Proud and passionate, the Guernsey people have more than a beautiful island to showcase. The ten-day festival in September is one any keen foodie should be heading out to. Nick gets a preview.
Rock Samphire. Free food
It’s salty and citrusy, juicy and crunchy, it’s plentiful and it’s free. I’m eating a handful of rock samphire that I’ve plucked from the ground not twenty feet from the road and it’s delicious.
The sea is the larder
Unlike the samphire you find in the fishmongers, this Guernsey rock samphire is much fresher and almost needs no cooking at all.
I stick some in my pocket to nibble on as I watch the local kestrels hovering effortlessly on the wind, keenly scanning the ground for their own free food to appear.
As the car weaves inland through the narrow lanes on this small island, toward a goat farm I’m off to visit, another form of foraged food reveals itself, the Hedge Veg. Continue reading
Time to go raving in Ibiza, raving over the food that is.
The view from Hotel Torre del Mar
A large poster catches my eye on the way in from the airport, it’s of Fat Boy Slim heavily photoshopped to be both very fat and very slim at the same time. He’s looking his age either way, which is in fact my age. That he can get a massive room full of people to wave their hands in the air is quite remarkable, as is the massive fee he reportedly gets for doing it.
Ibiza is of course well known as clubbers’ island; posters for the various venues are more numerous than posters advertising cars, washing powders or indeed anything else. My plane had boasted plenty of stags and hens already deep in the party spirit, while the despairing cabin staff tried to keep order. Ordering a drunk man dressed as a giant chicken to sit down is never easy.
The inner beauty of Ibiza
There is more to Ibiza than drink and dancing though. It’s a beautiful place once you get away from the epicentres of E consumption, with lots of hidden, quiet beaches and small inland villages. Continue reading
Nun’s naughty bits, a wine that’s not a cheese, wine boxes that aren’t square and vino that flows from a drinking fountain, Nick finds Abruzzo is an Italian region that’s full of surprises.
A lovely bun
“They’re called ‘Nun’s’ Breasts’, “Sise delle Monache” in Italian, says Valentina di Camillo unveiling a tray of freshly made pastries in the garden overlooking her family’s glorious vineyards. The origins of the pastry’s name are vague, they were first called ‘Three Mountains’ owing to their triple peaks but the new name came about when a nun… well, let’s leave it there.
Liver sausage, goes great with red wine.
They are delicious, soft as can be and stuffed to bursting with sinful crème patissiere. One of these and a black coffee and your morning is off to a good start. Personally I am eating them just after an al fresco breakfast consisting of superb cured meats, pungent cheeses and a fair few glasses of Valentina’s lovely wines, so I am using the coffee and sugar to offset the alcohol I’ve knocked back. Continue reading
Nick finds out of ski season Switzerland is all about lush landscapes, fine vistas and plenty of cheese and chocolate.
Interlaken is a centre for tandem parasailing
The parasailers circle over town like colourful vultures, perhaps lured by the smell of cheese? It’s hard to avoid the aromas of Emmentaler in a country where it’s eaten as often as we eat cheddar.
The holes are made by the trapped gases during maturation
Emmentaler with its classic ‘cartoon’ holes is often regarded as a cheese suitable only for children, but Emmental eaten in Switzerland is another taste experience altogether.The milk of course is crucial, in Switzerland it comes from cows that graze on grass made lush by the snow melt. Continue reading