Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘discovery’

8 of the Tastiest Locally-Made Foods That Will Make Your Day | Cape Town, South Africa

In Friend's Kitchens, Travel on May 24, 2015 at 18:16

The Culinary Linguist-Cape Town best food listKeeping the love alive.

These 8 food creators in Cape Town, South Africa win my heart.  Yes, the list can go on and will.  But this is what comes to mind for now.  Guide yourself down this golden road of food happiness that #willmakeyourday and please share with me your favourites to add!

Cake-Bomb--the culinary linguist -cape town food list by Athena1. CupCake Richard 

Because everyone should eat cake or cupcakes.

If your tummy, tongue and tastebuds vary to the degree of “I can’t eat wheat, sugar, or carrots” then fear not –  you can eat these cakes.  Yes, I’m talking to you gluten-freedom fighters, etc out there.  Dive in.  They don’t exclude anyone.  They keep it fun and innovative with their recipes so ALL can enjoy.  Out of the kindness of their hearts (and yours), they take it upon themselve to cake bomb every last friday of the month to someone who deserves the love of 12 cupcakes personally delivered to them in Cape Town.  That is the coolest thing a baker could ever gift 🙂  Random Acts of Kindness!

#willmakeyourday 🙂

To get hold of some cake:

info@cupcakerichard.com   tel: 083 737 3417  Cape Town

ferdinando's Pizza- Culinary Linguist Cape Town Food list

Pizza Ferdinandos -the culinary linguist -cape town food list by Athena 2. Ferdinando’s Pizza (Hindi & the Shanico) & Garlic Aioli

Laughter, Peace, Pizza and Love.  This wood-burning pizzeria is a bubbly and beautiful dream come true.  Creators, Diego and Kimon, weave their joy and flavours into two beautiful places that serve wholesome, delicious and fantastical pizza and platters that leave you smiling inside and out.  Diego’s pizza dough is incomparable to the countless pizza houses around Cape Town – no one comes close to the crispy chewy sourdough crusts and the fun variety of pizza toppings. Check out the beginning of their story here and continue it for yourself at these spots:

  • 84 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
  • NEW!! 205 Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town
  • Pizza cape Town the culinary linguist -cape town food list by Athena084 771 0485 to book a table
  • ferdinandospizza@gmail.com  Tuesday to Saturday 6pm – 10pm on Kloof
  • Call for lunch & dinner hours for Observatory

Chocolate -the culinary linguist -cape town food list by Athena3. Soma Confection Custom Chocolates

The no-limit soldier of chocolate, Heather Thompson, is inspired by fun, quirky and delicious . . . chocolate creations.  This includes edible book pages, brains, and Darth Vader.  Amongst other things, when she’s not found spinning vinyls, dreaming and scheming apocalypse survival tips, she’s making your dreams come true in edible chocolate forms.  Ask about her 420 spa too!

072 632 7288  – Heather

Spinach Bread-the culinary linguist -cape town food list by Athena4. Espinaca Innovations Spinach Bread 

Popeye power in a bread loaf: Espinaca serves up freshly baked green bread with hints of cayenne and bay leaf to boost your nutrition and well-being.  Pair it up with their freshly pressed apple, pineapple and spinach juice.  Take home their spinach and feta muffins and spread their message to your friends.  The Spinach Bread King, Lufefe, has big plans and his green food movement is rolling out all over Cape Town.  Support!

No 42 Spine Road, Khayelitsha
Cape Town, Western Cape
073 095 0119 -Spinach Bread King, Lufefe

Mariam's Kitchen -the culinary linguist -cape town food list by Athena

5. Mariam’s Kitchen Salomies 

The flakey pastry, a.k.a Mariam’s rotis, is the type of dish that you crave when you are overseas.  Nothing else compares to the spices and hand-rolled dough that makes up these classic salomies.  Order a bean or steak masala salomie with your favourite fizzy drink to bring a taste of home cooking into your lunchtime.  Every crispy, gooey bite #willmakeyourday.

101 St George’s Mall Arcade, CBD.  7:30am -4pm

Oumeul Pies Cape Town - The Culinary Linguist by Athena

6. Oumeul Bakkery Pies

It all started on a road trip on the N2, Garden Route.  Pass by Riviersonderend and load up on the freshly baked spinach and cheese pies.  Whether it’s lamb, bobotie or chicken pie, the recipe and tradition #willmakeyourday in Cape Town at these locations:

14 Long Street CBD & Willowbridge

Peshwari naan-the culinary linguist -cape town food list by Athena

7.  Eastern Food Bazaar’s Peshwari Naan and Coconut Ice Cream

For the coconut lovers out there.  Dried grated coconut and ghee baked inside freshly prepared flatbread, then top it with coconut ice cream made with natural ingredients!  It’s a DIY gourmet combo in the middle of the bustling city arcade from noon til 11pm!

