Athena Lamberis

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

In Events, Stories, Travel on June 4, 2014 at 12:31

 

“Is there rain and gale force winds on your side?”

“No.”

“Okay, then we’ll meet you at the forest gate at 7:15”

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa Gary Mushroom Guru

Gary Goldman, the mushroom Guru of Cape Town, South Africa

In Cape Town, winter brings sloshy puddles and leaf layers on the forest floor.  Mushrooms, like stars fallen from the galaxy, pop out of the ground in diverse shapes, forms, colours and size.  This time from the first rains is when foragers, explorers, mushroom hunters spot various of funghi for identification, observation and if lucky, consumption.

The rain was still drizzling outside our home in Vredehoek while we drove with our hound, Enzo, to the Cecilia Forest in Cape Town.  Brushed with a dark blue, the sky opened to the morning sun once we found our meeting place where Gary Goldman, the mushroom guru was waiting.  Dreams of porcini, pine-rings and new forms of fungi were planted in our minds.  What did the forest hold, and what were we going to find?

 

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa Gary Mushroom Guru

Cecelia Forest – mushroom foraging with Gary

We carried baskets, pocket knives, and boldness onto the lower slopes of Table Mountain Reserve, with the comfort of having a teacher, Gary, to guide use through our questions of the forage.  The dogs sensed excitement-the fresh smells fueled the pack to go in front of the path.  Chris joined the front, and just over the barb-wire fence, what looked like a brown leaf was twisted out from the earth.  The first find of the day was a porcini treasure, fragrant, firm and joyfully gathered.

 

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa-Chris Mason

Chris found the winter delight! Fresh porcini mushroom.

Slippery logs laid in our path and speckled leaves lined the moving forest streams-more winter delights came in all different shapes and sizes as we weaved pass the gum tree forests and into pine, cork oak and poplar tree sections.  What looked like a brown wood owl flew past us as we continued to collect poplar boletus, porcini, pine-rings and learned to identify a variety of parasite (grows on/from organic-living) and saphrophyte (grows on dead organic material) fungi. After two hours in the forest, my eyes became more aware of mycelia on trees and different fungi characteristics.  I was beginning to confidently identify and learn distinctive features of about various mushrooms-my favorite being the saffron-coloured water that stains your hands when you squeeze a pine rings vs ‘a little brown mushroom.’

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

Filling the basket with porcini, poplar boletus and pine rings. Anything with a sponge under the mushroom cap in the Western Cape is edible.

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa Mycellium

Mycellium on the tree – a part of the fungi web

Gumtree Forests How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

Gumtree forests – many common edible mushrooms do not prefer this type of environment

As we left the forest with happily-filled baskets, I was in awe of the complexity and beauty nature holds in a delicate yet robust web.  With every step into our natural world, I learn more about how our environments flourish and where our food comes from.  Proper identification, with desired aroma and taste adds a world of medicinal and culinary uses of mushrooms to my culinary linguistics. It’s been dated back to B.C. China, of humans foraging for mushrooms for added sustenance during winter months.  I added another day to an ancient practice of mushroom eating history (mychophagy).  Today, with the appetite for variety and with the help of a mushroom guru – I became a fungivore-survived and nourished.

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

Cork Oak trees – Mushrooms loves to grow under pine, poplar and oak trees.

Cinnabar-How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

A type of Cinnabar – medicinal mushroom.

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa-porcini

Porcini mushroom cut length wise

Laughing Jims (hallucinogen) How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

Laughing Jims – hallucinogenic

Turkey Tail - How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

Turkey Tail mushroom- a bracket fungi-used as a medicinal tea since 15th century. Used as an alternative for chemotherapeutic medicines and radiation therapy. Grows on dead logs (saphrophyte)

saphrophyte

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

Often Gary identifies some mushrooms by slicing it in half to see the color inside.

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

Another medicinal mushroom that grows on living trees.

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South AfricaHow to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

Gary Mushroom man How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

My dog Lorenzo having too much fun skipping over mushrooms and logs.

