Bruschetta experiments

I was always thinking that “antipasti” means food that does not contain pasta. But in reality it is an appetizer served before the main meal. Since in Italian a meal is called pasto, antipasto literally means “before pasto”. So easy! There are plenty of types of antipasti, some became more international and adopted to other cultures, others are more traditional and are served only in Italy. Usually antipasti should correspond to the main course - if the main meal is fish, antipasti should contain fish and if it is meat - then antipasti should be prepared from ham, salami ect. One of the most famous antipasti is bruschetta. However there are also two other similar things - crostini and panini. Once I was puzzled about the difference between all of them. In Ukraine we only have sandwiches, does not matter how they look like. In Italy they prefer to be more specific about food. After a short research things became clearer. Panini – is a sandwich with two layers of bread – from the top and from the bottom. Bruschetta – is a large grilled slice of bread drizzled with olive oil and topped with tomato, ham or cheese. Crostini – is a […]

Crete getaway

When you are working and working and working, especially in a country like Germany, at some point you feel that you need to get away, take a break in a completely different environment. This summer we decided to explore Greece, namely Crete. Crete is the biggest island of Greece, which carries very long and rich history. Already around 2500 BC thousand years ago Crete was inhabited by Minoan civilization. Minoans are known for their ancient scripts (writings), art of pottery and monumental buildings like Knossos Palace. This is the most famous palace and the one that remained in the bes condition in comparison to the others. To be honest, there is not much of it left, but according to the archives and archaeologists’ suggestions it was an outstanding building much ahead of it's time. The myth tells about the Minotavr – a creature with the body of a man and a head of a bull. He used to leave in the labyrinths of Knossos and kill people that were trapped in these there. But a brave and savvy Theseus managed to trick Minotavr and kill him, hereby was released from the labyrinth. During this era Crete was conquered by Romans, then […]

Portuguese octopus with potatoes (Polvo Lagareiro)

This will a be a very short and precise post dedicated to the octopus (Polvo Lagareiro). For many evenings I've been criticised for not cooking enough and gently shifting this function to the man's hands. However, when I actually cook I like to experiment even though not always these are successful experiments. So, that time I decided to experiment with one of my favourite ingredients - octopus and prepare something that has it's origin in Portugal. The meal is called - Polvo Lagareiro. It is a fairly simple recipe that takes about 1 hour. Ingredients for 2 portions: 1 kg Preferably fresh, otherwise frozen octopus 4-5 potatoes 1 Pepper fruit 1 Squash 1 Onion 2-3 cloves of Garlic Salt Herbs Boil octopus for 30-40 min in a big pan together with onion. In the end we will not use the onion, we need it only for giving some flavour and neutralizing a strong octopus smell Start to heat oven – 200 degrees (Celsius) Meanwhile, start cutting potatoes into small square pieces. Mix the pieces with salt and herb and oil (olive or sunflower). Regarding the herbs, it could be oregano, rosmarin, basilica or anything else you prefer. Cut pepper fruit […]

Torvehallerne på Nørrebro - eat like a Dane

I lived in Denmark for 4 years, 2 of which I spent in Copenhagen. Regardless the weather and weird people, I really like this country. Copenhagen is the biggest city is Scandinavia and as every capital it has interesting sightseeing spots. However, when it comes to history it does not have much to offer. Denmark is a small country, where nothing fascinating has happened for centuries. Probably, the most famous Dane is H.C.Andersen and his “Little mermaid”. Therefore, in my opinion, if you are in Denmark, don’t waste your time in the museums, but enjoy the city and the interesting modern places that it offers (if you are lucky with the weather). Among many highlights of the city, that I may describe in the other posts, I would feature Torvehallerne. This is an amazing place for food lovers. You can find everything from meat to candies – both locally produced and imported. Just to give you an idea about Danish food culture, I will describe several facts here. In general old Scandinavian cuisine was very bad. That is why they decided to develop a new Scandinavian cuisine. The concept of the new Scandinavian food is to borrow experience from the […]

Borscht - a gem of Ukrainian culinary art

World does not know much about Ukraine. Most of the people think that it’s just a little part of Russia and cannot really see the difference. However when it comes to food, I bet that many of you have some idea about Borscht, or borsh. This is this red-colored soup with a lot of stuff inside and that tastes incredibly good! So, FYI the origins of this meal are indeed in Ukraine. The legend says that long-long time ago, when the strongest were hunting and the weakest collecting food, Ukrainian women discovered a taste of rumex (щавель). In a while they also learned how to boil it and prepare soup. After the tribes moved to the North, to the modern Russian territory, they took the cooking tradition along. By adding eggs and sour-cream, we will get something that is known like Russian Green Borscht – “Shee”. Meanwhile, cross-continental trade was developing and Ukrainians were introduced to the new ingredient – red beet root. It came to us from the Mediterranean cost. It took the main place in the traditional Ukrainian Red Borscht. Consequently the other ingredients like cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, were added. All of them were “innovations” from the West. […]

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