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MiguelCardoso

Mediterranean Cooking Is Lazy Rather Than Slow

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I love the way you write about food but I fear the introduction here and the echo of the Slow Food movement, of which I'm a proud member, may lead some to believe that it takes a long time to cook in the Southern European style. In fact, ie. in practice, it's lazy cooking, rather than time-consuming. Here in Portugal, for instance, the best cooks use pressure cookers to save time and concentrate flavours in a variety of dishes, including all soups. Mediterranean cooking is all about shopping - buying only the freshest and cheapest ingredients (they always coincide, as we buy seasonally) and, most importantly, shopping every single day, early in the morning. I'm Portuguese and our shopping baskets, when we go to the market, are probably the tiniest in Europe. We buy only what's just arrived - spending hours interrogating the stall-holders - and in the strictest, smallest quantities - only what's necessary to make lunch. Great discussion, btw!

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Miguel: Thanks so much for your kind words about my work. Your Portugese market strategy matches that of most Mediterranean cooks I know: just a tiny string bag to carry home food for lunch: perhaps a chicken, a few vegetables and some fruit. Everything else is based on the larder: grains, nuts, salt-preserved meats, oil, preserved vegetables, dried fruits and all kinds of condiments. Quality fresh ingredients are definitely the key to great Mediterranean food! Something tells me I'm preaching to a believer!


“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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