How to identify and pick wild edible mushrooms in Cape Town, South Africa

Eager foragers in the Cecelia Forest

Educational Food Topics: Mind-Fuel Learning with young South African students

In Events on May 30, 2014 at 19:26

 

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

 

Our future is bright!

 When I got the opportunity to help design and facilitate environmental education lessons around various food topics with students around the Western Cape-I was amazed by what these fresh young minds are thinking.  Two different workshops hosted by the City of Cape Town’s Youth Environmental Programme YES and Leaders of the Future Oranjezicht City Farm youth workshop, students engaged in critical thinking discussions around food, energy, water through various systems thinking activities.

It was outstanding to witness discussions on global environmental topics and examining solutions to apply locally and personally.  I was especially inspired by the creativity they expressed through their vegetarian lunch challenges – definitely a generation to watch out for – move over MasterChef!

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

Mind-Fuel Creations for Lunch!

  My involvement with youth education programs around food topics has encouraged me to brainstorm and develop more food education and cross-cultural experiences.  Stay tuned for more insight on home cooking cultural exchanges in various South African homes with students from abroad.

Culinary Linguistics – Mind-Fuel Learning – Exploring the way food is used as a social tool. 

South Africa: youth capacity building, training, education and awareness programme providing a variety of projects, programmes, campaigns, resources and opportunities for all schools South Africa: youth capacity building, training, education and awareness programme providing a variety of projects, programmes, campaigns, resources and opportunities for all schools urbanfarming

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

Beetroot-orange and apple salad

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

orange cucumber zesty bites

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

Rainbow couscous salad

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

Teams make delicious lunch platters to share

 

How to Harvest Seaweed: Superfood Nutrition from our Ocean

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe, Stories, Travel on May 16, 2014 at 13:44
Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed Some seaweed varieties on the Cape Peninsula


Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

 

   Edible Sea Vegetable: SeaWeed

confess, my kitchen turns into edible science experiments almost every day. Seaweed is my new ingredient in the kitchen lab. Once you get to know the nutritional facts and the familiar taste of popcorn it has when nori (a type of seaweed) is roasted on the fire, then you’ll definitely give this superfood a chance.  When I first moved to Cape Town, I was mesmerised by the huge kelp forests that were washed onto the shorelines.  On low tides, I observed the variety of seaweeds that clung to the rocks and naturally wondered, “Can we eat that?”  You’ve probably already have if you’ve gone to a sushi joint or visit the snack aisle at an Asian supermarket.  When we see an ingredient in it’s natural state – outside of a food product/market/restaurant, we’re often surprised by how it grows, what it looks like and what it may actually taste like?  This is what I call the spark of our own natural whole food education, also known as the moment when our culinary linguistics expand.  I’m a self proclaimed phyco-nerd. Phycology: Greek φῦκος, phykos, “seaweed”; and -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of algae and was so happy to find fellow wild food foragers on the Cape Peninsula.

Beyond Basic Nutrition: Seaweed Benefits

Contains vitamin B12 (which is rarely found in plants)

  • Rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese (overall 13 vitamins, 20 amino acids, 60 trace mineral elements)
  • Highest source of plant protein and zero calories
  • It’s fiber is helpful for the digestive system, making you feel full and satiated
  • Contains iodine which aids the function of the thyroid to release iodine in our blood to help prevent disease.  Our bodies don’t make iodine so we have to get it through our food – why not seaweed?
  • Reduces water retention and contains higher levels of calcium than beef and cow’s milk
  • Natural occurring sodium that resembles human amniotic fluid
  • Alkalinizes and purifies blood as it’s chemical composition is similar to the plasma in human blood
  • Optimum nourishment for hormonal, lymphatic, urinary and nervous systems

Marine Flora: Wild and Crazy? 

  I was honestly hesitant to harvest seaweed in South Africa before doing a bit of research.   I needed a bit of local knowledge to boost my confidence and to verify that I wasn’t the only crazy who wondered about eating ocean algae.  If people in other parts of the world have seaweed-based cuisine, why aren’t we eating it here?  Has there ever been a history of it in South Africa?  Stay tuned for more about that in a future post.