96 Longmarket St, Cape Town, 8001

Telephone: +27 21 461 2458.

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:00am – 10:00pm. Friday & Saturday: 11:00am – 10:30pm

Cape Town bakeries-Lazari-the culinary linguist-Athena8.  Lazari’s Millionaire Squares & All-Day breakfast

Butter, sugar, chocolate alchemy at it’s best.  Chris and the team at Lazari are like the family you always wanted.  They make scrumptious baked goods, pies and daily specials in Vredehoek.  What #willmakeyourday is the daily baked goods by the cash register – buy at least six of the toffee Millionaire squares to take home after you’ve enjoyed a breakfast on a late Saturday morning.  Although this friendly neighbourhood cafe is famous for their white pink chocolate and vanilla cupcakes – I will never say no to the Millionaires!

Corner of Upper Maynard and Vredehoek Ave, Cape Town, 8001

hello @ lazari .co .za

021 461 9865

  • MON-FRI7.30am – 5pm
  • SAT-SUN8.30am – 4pm

Yes, and the list could go on . . .

Let me have it.

culinary linguist food list by Athena

photos are my own or jacked from the Google intraweb 🙂 Thanks!

How to make South African beer – uMqombhothi from Maize Meal

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on February 3, 2015 at 19:34

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Sip Sip sippin on uMqombhothi: A nutritious beer made from maize meal which can transform into a sweet or savoury porridge when cooked known as Idokwe. how to make south african beer maize umqombhothi

 The thing is, a recipe is a map – but your destination is your own alchemy.  With naturally fermented foods, it’s an all element creation.  Whether you are in the tropical swamps, humid concrete jungle or a dry desert land, your fermented food/drink will react and grow in different ways (just like my hair does when it rains 🙂
 I’ve got bottles of experiments, from pineapple wine to apple cider scobys growing by the day.  However, uMqombhoti is a recipe to inspire you to learn various food traditions from all over the world while bringing your own kitchen alchemy and culinary linguistics to the table.
South African beer-maize meal umqombhoti idokwe recipe -
 Alongside pineapple and ginger beer, uMqombhoti has an enhanced pungent taste, high in Vitamin B and most often shared communally from a ceramic bowl, gourd or pot used for the fermentation process.  It’s tradition and magic has been celebrated in South African homes for years – so when I asked my friend, @noksangoma to share her method for making one of the famous fermented drinks, she went on to say:
I dont have a ‘recipe’ for umqombhothi, I just follow an intuitive process in preparing it, because nobody actually told me how to make it. My ‘recipe’ is a mix of how my maternal grandmother makes umqombothi and how the eldest wives in my dad’s family make it.

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 Ingredients
maize meal
sorghum – king korn umthombo (green packet)
water
brown sugar (optional)
 How to make South African Maize Beer-Umqombhoti - via The Culinary Linguist
2.
mix equal quantities of imithombo with maize meal.
make a paste using boiling water.
place in a container (a bucket or big jar or jug. preferably use ukhamba, if you dont have a clay one, a plastic one will suffice)
store the mixture on in a dark corner or on the floor. overnight, or for 2 or 3 days – depending on how hot it is.
3.
when the mixture smells a little fermented, boil water in a pot and add the paste slowly while stirring continuously (like how you make custard)
lower the stove’s heat as the mixture thickens. let it simmer for about an hour. once this is cooked, it’s called idokwe and is delicious as a porridge with lots of sugar.
4.
cool idokwe – this may take a few hours.
once cooled down, mix the idokwe with cold water and mush it up with your hand til it’s drinking consistency
the potency of the umqombhothi depends on the magic of your mixing hand. my left hand is my mqombhothi mixing hand. my left side is my grancestor/feminine side – they are with me when I make umqombhothi.
How to make South African Maize Beer-Umqombhoti - via The Culinary Linguist
5.
once youve mixed idokwe with cold water, add more imithombo to the mixture and mix with your hand, and if you wish, some brown sugar to help the fermentation process along 🙂
again, place in a dark corner for about 3 days while it ferments.
6.
once the umqombhothi is fermented, it smells a little pungent, and little bubbles will be popping on the surface
strain the fermented mixture. the solid sorghum bits are called izinsipho. you may freeze a handful of izinsipho to use in a new batch of umqombhothi (izinsipho help to ferment a batch quicker, since theyve already fermented before)
 Food-Recipes-How to make South African Maize Beer-Umqombhoti - via The Culinary Linguist
7.
pour a cupful of umqombhothi as an offering, place in a sacred space in the home. this is for amaDlozi (spirit elders/ancestors/spirit guides)
8.
enjoy the rest!
rules for umqombhothi:
it is considered rude to drink umqombhothi while standing.
umqombhothi is best enjoyed with others. preferably while sitting in a circle, before a meal or after
umqombhothi is used as an offering in ceremonies and rituals. it is an integral part of cultural and spiritual ceremonies.
 Thanks Noks!  xx  Love, The Culinary Linguist

