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Adam Balic

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Posts posted by Adam Balic

  1. I often make a garlic sauce for Fish or raw Veg. Take garilc, place in motar, add salt grind to a paste, add egg yolk, mix. Add olive oil drop wise while mixing, do this until you get a sauce. Is very good to add to pasta as well, as it forms a sort of creamy galic sauce, that you can use as a bse to add clams or shrimp etc to.

  2. The last time I was in Florence I had stuffed chicken neck. It had been poached and sliced, with the slices surrounding the upright remains of the neck, with the head attached. Undortunately, the expanded stuffing was coming out of the chickens beak, so the overall effect was of a decapitated, vomiting chicken, frozen in mid-vomit. The other people at the table asked me not to face the chicken towards them, as it was making them uneasy. Tasted good though.

  3. I am in the final phase of planing my trip to Florence. I hope that it will be an orgy of offal eating. So far I have planned to eat:

    - Trippa (tripe, from the side walk tripe stalls)

    - Lampredotto (chitterlings, from the Central food market).

    - Buristo (black pudding with pine nuts and candied citron/pumpkin)

    - Soppressata (head cheese flavoured with fennel, lemon and pear)

    - if I can get it; baby goats tongues cooked in sweet/sour sauce.

    - all manner of chicken liver crostini thingys.

    Have I missed anything?

  4. Adam-Well aside from the subjective discussion if it is crappy or not, and you seem to say that since the onset of the 18C it has declined, which also happens to be the period we are discussing. But you are saying it is mainly a matter of culture and not economics. But the inference of your statement was that a tradition of dining is stronger among certain cultures than others. So if you don't mind me asking, are you Catholic or Protestant? And was/is food culture a function of religious upbringing.

    Steve - I am just quoting you so I can remember what you said three pages ago!

    To answer your question my father's family are Catholic (Croatian), my mothers family are Anglo-Saxon Anglican Protestants (low church). I was raised as the latter and yes of some aspects of of food are a function of religious upbringing (you don't really need me to tell you that right? :smile: ). My mother is a terrible cook, I was strange child that insisted that she buy one interesting thing for me to eat on her weekly shopping trips. I don't think that I am a good example , but I get your point.

    I don't think that I was talking about "dining", more about food culture in general. Obviously, food culture is going to be dependent on lots of different factors including economics, religion etc. For example, Henry VIII got rid of fish-days (a filthy Catholic thing), but they were re-introduced about one hundred years later because of the decline in coastal towns and to raise money for the State.

    I'm not sure British food declined from the 18th C, I would say it died (or nearly so) during the 19th and 20th . If you just want to consisder the top end, England was the most powerful nation in the world from the late 18th to 19th C. During the 17th-18th C. all the British cookbooks I have read have rejected French cooking techniques (ie give English beef and mutton plain and simple, rather then French Ragouts and gee-gaws). When the French culinary arts developed into something we would recognise as "Modern", after the revolution, a lot of it top end French chefs moved to England for secruity and money. Infact, the only great 19th C. chef that I can think of that wasn't in London much was Careme and he was mostly in Russia, not France.

    This is all just considering food culture as dining for the upper middle classes upward. I don't consider this the most important aspect of any particular group of peoples food culture. If by magic, fine dining in London became the best (French Mode?) in the world, I still would say that British food culture had a long way to go as long as 1) Supermarkets stocked more pre-prepared microwave shite then raw ingredients ; 2) all the points that Tony and others have made.

  5. Steve (Plotnicki) I have now read your latest Crappy thread :smile: . First I should say that I am by no means an expert on this subject, so feel free to disregard anything I say.

    "The reason that the food wasn't all that good for so long was that the population didn't have enough money to care about doing the things that improve the quality of their lives."

    First, I would disagree that British food was always crappy or compared poorly to other countries (let's say "France", to make it easy). Actually, from the comparative recipes of have seen from the 16-18th C., Britain hold's it own.

    Forget about the money/class issue, when has that ever stopped a group of people from appreciating food and developing a food culture? Only under conditions of extreme poverty, which was not the case in the UK, or indifference. Food culture seems to come from different sources in different times and places. The "Now" of food culture in the UK does seem to be largely about an increasingly affluent middle class, with increased leisure time on their hands.

    Food culture isn't always about the upper-middle class. My family is working class, but they have a keen interest in food. In this context, it's about food as a celebration of the family and the re-enforcement of social bonds. When family visited, we killed a pig and it would be spit roasted by the men of the family (hand turned) for about six hours. There would be lots of grappa etc, you get the picture. Did that ever happen in the UK? Most likely, but in a differnt way. Much of what my family gets out of the pig-killing-cooking can be gained  in different ways. Look at the pub culture in the UK, it doesn't exist in Italy, so does that mean that the Italians don't have a developed a social life?

    To answer you first question. Hmmm, don't really know, but I think that idea of what "class" is tends to be pretty dynamic. It sounds like a post-modernism cop-out, but the just because there wasn't a recognisible upper-middle class, does not mean that there weren't other social obligations/constraints that were just as important at the time.

    Bottom line: Food in Britain was crappy because of a shitty 20th C. and because it wasn't important to the Brits under those conditions. Social bonds, celebration of your friends all that good stuff, doesn't require a food culture as it does say Italy or France.

    A very interesting topic. I never though I would defend British food. Must be a growth experience.

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