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest  I took my mom, one of my favorite foragers for whole foods, to Scarborough to learn more about the beautiful seaweed varieties available for us to harvest responsibly.  In the quest of learning to harvest wild food, you also develop a respect and knowledge for conserving the ocean environment.  I’ve found that becoming more aware of what makes a healthy flourishing balanced ecosystem allows me to make more educated decisions about harvesting and foraging wild foods in nature.

 Some Foraging Facts

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Seaweed skin mask

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Wrack-the beginnings of seaweed coleslaw

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Scarborough coastline in Western Cape, South Africa

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Rinsing and preparing after the harvest

The Good Hope Nursery in Scarbororgh did such a great job in creatively sharing their experience in sustainably harvesting, tasting and creating with ocean seaweed.  It was great to ask questions while enjoying the cosmetic and nutritional benefits of this sea vegetable.  We were greeted on the shoreline with seaweed scones and spoke about the red, green and brown varieties of seaweed below our feet.  Snippets of seaweed varieties such as kelp, wrack and ulva were gathered to ensure regrowth, conservation and abundance for our ecosystem (about 1/3 of what was growing on the rock near the tideline.) No random bits of floating seaweed was harvested, only healthy clean varieties that were attached to ocean rocks.

Edible Science: Seaweed Recipes

 Since that positive coastal foraging experience, I’ve been able to share what I’ve learned along the way, convincing brave and even unadventurous eaters to enjoy the tasty healthy benefits of sea vegetables.  On a recent trip to Elandsbaai, we harvested, rinsed and tossed nori in a bit of olive oil before placing it on a wood-burning fire.  The result was super flakey, crunchy, tasty green seaweed snack.  Get creative and incorporate seaweed in any of your favorite recipes for extra added health benefits. I’d love to hear more about what you discover.

Seaweed Recipes: Superfood Nutrition from the Ocean

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Good Hope Nursery’s Chocolate Agar Agar and Candied Kelp with Ice Cream. YUM! Sign up for their foraging course.

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

That’s me in total seaweed face mask bliss. Rejuvenate, revitalise. Is there nothing seaweed can’t do?

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

A young culinary linguist exploring the texture of kelp. Wait for bath time! Yes, with seaweed:)

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Seaweed couscous salad, mussels, kelp and avocado salad, wrack coleslaw . . . the feast continues.

Resources:

Real Food Foraging in our Urban edible landscapes.

In Events, Stories, Travel on May 23, 2013 at 16:08

The Culinary Linguist |  Urban ForagingReal food foraging is taking Freetarian tactics to a whole other edible landscape.  It’s not about rummaging through the grocery store’s dump site or scrapping bubblegum off the concrete.  Real food foraging is a learned art: It bridges culinary knowledge, environmental awareness and plant/fungus identification to your own edible advantage.  Growing up with a Greek mom means you are always fed, and digest a lot of culinary knowledge.  One of the innovative skills I learned from her was how to identify food on every corner.  Besides knowing where to eat the best gyros pita, I learned at a young age to identify and protect our urban edible landscapes. The Culinary Linguist |  Urban Foraging

From sidewalk cracks to grassy patches, my Mom taught me that pulling weeds out of the ground could lead to a tasty Vitamin K and A rich dish of boiled lemony greens.  She loved that fact that we never had to buy dandelion greens from Dominick’s-we had them in our city’s backyard.   We lived close to Evanston’s train tracks and Chicago’s Canal.  When developers wanted to build condos there, we got involved and protested.  I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but saving the small forests meant saving the trees I loved to pick mulberries from and preserving a forest floor playground of my youth.

The Culinary Linguist | Save Forests and Urban Forage Save Forests

Living in Cape Town, South Africa reveals a whole new world to me.  In terms of real food urban foraging, it’s bountiful.  We went to Green Renaissance’s curated talk about foraging in our City.  The four speakers shared their local knowledge of each edible landscape they frolick in: Ocean, Urban, Wild, Garden, and Forest.