How to Eat and Think about Bug Grub: A Taste of Entomophagy

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe, Stories on June 25, 2014 at 16:08

Would you ever say, “I’m a Entomo-tarian and love crickets roasted and tossed in sea salt and cayenne pepper and covered in chocolate?”

How to eat crickets -recipe

Chocolate covered Crickets at Soma Confection Laboratories. Pic by Heather Thompson

Considering bugs as grub gives way for the future of Pestaurants, cricket flour protein bars and stinkbug snacks being served in city centres across the globe.

With two other curious minds, adventurous taste buds and a love for food (with wings), we nibbled on cricket parts and chocolate-covered nosh once living in the wild.  Conversations about insect anatomy, and the future of entomophagy, got me thinking on the topic of the fast frozen-once-hopping jimineys.

My love for “how to” and DIY in culinary arts has led me to simmering  Mopani worms and foraging fresh sea vegetables. It’s my quest for promoting variety in our appetites, being a MacGyver in the kitchen and working with what you have and what is presented to you.  But will the high in protein, beneficial fatty acids, essential vitamins and micronutrients in insects become primary ingredients in our morning porridge?  I can see a future in dipping celery sticks in smoked paprika chickpea grasshopper pâté .

When will people from different hemispheres be sharing bug-eating habits?  Will you eat insects from your garden instead of using insecticide?

 Insects as a food source has been practiced for many generations in various parts of the world, and people are beginning to see past the gross factor.

Environmentally, insects take up less space, reproduce at a faster rate and have a better feed-to-meat ratio when compared to cattle and other alternative meat sources such as ostrich, goat, and pork.  Insects for human consumption could help in solving a wide range of ecological, economic and health related issues and concerns in our world of food production and nutrition.

But will you add it to your grocery list?

Will you start farming organic crickets instead of building a chicken coop?

As we continue to urbanise but become more wise and sovereign in our food choices, this may be your answer.

And people keep asking me, “So what do crickets taste like?”

This batch was a crispy, smokey grass with a chilli-chocolate punch in your mouth.  But if you’re looking to build your muscles, beetles are your super power protein source.

Stay tuned for Entomo – recipes as we expand our culinary linguistics together:  A Chocolate Confectioner, Agroecologist and a Culinary Nomad.  If you are chomping at the bit:  Eat a Bug Cookbooks are already on the shelves at an Amazon near you.

entomophagy in chocolate and spices How to eat crickets in chocolate -#theculinarylinguist

Crickets collected by AgroEcologist/Entomophager: Zayaan Khan.

How do crickets taste like in chocolate -#theculinarylinguist

Pop, Crunch and Chocolate with a side of Coco-nutty bar chocolate bar.

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

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

Top Ten South African Foods to Try While Visiting South Africa

In Stories, Travel on April 11, 2013 at 14:53

Image

What do people eat in South Africa? 

I came to study in South Africa, Education, Sociolinguistics and Ethnographic Research to be exact.  After I got accepted into the program, my google searches involved, surfing South Africa, capoeira South Africa and food South Africa.

Firstly, I didn’t know anything about surfing–I grew up in Chicago. I spent summers visiting my Yiayia in Greece and went to university in Michigan the rest of the year where bodies of water were mostly frozen or used for summer water-skiing.  I was pro at balancing on swimming pool floatation devices.  I could also be found getting tan through Adriatic sea reflection on Grecian pebble shorelines.  It was December in East Lansing.  The type of cold that makes your hair grow back inside it’s follicle and remain ingrown until May.  Gore-Tex isn’t just used on Patagonia slopes, it’s essential to wear while you walk to your 10:15 lecture.

