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Pears In Syrup

This delicious recipe for Pears in Syrup is from a manuscript cookbook dating to circa 1450 (Harleian MS. 4016). These pears make a perfect dessert for a hearty autumn or winter feast! Present individual servings in crystal glasses to show off the exquisite color of the sauce. ( [th] stands for the Old English character 'thorn.') The original recipe: 96 Peris in Syrippe. Take Wardons, and cast hem in a faire potte, And boile hem til [th]ei ben tendre; and take hem vppe, and pare hem in ij. or in iij. And take powder of Canell, a good quantite, and cast hit in good... read more

Searching For The Perfect Cup Of Coffee Part Two Costa Rica

Dateline: March 1, 2001, San Jose, Costa Rica Following my interview with Norman Saurage the CEO of the Community Coffee Company, I couldn't wait to broaden my knowledge about coffee. The next stage of my development involved a coffee "cupping." Similar to a wine tasting, a "cupping" was arranged for me by Norman at one of his companies new Coffee Houses in Austin, Texas. I arrived at CC's Coffee House at North Lamar and 6th Street in Austin at 1:00 PM and was greeted by David Walsh, CC's District Manager and Melissa Piker-Purvis, the store manager. I was impressed... read more

Searching For The Perfect Cup Of Coffee Part One Costa Rica

Dateline: December 1, 2000, San Jose, Costa Rica Searching For The Perfect Cup of Coffee PART ONE One of the great advantages of working as Chef on board a luxury charter yacht, has always been meeting interesting people from around the World. This past Summer in Alaska, was no exception. I met one person particularly who's expertise, and knowledge about coffee has surely changed my life forever. It began quite innocently enough as the yacht M/V Explorer pulled from the dock in Juneau, Alaska for a week long charter to Sitka. Our six guests had just started... read more

Cooking With Parsley

Parsley, More Than a GarnishMany already know this but some do not, and for those who have been wrongly misinformed throughout life let it be said that parsley is a culinary herb that is full of flavor as well as color and is not merely a garnish. Parsley is without a doubt the most popular and widely used culinary herb in the world. It grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year. It's unfortunate, though, that parsley is also one of the least appreciated herbs in America, its subtle flavor is often overlooked and not even considered it's usually... read more

Oregano

Oregano Also called ORIGANUM, flavourful dried leaves and flowering tops of any of various perennial herbs of the mint family (Lamiaceae, or Labiatae), particularly Origanum vulgare, called wild marjoram in northern and central Europe, widely used to season many foods. The name is derived from the Greek oros, "mountain," and ganos, "joy." Oregano has long been an essential ingredient of Mediterranean cooking. Pliny the Elder thought it a remedy for bad digestion. The Greeks used it as a poultice for wounds, and Pliny recommended it for scorpion and spider bites. The... read more

Common Questions About Olive Oil

Why are some olive oils green and others yellowish? What does color indicate? The different colors of the oils depend on the variety, climate, irradiation of the tree, and principally on the date that they are harvested. The color indicates how ripe the olive is, but only the experts can decipher this to decide when to begin the harvest. Why is some olive oil peppery and other mild, and what does it mean? The peppery quality depends on how ripe the fruit is; olives which are not overripe have intense aromas and as a consequence are spicy. On the contrary, olives that... read more

Searching For The Perfect Cup Of Coffee Part Three Costa Rica

Dateline: May 1, 2001, Eugene, Oregon SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT CUP OF COFFEE - PART THREE - COSTA RICA Chef Patrick & Arnoldo Levia cupping in Costa RicaI arrived in Costa Rica in October just as the coffee cherries were beginning to ripen in the mountains near San Jose. I had missed an International Coffee Buyer Convention in the city by a couple of days and read with interest the news about the anticipated Costa Rica coffee harvest. Predictions were for a good harvest but low coffee prices again this year. Having previously spent two months in Costa Rica, I... read more

The Only Reason For A Bee Is Honey

Although it was in 1926 that A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh exclaimed "& the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey. And the only reason for making honey is so as I can eat it," humans for as many as 10,000 years have been wondering why a bee makes honey. No less a thinker than Aristotle seemed equally bemused and puzzled at the bee's handiwork. "One cannot well tell what is the substance (the bees) gather," he said, "nor the exact progress of their work." To metaphorically dispose of this imponderable question, honey has been romanticized by poets and... read more

Enduring Olives

The olive is a truly amazing food; there's no question about it. The age, history and uses of this fruit are so magnificent they almost seem inconceivable and made-up, like a myth. It's been around forever, well almost-olive oil and its seemingly miraculous qualities have been appreciated since the birth of western civilization, especially in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. Cultivation of the olive tree is said to have started more than 5000 years ago and it was an olive leaf that a dove brought to Noah, indicating there was dry land ahead. What's even more... read more

Millennium Chef

As the year 2000 approaches us, we prepare for one of the most amazing times for chefs. We have entered through doorways to meet some of the greatest minds and pioneers of our day, bringing us newer technology to provide food for our culture. Yet we also stand at the threshold of some of the greatest problems ever. We walk into the year 2000 with a new ray of hope and a Pandora's box of troubles. The ever-growing legions of chefs that are now entering the food service industry are presented with one of the most distinctive problems approaching us today. As the earth's... read more

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