“Mallard to go, anyone? Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient thermopolium—aka the Roman equivalent of a street food vendor—at the Regio V site in Pompeii. The well-preserved stand is decorated with multiple frescoes featuring a nereid (nymphs of Greek mythology) riding a sea horse, tall jars with two-handles that commonly were used for storage, and some of the formerly available fare, like mallards and chickens. A rendering of a muscular dog adorns another side of the stand with the insult, “Nicia cineadecacator,” scribed nearby. Various food-based remnants were found, as well, including duck bones, fava beans, wine, and a paella-style dish of pork, goat, bird, fish, and snail, alongside cooking dishes, flasks, and storage vessels.”
Hot chocolate season is coming up. There’s an article in L’Italo Americano that will make you want some Italian hot chocolate now.
ITALIAN CURIOSITIES: THE TRUE STORY OF ITALIAN HOT CHOCOLATE
“. . . The fall is the season of the queen of sweet delicacies, the creamiest of treats, the most decadent of the cold season’s offerings: la cioccolata calda. If you tried it, you know that Italian hot chocolate is on a different level: there is nothing else in the world that can compare to it, at least when it comes to hot cocoa drinks. You may find others that are nice, that taste delicious and that do hit the spot if you need a chocolate fix, but no Italian will in earnest say any of those are better than our beloved cioccolata calda. . .”
Illegal Coffee – Gastro-Obscura has an interesting article on coffee’s long history in the Middle East.
In Istanbul, Drinking Coffee in Public Was Once Punishable by Death
Rulers throughout Europe and the Middle East once tried to ban the black brew.
By MARK HAY
“. . . Odd though it may sound, Murad IV was neither the first nor last person to crack down on coffee drinking; he was just arguably the most brutal and successful in his efforts. Between the early 16th and late 18th centuries, a host of religious influencers and secular leaders, many but hardly all in the Ottoman Empire, took a crack at suppressing the black brew. . . “
“. . . More potato chips (and pretzels, candy, ice cream, and chocolate) are produced over these few counties than anywhere else on Earth. Pennsylvania leads the country in production of all of these products, and each individual snack has its own fairly standard story of why it came to be so successful in the Keystone State. . .”
You can read the whole article on Pennsylvania Snacks here.
First, for any restaurant the food must be good. After that it’s service and décor. This article in PLAIN covers some new establishments made with cutting edge restaurant design. If the food in these places is nearly as good as the décor they should be spectacular.
THESE 5 GORGEOUS RESTAURANT INTERIORS AWAIT YOU AS SOON AS LOCKDOWN LIFTS
“While most restaurants are still quite a ways from being pre-COVID operational, we’ve decided to gawk at the beautiful interiors of some newly-opened or recently refurbished restaurants around the world in 2020 . . . “
I came across this article in Italo Americano about stadium food (and Dodgers’ Blue Gelato) now that CORVID 19 is preventing fans from going to the stadium.
THE OFFICIAL DODGER’S GELATO WILL BE 100% ITALIAN
By Silvia Giudici
“A lot of people in Los Angeles, especially baseball fans, will miss eating at the stadium during a Dodgers’ match: food has always been part of the experience. Fries, hot dogs, nachos, carne asada, you name it, you could find it all at the stadium. . . “
There’s an H Mart not too far from where we live. That’s a national chain of Korean supermarkets. They have great produce and lots of Korean imports and specialties. We were browsing there when I came across a refrigerated package of ingredients for whiting stew.
According to the package, the ingredients included onion, scallion, mushroom, radish, red long hot, shrimp, watercress, sauce. There were also scallions, tofu, mussels, calamari, and some other veggies and greens that I didn’t recognize.
They gave me some simple instructions on how to prepare it. “Put it in a pot with three cups of water and simmer,” and that’s all I had to do to make Whiting Stew Korean Style.
The sauce they included was very spicy. A bit was all that was needed to give the individual servings a nice spark. It was delicious and we’ll make it again.
I came across this article on desserts made with olive oil in Gambero Rosso.
Traditional Desserts Made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
THE RESULT OF ANCIENT TRADITIONS AND OF A HUMBLE BUT TASTY CUISINE, DESSERTS MADE WITH EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PART OF THE ITALIAN TABLE.
“There are those who use it. to replace butter, for reasons of intolerance or food choice, or to reinvent classic recipes making them lighter, not to mention the many vegan versions of all the traditional desserts. In order to find fine quality extra-virgin olive oil cookies, there’s no need to search among specialized websites and magazines: just look to the past, at the recipes of a time when olive oil was the absolute protagonist. . . “
“Sampling the local street food is one of the best ways to experience a country’s culture. The nature of traveling means you’re always on the move, so the quick, portable bites you can get from the street stalls make a big impression. Mediterranean street food encapsulates the culinary cultures of several different countries, from Italy to Morocco. Here are 10 Must-Eat Mediterranean street foods to try the next time you travel. . . “