I’ve posted some tasty recipes in the past about Wild and Real Food Foraging with Mulberries, Grape Vine leaves, Num Nums (Natal Plum), Mushrooms, Mopane Worms, Pomegranates, Prickly Pear and Wild Olive leaves but after the talk on Thursday, I got re-inspired to explore the coastlines and forests of Cape Town’s wild and fertile city setting. The Culinary Linguist |  Urban Foraging

Making Kos‘ Loubie Rusch shared her in-depth botanical knowledge including her tasty jams, jelly and cordial made from indigenious and wild foods around the city.  We came home with Fennel and Wildeals as a generous gift from Bridget Kitley’s Herb Nursery to add to our growing herbal medicine cabinent: the garden.  I nibbled on some sea lettuce from Julian Mori’s portable seawater aquarium and after the talk, we fried porcini and boletus in butter as a tasty snack from Gary Goldman’s mushroom escapades under the pines and poplar of Cape Town’s forests.  Green Renaissance made 30 second inserts of nettle, chestnut and waterblommetjie harvests and recipes along with tips and ideas of how to forage them ourselves, along with a dried porcini gift bag for our attendance.  I was a happy forager foraging the forage talk!

The Culinary Linguist | Figs and Urban Forage The next day, I walked our dog, Lorenzo, through DeWaal park and saw the Waterberry tree was bursting with ripe fruit.  Instead of them staining the concrete in their own natural graffiti style, I will be picking them next time for some Waterberry cordial on these balmy autumn afternoons.

So far, I am happy with Vredhoek/Gardens foraging landscape:

pomegranates, avocados, lemons, guavas, figs can be found just a short walking distance from our house.

Our own garden provides comfrey which can be used for EVERYTHING!  Chris makes tea, and a great salve. Let the learning continue HERE 

 

Green Renaissance-Be Inspired to Forage in your City

Photo Essay: A Food Tour of Detroit’s Eastern Market

In Events, Travel on April 17, 2013 at 10:57

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Detroit Eastern Market
2934 Russell St., Detroit, Mich. 48207; 313-833-9300 detroiteasternmarket.com

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Detroit Eastern Market
2934 Russell St., Detroit, Mich. 48207; 313-833-9300
http://www.detroiteasternmarket.com

Share. Cook. Love: The Cook Book

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe, Stories on August 5, 2012 at 15:53

Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Our story began 2005, Feb 14th.

Durban, South Africa.  A Surfer met a Gypsy at Capoeira class.  It was a Monday, after the first day of our third year at University.

7 years later, in the province where it all began, we told everyone we loved to join us for a festival of families, a love

celebration . . . our wedding.

Friends and family came as far as California, Thailand, Belgium and Detroit. And on the Monday before our wedding I was given the most thoughtful and loving gift.

My sister, Koko, compiled a recipe book that she titled:

A collection of recipes on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Share. Cook. Love

The cookbook

Gathered by the women that love you.

As I opened this gift at my surprise Kitchen Tea, it felt as though my heart was reliving my most touching memories-an overwhelming feeling of love washed over me and misted my eyes.  I paged through over 50 recipes of family and friends that represented so many facets in my life.  From friends that were celebrating our marriage from afar, in Brasil, New York, Chicago and Nicaragua- I was able hear their voice through their shared words and recipes.  This cookbook was made for me and the diversity in dishes and loving varieties directly reflected the beautiful community of women in my life.  From dressings, to desserts, every tradition and recipe chosen for my own personal anthology of culinary linguists will be cherished throughout my life.

Now when I am missing my family and friends and want to create and cook from my heart–I can thank everyone who contributed to this emblem of friendship and love.  As a bride, it was a collage of memory that reverberated through my heart and now as a wife, it is a personal love resource from all the sisters and mothers that I get to celebrate with.  I have years of memory and new memories to look forward to, by creating edible creations curated by them.

This is culinary linguists at it’s best: a true example of love.

My family recipe contributors on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

My mom, sister, myself and mamabel

Athena and Chris Wedding Day on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding

Our wedding day June 30th

Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #love

the day before our wedding day

The recipe book on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Diving into the culinary linguists!

