Essays on food, drink, travel, culture, sustainability, farming, and more.

Chilli Growing Tips from Edible Ornamentals

Serendipity and silver linings. That’s how Edible Ornamentals came into being.   Joanna Plumb, who runs the business with her husband Shawn, told us the story. Many years ago, her parents (who were commercial cucumber farmers) were approached by a national DIY store to grow 3000 chilli plants for their shops. Unfortunately, the DIY company ... Read more »

Learning about Scotch Beef

I was recently invited to a tasting event to learn about Scotch beef. It was an eye-opening experience, and I learned a great deal about beef in general and Scotch beef in particular. Firstly, why Scotch beef and not Scottish beef or beef from Scotland? Because they all mean different things: To be described as ... Read more »

Celebrating Holi

Holi is a Hindu festival, also known as the festival of colours, and is celebrated all over India. It is divided into two parts, Holika Dahan and Holi. Scheduled according to the lunar calendar, it is celebrated at the end of the winter, on the last full moon day in the lunar month of Phalguna, ... Read more »

Talking Za’atar in Zawtar with Abu Kassem

Southern Lebanon is not much visited by tourists, given its volatility. Only a few days ago, six Italian soldiers were hurt in a bomb attack on the main highway near Saida (Sidon). Less than two weeks before that, there were 11 fatalities and many injuries, during clashes at the Lebanese Israeli border. The region is ... Read more »

Remembrance Day

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it I have always had an interest in World War Two. Not a Boy’s Own fascination with military manoeuvres, tanks and planes or playing soldiers, but from a historical, political and people perspective. At school, history was one of my favourite subjects. I never much ... Read more »

Toast? What’s YOUR Feel Good Food Smell?

Professor Tim Jacob, at the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University, has found that the smell of toast is Britain’s most loved food smell. A recent survey by the Flour Advisory Bureau found that we are a nation of toast lovers with a whopping 99% of us putting our hands up to loving toast. Apparently, ... Read more »