A dinner fit for a knight

A medieval dinner featuring Apulian ingredients: A meat and mushroom pie, crepes with chicken cooked in spiced wine with apples, vegetables, fire roasted onions with verjuice and olive oil, cheese, pears poached in red wine, and bread baked from home grown wheat. Not to forget the wine, of course.  

About the Origin of Wine

Who actually made the first wine? And where? Several Middle Eastern and Caucasus countries have been competing for the oldest traces of winemaking, even China is among the top five. But let's start from the beginning: Answering the question of the cradle of winemaking depends on how you define wine. A 9,000 year old residue... Continue Reading →

Trullo symbols

The domes of many trulli are painted with different symbols of mostly apotropaic (= defense against evil) nature. Some of these symbols go back to antiquity but most used today are of Christian religious nature. According to Notarnicola (G. Notarnicola, I Trulli di Alberobello dalla Preistoria al Presente, Roma 1940.), the symbols can be divided... Continue Reading →

The origin of the trullo

The origin of the trullo is unclear. It is often claimed that the shape of the trullo goes back to a 17th century tax evading scheme by the Counts of Acquaviva, ruling the County of Conversano – which included Alberobello – since 1481. According to this narrative, drystone architecture was imposed upon settlers so that... Continue Reading →

Verjuice

Verjuice (French „verjus“, Italian „agresto“, Persian „ab-ghureh“) is the juice of green, unripe grapes, hence its name „vert jus“ = green juice. It is acidic and astringent and is a perfect substitute for vinegar and lemon juice. Actually, I totally prefer it to vinegar. We even make ceviche with it, instead of lemon juice. Verjuice... Continue Reading →

The archaeology of cooking

As an archaeologist and food historian, I offer workshops about historic cuisine, featuring the history of Mediterranean and European cuisines. Ancient recipes surprise with their - for us - unusual combination of tastes and aromas, blending the salty, the sweet, the sour and the spicy into astounding combinations.  

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