Athena and Koko on The Culinary Linguists blog #family

Koko and I in 1984

Athena, Bride to be on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding belindaandAthenakitchenteakitchenteainDurban Wedding Stationary Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding Athena and Chris' reception on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding

Semi-Sweet Film Food Documentary: Life in Chocolate

In Events on July 28, 2012 at 10:36

It’s 37 degrees in Paris while Patrick Roger’s chocolatier workshop is busy transporting his sculpture of a Orangutan made of chocolate.

Chocolate melts at 37 degrees, the same as our body’s temperature.  Roger explains: “Chocolate acts the way we do . . . It’s a love story.”  Roger’s story amongst others features in the food documentary: Semi-Sweet, Life in Chocolate.

Image It’s African premiere at the Durban International Film Festival gave viewers the chance to travel to three continents and hear multiple perspectives around the complex chocolate sphere.  The director, Michael Allcock and producer, Lalita Krishna immersed themselves in the art, politics, production and conflicting ideals on the chocolate coated topic. This documentary took four years to find the most compelling tales that showcase our relationships within the world of Chocolate.

“Someone promised us a better life  . . . And because of that we almost lost ours,” are the words from the young girls who chose to leave their home in Mali.  Many children are recruited to cross the border into Cote d’Ivoire for the promise of earning money on the cacao plantations.

Cote d’Ivoire produces nearly half of the world’s cacao and most are collected by the hands of young children. The film showcases the stories of youth who were lured by plantation recruiters to earn money that they could never imagine attaining if they stayed in their villages of Burkina Faso or Mali.  Most youths that chose to escape to a empty promise land lose their lives due to the conditions on the fields.  80% of pesticides used on the fields are banned in most countries and poison the workers, amongst other working hazards.

A young man who had survived the harsh conditions on the plantations was given some chocolate to taste after he confessed “Frankly, I do not know what they use cacao for.”

It reminded me of an image that speaks so clearly to what their stories portrayed:

Bustart image via GetGroundedTV

From the plantation field, “If you get tired, it’s not like you can rest.  There’s a quota and you have to get it.”

The film’s powerful choice to reveal the stories of these young workers allows viewers and activists to wake up to the real effect of consumer power, money and the faceted influence it has on lives that live close to the natural resource.

The truths of gross labour from the voices of these children reveal the dichotomy of youth that collect chocolate from pinatas, Halloween bags and Christmas stockings.

The film introduces the world of Hershey, Pennsylvania where Milton Hershey built a fictitious world that breeds naive ignorance since 1903.  Interviews with Hershey’s Public Relations and Marketing Managers expose a honest oblivion to the effects of mass corporate consumerism.  Hershey’s profile plays an interesting role in the film, as the town anthropomorphizes into both a naive narrow-minded child and the enabling greedy Uncle.

Sip through the jetstreams to Northern Ontario, Haliburton and your eyes and ears feast on the poetry of Ron and Nadine, raw food enthusiasts and producers of raw handmade chocolate concoctions of Living Libations.    “. . . They played and played until nectar was made.” exclaims Ron and his confessions of love for his craft.  Light-heartedly, I giggled during scenes of him marketing their ‘out of this world’ chocolate, to the NASA caterers for moon missions.  David Wolfe visits their Secret Land of Is, and dives into the food history of cacao, the value it had as currency until 1886 and the health benefits of this concentrated anti-oxidant tree.

Semi-sweet is Culinary Linguistics at the heart-using media to illustrate the language of chocolate that highlight the diverse realities on such a valuable food resource.  This is a great film to add to the top must-see food documentaries that evoke awareness and call for change.

Any suggestions of films, please share.   Here are some nice lists on great food sites: Lettuce Eat Kale, The Good Human

Cape Town’s best pizza: Ferdinando’s (and pet-friendly too)

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Stories on April 16, 2012 at 16:04
Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The Don Ferdinando and BYOB

Build it and they will come.  That is the birth story of Ferdinando’s and their quest to sell 10,000 pizzas.

