Posts tagged Mediterran
No Etna, no Ice

That Recipe on my Mind | Sicily, Italy

 

Granita al Limone (Lemon Granita) Recipe

Ingredients:

 1 liter water
¾ cup sugar

lemon juice (4 lemons)
Zest of 4 organic lemons

 

How to prepare:

Combine 2 cups of the water with the sugar in a medium nonreactive saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the salt, stir, and remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the remaining water and let cool to room temperature.

Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place a shallow metal container (such as a large cake pan) in the freezer to chill. Add the lemon juice, lemon peel, and extract to the chilled sugar mixture; stir until well blended. Pour into the chilled metal pan.

Place the pan in the freezer for 30-60 minutes, or until ice crystals form around the edges. Stir the ice crystals into the center of the pan and return to the freezer.

Repeat every 30 minutes, or until all the liquid is crystallized but not frozen solid, about 3 hours.

To serve, scoop the granita into chilled dessert bowls or goblets.

 
 
 
 
 
Gazpacho Passion

That Recipe on my Mind | Andalusia, Spain

 

Andalusian Gazpacho Recipe

Ingredients:

a. 500g ripe juicy tomatoes
b. 1 garlic clove
c. 1 sweet green pepper
d. 1 cucumber, about 6-7 inches long
e. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
f. 1⁄2 tablespoon salt
g. 1 cup virgin olive oil
h. 1 piece French bread
 

How to prepare:

1.Put the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, olive oil, bread, vinegar, and garlic in a blender; season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth, adding up to ½ cup water if necessary. 

2. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Refrigerate for up to a few hours before serving or serve immediately.

 
 
 
 
A perfect greek Wedding

Exploring | Santorini, Greece

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The small village of Imerogivli at Santorini is one of the most breathtaking and romantic places I have ever been to. It ́s no wonder that so many people want to get married there. It ́s also one of the few places I know where I could spend days doing nothing more than just look at its minimalistic architecture, the dark lava and the blue sea. That blue, in all those shades, has me hypnotized.

 
 
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Imerogivli is one of the few places I know where I could spend days doing nothing more than just look at its minimalistic architecture, the dark lava and the blue sea.

 
 
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Mezedes at a traditional mezedopoleío.

Mezedes at a traditional mezedopoleío.

 

Testing the pool...

 
Simple Greek meze: Bradada on the left side.

Simple Greek meze: Bradada on the left side.

 

With their tomatoes, Santorinians prepare their "Tomato Keftedes", a mint-flavoured fritter that goes well with the ubiquitous tzatziki.

 
 
 
 

Santorini is particularly well known for its "Vinsanto" wine, but it has some other interesting culinary specialties. For example Bradada, a cod dish that, like the wine tradition, was imported to the island by the Venetians.

The volcanic soil and the dry climate of the island combine not only to produce the famous wine, but also outstanding sweet tasting tomatoes and a characteristic kind of yellow split pea called fava (not to be confused with fava beans). With their tomatoes, Santorinians prepare their "Tomato Keftedes", a mint-flavoured fritter that goes well with the ubiquitous tzatziki. "Married faves" is another local dish, a puree of fava with sizzled onions, olive oil and capers. Marry all this again with a fresh grilled octopus, a glass of Vinsanto and the superb sunset view from the terrace of a restaurant and you have the perfect greek wedding.  

 

© Text, Artwork and Photography by Fred Mel / Eatnologist

 

 
 
 
 
 
Gaudi, Food and Religion

Exploring | Barcelona, Spain

 
 
 

Barcelona | Spain

A conversation with Etsuro Sotoo, sculptor-in-chief of the Sagrada Familia about the links between him, Antoni Gaudi, architecture, religion and food.

I met the Japanese sculptor Etsuro Sotoo at his studio not far away from Gaudi’s crypt, in the non- public space of the Sagrada Familia, surrounded by an infinity of sketches, drawings, plans and miniature models. Sotoo has made it his life's work to carry on the master's project since 1978, when he began as a stone mason. Later on, as sculptor-in-chief of the Sagrada Familia, he was commissioned to follow Gaudi's unmistakable style –”but there were times where I did not know how to follow him“, confesses Sotoo to me on a short walk through the construction site.