Surfing South Africa to me meant warm sub-tropical weather and a romanticized idea of surfing.  Instead of knowing what kinds of waves a surfer like me would surf, I thought the site with South African surf slang was more interesting.  It was a foreign language.  I had no clue or what jargon they were even referring to, so I changed my search terms.  I thought-warm ocean, waves to learn surfing, a new university on the ocean for six months…get fit.  After printing out recommended surf workouts, I quickly learned my shoulders were made for shoveling snow. My paddling could take me around a pond in Michigan, but I didn’t know ocean waves.

So I thought about capoeira.

I didn’t know much about capoeira except that my brother and friends had been going to classes in Chicago for years.   The year before, I went to Rio de Janeiro. I loved to watch and sing in the rodas in Ilha Grande.

Back at MSU, My African Studies class was so broad the only hint of a food/cultural reference to South Africa was the professor’s cravings for Portuguese bakeries in Kwa-Zulu Natal.  When I looked up capoeira, I found a student class, Capoeira Na Praia, at University of KwaZulu Natal. I was excited to play capoeira there since I wasn’t the surfer girl I thought I was. I was the girl who would most likely wear a brasilian bikini and chew sugarcane on the beach while collecting shells to make necklaces. At least I knew I would be getting in on the feijoada fundraising dinners with the capoeira club, but South African food–what is it? What else besides this Portuguese bakery is going to be in South Africa? What delicious foods are in South Africa?

Years later, I’m still learning the many tastes of South African food.  I ended up marrying the surfer who taught me capoeira, who fed me Johnny’s Roti’s at 4am while I made brincadeiros in his mom’s Cypriot kitchen.

I didn’t know much about the food in South Africa when I arrived but I will share with you what I have learned along the way.  There are so many foods that are worth celebrating.  South African Flavour is unique and layered.  The modest list below is just a few staples for any visitor to know and love.

The Culinary Linguist | Boerwors | Food in #SouthAfrica

Top ten foods to try:

  1. Curried sugar bean Bunny chow

It’s beyond what Panera bread company tried to do.  Edible bread bowls at their best plus you could get a history lesson through every bite.  Many generations of Indian labourers sat down and ate that very homemade meal at lunch break during the days of Ghandi’s presence in South Africa.  This food tradition continues today and is found all over the country. The Culinary Linguist | Durban Curry Bunny Chow in South Africa and Recipe

2. Johnny’s Sunrise Rotis/ Mariam’s Salomies

The Culinary Linguist | Gatsby Sandwich | Food in #SouthAfrica

The Gatsby Sandwich Baby Hold. Onlookers are amused or just hungry while they wait for theirs?

The Culinary Linguist | Salomie |  Food in #South Africa

Salomie Bite

Roti’s in some provinces, salomies with puff pastry style wraps in the Western Cape.  Whether it comes with mutton garam masala stew or corn, chips and cheese–order it and love it and ask your favourite local where to get the best.

3.Boerewors on a braai

It’s farmer’s beef sausage. You can get fancy with it and chow it with a roll, but it’s plain perfect off the BBQ, try it with a squeeze of lemon on top while it’s hot.  Get some with cumin or fennel mixed in, or try an ostrich version for variety.

4. Masala steak Gatsby sandwich

Don’t try to finish is alone, this sandwich, like the Johnny’s Roti is large enough to carry in a stroller.  I personally like the Masala steak but the Calamari and Chip Gatsby is scrumptious if you’re by the sea.

5. Sugarcane juice, litchis (lychee) and spicy pineapple

Freshly squeezed on Durban’s beachfront, sugarcane juice with lemon is the way lemonade should taste.  Litchi’s (Lychee) hanging of the trees in December and spicy pineapple on kebab sticks at the beach bring your sunburn to a tickling heat.

Image

6. Mealie bread (isinkwa sombila)

Help light the firewood, peel the mealies and get to work grinding them into a pulp to add to the flour.  This traditional pot bread is worth working for.

7. Peri-Peri chicken or prawns

So I never found portuguese bakeries that my professor spoke about, but I did learn about Mozambiquean cuisine and African bird’s eye chilis (Peri-Peri or Piri-Piri) is added to heat every bite of your flavourful meal.The Culinary Linguist | Raw Oysters | Food in #SouthAfrica


8. Oysters

Wild Coast, KZN, Knysna, Namibian–makes me want to have a mermaid’s lunch everyday and boost my zinc levels.

9. Samp and Beans (istambu)

A staple and standard that ClifBars should be made of.  Protein and Carbs at their best.

10. Malva pudding

The toffee sticky pudding on most menus at unpretentious South Africa food dives.  With custard or ice cream, or even the store bought Woolworth’s version makes you go ‘mmmmmmmmmmm.’