Our friends, Kimon and Diego have been opening their doors to family and friends for countless fun, vibrant foodie celebrations.  Whether it was a birthday or post-4am Long Street search for food, we always were generously fed.  With Manu Chao pumping through the stereo, you relax and share nourishing homemade food in the comfort of their clementine and paprika painted walls.  I’m now remembering the days before Ferdinando’s:  Diego’s Fish Festival with Octopus potato salad with pots of Portuguese mussels .

Last week, Kimon reminded me, “We haven’t been invited out to dinner in AGES!”  My cheeky response: “Well, can we have Ferdinando’s pizza take-away at our house?”  I’ve learned that friends who build a pizza oven in their own home still want to go to dinner parties too!

Ferdinando's Pizza chef on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

Ferdinando's Pizza oven on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The inside oven

When you’re at Ferdinando’s, you’re eating at the best pizza joint in  Cape Town. It feels like you’re dining or entertaining at home and you forget you’re a paying patron yet there’s a nice feeling knowing you don’t have to do the dishes.

But let’s rewind to April 15th: Kimon’s birthday.

Birthday at Ferdinando’s

We celebrated the official opening of Ferdinando’s-the best Italian pizza speak-easy in town. Everybody and their mom knows it (mine does).  It’s not your average pop-up restaurant. It’s guerilla gourmet. Diego loves creating, Kimon is a creative and together they created a love child:  she’s warm and hot all day long (I’m talking about their pizza oven, guys.)

It’s in their previous dining room, but it all makes sense when you sit around the counter and enjoy the edible doppio zero crust canvas of melted cheese and fresh local and Italian ingredients.

Diego and his fire

Since Kimon’s birthday, we have brought numerous friends and my whole family to get in on this bubbling pizza sensation.  We even included our puppy, Lorenzo who loves his older cousin, Ferdinando: the boss, the dueño, the dog, the inspiration for the pizzeria’s name.  Any comments, concerns, complaints?  Talk to him.

Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

No doggie bags at Ferdinando’s

Ferdinando's Pizza menu on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The beginning of the pizza quest

Ferdinando’s Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

My Mom and Pops, self-proclaimed pizza lovers and global food critics, rate Ferdinando’s pizza  top-notch. On their world tour, they ate at Ferdinando’s at least once a week in June and July to keep their winter fingers warm and their stomachs lined with Grizzly and Shanico’s.  It was the only way to make it through the Cape Town frigid rain and wind-warm up by the wood-burning oven and digest the best immune boosters: Extra garlic four cheese pizza and don’t pass on the Tiger Sauce!

My brother-in law, Billy, specially requested a beef calzone from Diego (there’s nothing this oven can’t do.)

Ferdinando's Pizza calzone on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The Winter Calzone

My sister, Koko, said  “Yes” to the mozzerella baby (Kimon’s term for eating copious amounts at Ferdinando’s pizza).  Koko used to pick the cheese off her pizza in the 90’s before we had any awareness of Vegan and Lactose-Intolerance diets.  One night at Ferdinando’s pizza can make any Vegan beg for a French Prince. They even make Gluten-free-dom crusts!

Koko eating her share of mozzarella and camembert

And so the love saga continues.  Kimon and Diego love Ferdinando, we love them AND their pizza-oven addition.  We’ll keep supporting them even after the 10,000th pizza is sold and sit down to joy with a reservation for 2 and 1/4, Chris, myself and pup, Lorenzo.

Athena and Chris at Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

Pizza is love yo

Call Kimon or Diego for your own mozzarella baby with Tiger sauce for any Wed, Thurs, Friday Evening 6pm-10pm. And book on Saturdays for your own foodie celebration for 15 or more.  On Monday and Tuesdays, they’ll be eating at our house 😉

CONTACT:Kimon at Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

Mr Diego il chef +27 843519248; miss Kimon the artist +27 847710485.

A Durban Curry Bunny Chow Heat Feast in Cape Town

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on January 15, 2012 at 09:34

Durban Curry Bunny Chow on The Culinary Linguist Blog #South AfricaClimate change and Durban curry?  What do they have in common?

