Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Film Food – Documentary Stories of Cocoa, Life in Chocolate.

In Stories on August 1, 2014 at 22:35

First taste of chocolate.  Do you remember?  Remember the joy of opening a chocolate bar?

A journalist recently visited Cocoa farmers to film their first taste of chocolate.

Their reaction reminded me of the stories revealed by young child worker’s on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast in the Documentary: Semi-Sweet.

Re-post of a film review about the stories around the cocoa bean and chocolate. 

It’s 37 degrees in Paris while Patrick Roger’s chocolateir 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

Easy Spicy Zesty Sweet Chickpea Salad Recipe

In Recipe on June 27, 2013 at 14:34

Easy-Pineapple-Carrot-Chickpea-Salad-The Culinary-Linguist

What happens when you juice pineapples, carrots and fresh green serrano chiles?

A spunky zesty salad with sweet and spicy flavours can be created to fuel you through the day.   Last week, we bought lots of great farm produce from the City Bowl Market.

Back at home, I put pineapple and carrots and threw in a couple fresh green serrano chiles into the juicer to see if anything would come out.  Some great juice was made, but the pulp left inside was looking equally nutritious and delicious.

Spontaneous creations is how I would describe my kitchen technique.  I love creating recipes that make ordinary whole foods into unique delicious dishes.  Like James Beard once said, “When cook, you never stop learning.  That’s the fascination of it.”  With any chance to experiment in my kitchen with fresh ingredients, I let the space between mistakes and alchemy emerge.  Adding chiles into the juicer seemed natural and somehow, necessary.

I’ve shared some fun recipes before that have worked out great like: Strawberry-Beetroot Flapjacks, and Banana-Pecan Sorbet.  When creations in the kitchen lead to easy vibrant dishes, I get excited to share them with you.  Here’s what happened when I decided to juice green chiles with pineapples and carrots:

 The Spicy Zesty Sweet Chickpea Salad

Instead of throwing the pulp from the centrifugal juice extractor away or into your compost bin, try adding it to recipes like this one:

Juice and fiber of three medium sized carrots

 Juice and fiber of half a small pineapple

 Juice and fiber of two green serrano chiles

 Juice of and fiber of large lemon and zest

500 grams of sprouted or cooked chickpeas  (garbanzo beans)

1 finely chopped fresh red pepper

1 finely chopped red onion

1 diced roma tomato

Salt, pepper and cumin to taste

Handful of fresh cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped dhania

Handful of coarsely crushed unsalted cashews

2 Haas avocados

Easy-Pineapple-Carrot-Chickpea-Salad-The Culinary-LinguistJuice the carrots, pineapple, chillies, and lemon in a juicer (with any centrifugal, one-gear, etc).  Empty the juice into a large mixing bowl, and scrape the pulp from inside the juicer into the same bowl.  Add the diced tomato, red pepper, chickpeas, onion, salt, cumin, pepper and lemon zest into the bowl with juice and pulp.  Mix well and let it sit and marinate for 20 minutes.  Mix dhania into the salad, leaving some leaves for garnish.

Cut the avocados into half and remove the flesh from the avocado shell.  Slice the avocado into long slices.  Scoop the salad into the halves of the avocado shell as an appetizer serving bowl.  Place avocado slices and dhania leaves on top as garnish.  Enjoy!  The salad can definitely be stored in the fridge and be enjoyed the following day.

Tip:  It’s best to stir in the dhania and avocado when you plan to serve and eat it immediately.

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

detroitathenalamberis0042 detroitathenalamberis0038 detroitathenalamberis0037

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

Urban foraging and making Mulberry Tart

In Recipe, Stories on September 20, 2012 at 22:33

Mulberries: Urban foraging on The Culinary Linguists blog #recipe

Growing up, we used to pick wild mulberries. The dark mulberries ripened to their juicy capacity and fell on the pavement, painting the sidewalks purple.  This was nature’s graffiti and we were young urban foragers. Just below Chicago’s purple EL line, we thought the forest preserve was our Jungle Book fantasy and we ate from the trees along the canal.  From the early months of spring to late summer, we would bring pots and buckets home with red-stained fingers.

Urban foraging mulberries in South Africa on The Culinary Linguists blog #recipe

We ate every shade of red mulberry until our lips were purple and stomach’s sour.  We picked so much that we were left with no choice to boil them into a mulberry jam.  The berries always tasted better straight from the tree but the syrupy preserve on toast or over yoghurt made the season of red mulberries last.

Mulberry on The Culinary Linguists blog #recipe

Today, the mulberry tree keeps painting me purple and I get to try new and old recipes that transform a harvest into nourishing treats.  Springtime in Johannesburg brought all these childhood memories back, getting sugar high from trees and overdosing on the tart ruby mulberries.  As if the sweetness from the harvest wasn’t enough, I made a mulberry tart from an adapted recipe I learned while managing the kitchen and guest lodge of Los Cardones surf eco-lodge and restaurant on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast.  This tart has been loved by many!  Pass on the joy:

Stauder French Tart Recipe

Preheat oven to 350F/180C

Dough Crust:

2 egg yolks

8 TB sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups sifted flour

1 bar softenedd butter

Mix butter, sugar and salt.  Add eggs and mix in flour.  Mold to a tart pan and poke with a fork.  Store in fridge while you prepare filling.

