, I won’t eat cream.
Modern mid-life man has dreams. He has fantasies. For some it is still the perfect car but for an increasing number it’s the perfect porker – they lust over Readers’ Piglets rather than Meno-Porsche Monthly. My other half, Foodie, is a confirmed porco-phile and shows absolutely no enthusiasm for cars until we move from central London to deep Dorset at which point he develops a sudden, late-entry need to motor.
Josceline Dimbleby has an extraordinary life story. She has travelled all over the world and, drawing on her exceptional memory for people, food and places, has written a new memoir/cookery book entitled Orchards in the Oasis. As a diplomat’s stepdaughter, Read more »
You can almost see my courgettes grow. Maybe not quite as impressively as the 9 inches a day I was once told an asparagus spear can push aside soil and stone to launch itself on to your plate, but enough to make me head for the garden through the summer and way into autumn, right up to the first opportunistic killer of a frost, with a sense of pride, anticipation and always, despite its continuously generous-natured bounty and reliability, surprise.
Known for his campaigning approach to making films that tell it like it really is, with programmes as diverse as Jamie Oliver’s American Road Trip to The Secret Policeman, double BAFTA award-winning television producer, Simon Ford, takes just as keen Read more »