It’s the only meal that will cool you down when a sub-tropical heatwave rolls through Cape Town.  A humid blanket covered the the whole city.  To survive the heat, we consumed the heat.  We invited our friends and a self-proclaimed Durban curry chef to bring their favorite curry ingredients, unsliced white bread and their swimming costumes.  Together, we sat by the pool regulating our body temperatures until the heat feast began.  Here’s a sneak peak of all the spicy humid harmony that was sprinkled

around the house:

Durban Curry Bunny Chow Pool Party on The Culinary Linguist Blog #South Africa

Pimm’s lemonade and soda

Olives, kuhestan’s persoan pickled lime served with cucumber slices

Banana, coconut sambal

Raita

Onion, tomato, dhania, red/yellow/green pepper/red cabbage with lemon or rice vinegar

Nice ‘n Spicy Natal Indian Masala Curry

Guy cooked for ten of us in two pots, frying the onions in oil until golden brown, together with garlic and ginger and the spices from Nice ‘n Spice.

Keeping it orginal and true to Durban bunny chow, there was chicken and potato added and cooked together to make a nice thick curry stew.

Here is a sample recipe to try at home as per Nice ‘n Spicy spice packets:

1 kg diced beef, mutton or chicken

1/4 cup oil for frying

2 chopped medium onions

4 cloves garlic crushed

1 small piece ginger root grated

10 curry leaves optional

1 tsp salt

1 TB sugar

2 large ripe tomatoes chopped

4 potatoes peeled and cubed

1/4cup chopped coriander leaves

15 grams Nice ‘n Spicy Masala curry mix

Courtesy of www.agnet.co.za/nicenspice

Curry is best if cooked the day before and allowed to develop its full flavour overnight in the refrigerator.  We didn’t wait and left no curry drop behind.  We used bread as our utensils and wiped every flavour from the dishes clean.

Check out the behind the scenes on the slideshow:

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Spinach and Agushi: Ghanaian Flavour at the Portobello Market

In Events, Travel on August 10, 2011 at 13:36

Spinach & Agushi at the Portobello Market on The Culinary Linguist Blog #London

As I’m writing this my mouth is watering again.

We went to London to celebrate my Pop’s “Bones” 70th birthday year.  We travelled 9623 km from Cape Town and hopped around the 940 metres of Portobello Market in London.  There were hundreds of stalls to choose from for our varied market food palettes.  I came across the funky chalk-printed sign Spinach and Agushi, The Ghanaian Food Co. I was intrigued by the aroma and liked their Earth-friendly packaging.

 My whole family got order envy when the friendly market vendor from Congo dished me up a super-size portion after I rapped my two words of Lingala to him. I even got extra fresh salad garnish on top.

Exclamations of tastiness poured from my mouth after the first spoonful combo of seasoned rice and spinach& agushi stew reached my tastebuds.  I was a happy chowing tourist. It was most flavour-packed food at the market hands down and made me smile to know I was celebrating the diverse culture and food from the very continent I had just travelled from.

Spinach & Agushi at the Portobello Market on The Culinary Linguist Blog #London

No joke, this dish makes me want to go to Ghana to sample more of the spicy flavourful cuisine.  I’m putting it on my list of things to do. 🙂 I snagged a brochure of their booming London catering biznass, Jollof Pot. They deliver and cater events, serving up amazing dishes like gari foto-grated cassava flavoured in a spicy tomato sauce with roasted pepper and red onions, chilli prawns with crispy sweet potato chips and tilapia and coco yam cakes.

I’ll have to tell you, this stall of Ghanaian seasoned rice and stew put the popular Spanish paella stand to shame. It’s true. I did sample the flashy pan-cooked stuff and it had nothing on Spinach & Agushi . . . I wish I would have gone back or hope to someday eat at the Jollof Pot’s restaurant.  In other words, when Pops says “We’re going to have fish and chips for dinner in London.” I’ll say, “Meet me at the Jollof Pot for chilli prawns and sweet potato chips!”

The Jollof Pot has a online shop: You can order this food hamper or Ghanaian spice kits. 

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