Fruit Filling:

2 egg whites

8 TB sugar

1 bar melted butter

1/2 cup mulberries (smashed)

Mix egg whites, sugar and butter together. Add in fruit.

Take crust out of the fridge and pour fruit filling into chilled tart mold.  Bake until crust is golden brown.  Let it cool for 30 minutes before serving.

This easy recipe can be adapted into any ready available fruit you want to make into a desert (or breakfast treat.)  Some versions we tried and loved: dragonfruit-pitaya, kalala-passion fruit-grenadilla, lemon, orange, banana, and pineapple.

Scream for Ice Cream at Breakfast: Banana. Strawberry & Pecan Recipe-Egg and Dairy-free

In Recipe on September 13, 2012 at 19:17

Raw-Vegan Dairy-Free Ice Cream on The Culinary Linguists blog #recipeWho said you can’t eat ice cream for breakfast?  I don’t have a Vitamix. I don’t have an Oscar.  But I can still make easy raw food creations with what I have.  I’m using the trusty MegaMix Juicer.  During the days tofu was all the hype, Mom would add frozen bananas to our morning tofu smoothies. I steer clear of soy products as much as I can now, but I ALWAYS wait until bananas go brown and sweet and keep them frozen in the freezer for when the time is right.

For this recipe, I “juiced” two frozen bananas and added 6 fresh strawberries with a handful of pecans in between.  I know it may not be the best for the blade, but the soft pecans gave a creamy consistency, making it more of an ‘ice cream’ than a sorbet. The constitution of strawberries and frozen bananas creates a thick slushy texture once it passes through the juicer blade.  Slush instead of juice may pass through the juice spout, but all the frozen ‘cream’ is left inside the juicer’s filter where normally all the fiber of juicing fruits are left.

The fun part: scooping out all the ‘ice cream’ from the walls of the filter. I easily could have eaten from the juicer’s filter, but then I wouldn’t have been able to take the tantalizing photo of this simple nutritious ice cream.

Whether you are interested in raw food creations, vegan-ital cuisine, lactose intolerant recipes or just love ice cream for breakfast-this easy recipe in any juicer will make anyone a morning person screaming for ice cream!

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

Keep it Fresh with Juice and Beets

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on November 10, 2011 at 13:15

When my amigaFresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice, talented singer/songwriter, Ernestine Deane, was preparing to migrate to Germany, she generously gave her juicer a new home, which is now my new favourite kitchen instrument.  Up until Ernestine’s last week in Cape Town, the Le Dou MagiMix spun out delicious alchemy for her family, most importantly fresh orange juice to keep the immune system boosting during the last winter months in the Cape Town peninsula.  Now that oranges are less in abundance and spring has come into play, the iron and folic acid powerhouse: beetroot is added to every juice mix I make. Find out more what beets have to offer at: Juicing for your Health.Fresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice

The recipe below is my morning favourite.  Rich in beta-carotene, anti-oxidants and iron . . . It makes me feel that I’ll never have to wear blush again if I keep consuming such colourful produce. Turn up the volume to soulful dub while you juice your carrot sticks and beets.  It will brighten your insides and out: Play it here and wash your veggies nice.

In your juicer:

Six whole carrots

1 beetroot

Six strawberries

Healthy Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice #recipe

Chop some fresh mint for a natural mouth freshener while you gulp down the goodness.

Makes almost a pint of juice!  Chug it down.

Dankie Erniewam! x

TIP: Juice the carrots first and remove the carrot fiber from the juicing blades and place in your garden compost.  The worms will thank you. Then juice the beetroot and strawberries and save the fiber so you can later transform it into a scrumptious breakfast. (I made pink pancakes with it.)  Stay tight for that yummy post soon.

Fresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice #recipe

It’s not Rabbit Food, It’s Rainbow Raw Salsa Salad.

In Recipe on November 9, 2011 at 12:34

Call it rabbit food, but it is damn delicious and surprisingly filling too.  Inspired by Raw-vember, I made a spicy salad that is bright and tangy in flavour and festive on the eye.

Raw Salsa Salad on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

This is a super quick, easy and yummy crunch salad that has major nutrients because it is a whole bunch of raw vegetables and fruit at its best.  It can easily be a dish in a non-raw setting and served with tortilla chips and used as a salsa or sambal to any main dish.

I recently bought an organic cold-pressed Omega 3-6-9 (Hemp, Sesame, Pumpkinseed, Flax) oil blend and added that to the raw ingredients thanks to Crede Oils.  It gave a delicious but different flavour instead of using extra virgin olive oil.

Try this recipe out with whatever produce is freshest in your fridge but this combination is a great balance of colour and flavour.