In fact, Gaudi did not leave detailed plans for the many high reliefs that decorate the fantastical façades when he died, so designing new sculptures can be sometimes “a monumental headache”, as Sotoo says. He himself has often felt hopeless and confused and not known how to follow Gaudi ´s mostly non-existent guidelines for the design of the church. One day, while standing in front of Gaudi´s tomb, Sotoo heard a voice. ”The voice said to me: ‘Don’t look at what I have done, look at that what I would want to look at.’ He showed me a path that I could follow. Since them I speak to Gaudi every day. Now I have the formula to interpret and continue Gaudi’s work. “

 

 
 

Gaudi did not leave detailed plans for the many high reliefs that decorate the fantastical façades when he died, so designing new sculptures can be sometimes “a monumental headache”, as Sotoo says.

 
 
 
The Sculptor Etsuro Sotoo in his Studio with Gaudi's death mask: "One day, as I was in front of Gaudi´s thomb, I heard a voice. „The voice said to me: Dont´ look at what I have done, look at that what I would look at. Since them I speak everyday to Gaudi. He gave a path that I could follow. Now I have the formula to interpret  and continue Gaudis work."

The Sculptor Etsuro Sotoo in his Studio with Gaudi's death mask: "One day, as I was in front of Gaudi´s thomb, I heard a voice. „The voice said to me: Dont´ look at what I have done, look at that what I would look at. Since them I speak everyday to Gaudi. He gave a path that I could follow. Now I have the formula to interpret  and continue Gaudis work."

 
 

Etsuro Sotoo has since converted to Catholicism and he is known to many people as the Asian reincarnation of Antoni Gaudi. However, the Japanese national, who is Spanish by choice, is not only devoted to the religion but also to Spanish cuisine. His love for Iberian cured ham lead him to work together with Joselito, one of the best –if not the best –Spanish cured ham manufacturers: he has been in charge of designing a luxurious chest for the company with the ancestral Japanese technique of urushi.  The otherwise silent and reserved Sotoo glows when it comes to food: “One thing I really love about Barcelona is that you get very good quality fish at reasonable prices (compared to Japan)! And tuna sashimi. I love those superb tuna blocks in the Boqueria market. “Stone blocks, tuna blocks, stone cutting, Iberico ham cutting..., hmm, I assume there are some parallels between his work as a sculptor and his preferences as a foodie.

 

And what about Gaudi and his preferences for food? Is there also a connection between his work and food?

 
 
 
 
After the meeting with Etsuro Sotoo I went to Cal Pep for a Tuna Tartare.

After the meeting with Etsuro Sotoo I went to Cal Pep for a Tuna Tartare.

And what about Gaudi and his preferences for food? Is there also a connection between his work and food? Who else if not Sotoo could give me an answer:  “Gaudi lived as an ascetic and refused the joy of food. There are some stories about that. Food was apparently not important for him”- says Sotoo, continuing:-  “But I have been thinking about your question since the day  you contacted me, and yes, maybe there are some links between food, the Sagrada Familia and Gaudi. Can you see those semi-finished sculptures of fruits and cereals over there? You will see many of them all around the Sagrada Familia. Here, at the lower part of the Church you will find sculptures of buds and sprouts, but in the upper part you will see sculptures of all those sprouts blossoming and the very top fruits and cereals, the result of the harvest.  What do you think Gaudi wanted to say to us with that? “, asked me Sotoo. “I don’t know” I replied. “For me –continued Sotoo– the symbolism is now clear. To grow physically you need food, to grow spiritually you need religion.”

 

© Text and Photography by Fred Mel / Eatnologist

 
 
 
Notes from Napoli

Exploring | Naples, Italy

 

 - Fieldnotes -

 
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Burrata cheese served with rocket pesto, chopped sundried tomatoes and Sfusato Amalfitano Zest

Burrata cheese served with rocket pesto, chopped sundried tomatoes and Sfusato Amalfitano Zest