There are so many more foods to rave about, but these staples are a must for first time South African food tasters.  More lists to come . . .

ImageImageImageImageImage

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.

What to Eat when Visiting Greece’s villages: Nourishing Food Traditions

In Stories, Travel on February 5, 2012 at 13:24

Greek village food on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece   Summertime and road tripping lead to some of my favorite food adventure memories.  In Greece, you can drive on national highways and come across Greek village tavernas that serve greek horiatiki salads under grapevines.  Roadside stalls are piled with local fresh, dried, and preserved food that have been made and celebrated for centuries.  Tradition, food sovereignty, and pride for fresh Greek food is celebrated in most Greek villages you visit.  It certainly reigns true in the Greek village of my Greek summer food memories, Alepohori.  My grandmother, Yiayia Chrissy was born there, and I have grown to know the similar tastes and smells she must have enjoyed in her youth. From the chestnut tree forests and oregano-lined mountains, everything was grown organically and families shared the fruits of the Arcadian soil.  Visiting Alepohori today provides me with hundreds of simple food pleasures.  Today, I am sharing a few of my many favorites that you can enjoy.

1. Drink Ouzo.   If you can find local and homemade, even better.  In the village, drinking ouzo is pastime and for some . . . an immune booster 😉 You could claim that walking down to the tavern or to your neighbour’s house for  glass of ouzo on the hill is the reason why people live to 100 here, not to mention consuming a fresh medley of mezedes everyday.   If you like to enjoy long afternoons with traditional tiny plates of food and company from your neighbours, drink ouzo.

Greek Ouzo on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

2. Pick figs and eat them.  If you are lucky enough to be in Greece during the months of July, August, September then you will be in wild food harvesting heaven.

Greek figs on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

3.  Keep an eye out for summer fruit trees.  A simple mountain walk in the afternoon will lead you to picking fresh public produce from the fruit trees.  Below is a modest harvest of bite size Grecian yellow plums.

Picking plums on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

Greek food on The Culinary Linguists blog #GreeceGreek village cats on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

4.  Visit the local cheese dairy and choose the best tasting Feta made from Goat’s milk.  If there are different cheese varieties, buy a small portion of Manouri cheese and fry it up on a skillet at home.

ImageGreek food and cheese on The Culinary Linguists blog #GreeceImage

5. Pick fresh tomatoes from the vine and prepare a traditional Greek village salad:

 Greek salad recipe

2 large tomatoes (cut into bite size chunks)

Put in a medium-sized bowl and add salt to taste.  Toss the tomatoes so the salt draws out the juices.

Add a half a long thin cucumber (cut into half slices)

1/4 of red onion (cut into thin slices)

1/2 green pepper (cut into thin slices)

Mix the salad together.

Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the salad and a pinch of fresh or dried oregano.

1 slice of your fresh feta cheese (portion to your desire)

Place feta on top of the salad and sprinkle more oregano and drizzle more oil.

Add 5-7  marinated olives to the salad.

Grab forks and dive in.

(Note: Once you’ve finished you salad, leave an extra piece of Greek village bread and soak up all the golden juice: salt, tomato juice, oil and oregano, leaving your bowl clean.

Greek salad on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece #recipe

6.  Visit the local farms in the village.  Most are private plots and operate on biodynamic systems that yields incredible organic produce, beautiful to photograph and even tastier to eat straight from ground.

Greek food and natural farms on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

Greek food and honey on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

Be sure to taste honey made in the Peloponnesus mountains

Greek food on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece
Greek men on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece
Greek child on The Culinary Linguists blog #GreeceGreek donkey on The Culinary Linguists blog #GreeceGreek Sunflower on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

7.  Find out where your honey comes from.  Greek honey is so fragrant that getting a chance to see where all the flowers are in bloom makes your next spoonful a visual and sensory treat and a proud locavore.

Greek bread on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

8. Buy Greek village bread.  Next to Alepohori, there is another village, Blakhokeresia, that makes delicious authentic bread.

9.  Learn from your grandmothers.  Every house you visit, or path you cross is an opportunity to learn, taste and enjoy traditional and personal Greek food favorites.  Practice your culinary linguistics and enjoy the range of hospitality that is shown through the food and culture.  Greek village woman on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

10.  Share a delicious Greek village lunch feast with family and neighbors.  Digest it all by taking a nap-preferably in a hammock, underneath the chestnut trees.

Greek food on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

Souvlaki, rice, Greek Salad, baked lemon oven potatoes, sauteed tomato and green beans and anything else that may get piled onto your plate. It will be tasty!

Greek food and village on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

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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