Rainbow Salsa Salad: a Raw food discovery

2 Roma tomatoes

1 large carrot

1/4 red onion

1/2 lemon with peel

1 yellow pepper

1 Serrano chile

1 kiwi

2 tablespoons of Crede’s Omega 3-6-9 Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 TB sunflower seeds

Wash your vegetables and fruit thoroughly and quarter the tomatoes, carrot, onion, yellow pepper, lemon and chile. (Leave the chile out if you don’t want the kick)  Put all in a food processor and pulse for 6 seconds so they have been chopped in small chewable pieces.  Place chopped vegetables and fruit into a bowl and drizzle Omega 3-6-9 oil.  Put salt and pepper and sunflower seeds on top and stir until the salad is coated in the oil, salt and pepper and the sunflowers are distributed around.  Garnish with slices of kiwi.  Eat immediately. Enjoy the chew!

Raw Spicy Salsa Salad on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

Love and Local Produce on the Umtamvuna River Bank

In Events, Travel on August 1, 2011 at 09:58

We found it, one part wild, one part green, two parts water and three parts love.  The place we plan to get married and celebrate the love adventure and journey up ahead.  And it has been ever evolving into a beautiful recipe with such variations and discoveries, the metaphor for love found in the chemistry of the right geographical elements.

Two verveet monkeys played together as joyful greeting to our arrival from the winding road. The sparkle from the Umtamvuna river bed bounced light from the 2 o’clock sun. I knew, we had arrived.  Ses’fikile.

The road leading to the river lodge gave signs of all the gifts this fertile bank offers, eventhough, the word Umtamvuna has been translated as the “Reaper of Mouthfuls” due to river floods that had taken away crops from the people farming on the banks.  Farm stalls lined Izingolweni Road with signs of seasonal produce available: Macadamia, Pecans, Cashews, Bananas, Oranges, Lemons, Butternut, Spinach and Cabbage.

There was also free range inkhukhu chicken eggs and a variety of locally produced preserves, sauces, biltong, etc.  This all made my heart beat with happiness-cause it was evident that we can have a deliciously seasonal and locally produced wedding feast for our loved ones celebrating and supporting us in our marriage.  I was a kid in a candy store, only my tastes have evolved. I was drooling over the cappuccino cream we tasted at Beaver Creek Farm and the freshly cracked Macadamia nuts we sampled in its raw flavourful delight.

Food variations and feast ideas came popping into our heads and I felt so grateful for the possibility of it all coming into place.  I’ll keep you updated on the menu ideas we have up our sleeve.  I’m so happy it’s citrus season which will be very useful to make the Tequila and Tortilla Bar happen!

Pomegranates for Breakfast

In Stories on June 8, 2011 at 00:31

ruby juice star sign

If theres one thing I like about winter its the fact that pomegranates are readily available to my tastebud’s needs.  If I had to make up a fast or some sort of ‘cleanse detox’ sort of regime it would be to eat pomegranates for breakfast lunch and dinner and in this ‘detox,’ we would have pomegranate desert.

So here I am on my balcony on a mild Cape Town winter afternoon and opening up a ripe red pomegranate with just the right amount of juicy ruby kernels. This moment could be the equivalent to someone lighting up with delight as they see a rainbow or a pair of zebra in the distance.  Me, I’m easy, yeah a rainbow and zebras are cool but send me a crate of pomegranates for my birthday and my heart beats with happiness forever-but ripe ones please (don’t torture me).

Another great idea: People! Let’s line our streets with fruit trees, not oak and maple!  And if your in my hood then I’ll be there with my pomegranate seeds planting new trees every year on every corner.  Until then, I wait until the pomegranates are at the height of their season and are on sale at my nearest market so I can afford to buy about 10 at a time cause my fruit basket only wants pomegranates in winter.  I feel I am doing my Greek girl duty to delight myself on such a Mediterranean activity of eating pomegranates everyday, an anciently-respected sweet beautiful treasure.

edible masterpiece

Each individual morsel is a fantastical taste bud circus, it beats housing a packet of Starburst or a bag of Skittles, which I could devour with almost the same delight.  Eating a pomegranate stains your lips and mouth the same as it’s artificial fruit posers.  So maybe that’s why i love pomegranates so much, as my South African compadres always remind me “Only American’s really LOVE candy”.  So if that’s the case we are arguing, then yes, pomegranates are my natural candy treat.  Every pomegranate is like opening up a variety pack of flavours, each segment being unwrapped and devoured to maximize full flavour capacity and the best part is it’s packaging gets enjoyed by the worms.

So go buy your own packet of “Ruby Juice Bursts!’ (That’s what I would call them if I had to market them like candy.) And now that pomegranates are synonymous with candy, will we start giving pomegranates out to trick-or-treaters for Halloween? Well, hopefully in coming years, kids of all ages, including me, can go pick them their selves at their nearest street corner lined with Ruby Juice Burst Trees.  I’ll take Granada flavour please.

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