–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Friday, 24 May 2013

Taste Bud Time Travels

Photo: aussiegall / everystockphoto
I've always been fascinated by history, in fact I preferred factual books to fiction when I was at school, which probably explains why I did better at my History O Level exam than I did in English Literature.
My love for the past and how it has shaped the modern world is still strong. Food throughout history is a particularly enthralling subject.


You could say that my kitchen has become a little time travel machine or maybe even the Tardis. I may not be like Doctor Who saving worlds across the universe but I have been making some new discoveries through culinary activities.

Just over a year ago I met Alan Coxon at a food and craft festival in Woburn. Some of you may remember him as the television chef who had his own show 'Coxon's Kitchen College', he also appeared on Great Food Live on UKTV Food. Alan is the food archaeologist, so for him food history is his passion. Alan Coxon is a mine of information when it comes to food, he loves facts, details. Mention an ingredient or a recipe and he will tell you where it comes from, the history and any weird and wonderful fact you care to imagine.

Photo: © childsdesign

****
Alan's passion led him to create three vinegars based upon and inspired by ancient recipes. He took cues from three very different cultures – Medieval, Roman and Ancient Greek. From these, Ale-Gar, Roman Vinaigre and Ancient Greek Vinaigre were born. It wasn't a simple process or quick development to make them. From start to finish it has taken Alan 10 years to perfect the recipes as well as the bottles.

So back to my time travelling. I have been using these vinegars with abandon in my cooking. Although they are vinegars, they are not sharp and mouth puckeringly sour, so don't think of them as a malt vinegar that you splash on your fish and chips. The flavours are complex, yet subtle and soft and much more like a fine wine, in that respect.

I have used the vinegars in all manner of ways from dressings to marinade, in sauces, casseroles, stir-fries, even in sweet dishes, they really are that versatile. The Ale-Gar is based on a 15th century recipe, the vinegar being created from chocolate stout malt which has a unique flavour with a slight taste of cinnamon. I've used this in just about everything! Simmer a quantity until it has reduced to a syrupy consistency and you have a wonderful drizzle for duck.

The Roman Vinaigre is made from quality wine and distinctly herbal in character. I noticed the chamomile flavour first which is quite unusual but quickly grew on me. Try it drizzled over fresh sliced peaches with prosciutto, it is wonderful.

The Ancient Greek Vinaigre is also wine based, bitter-sweet and fresh. There is a hint of coriander which I found makes it ideal to use in Asian recipes, particularly oriental stir-fries.

These vinegars are a truly wonderful addition to the kitchen, not only do they taste good they look good too in handsome bottles. They are very nearly ousting the balsamic and rice vinegar in the cupboard, not to mention the Worcester sauce.

You can buy online from foodbyalancoxon.com

0 comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails

A Delicious Cloud

"Spouse Specials" :: Cuisine: Asian :: Cuisine: British :: Cuisine: Chinese :: Cuisine: Danish :: Cuisine: European :: Cuisine: Finnish :: Cuisine: French :: Cuisine: Greek :: Cuisine: Hungarian :: Cuisine: Icelandic :: Cuisine: Indian :: Cuisine: Italian :: Cuisine: Mediterranean :: Cuisine: Mexican :: Cuisine: Middle Eastern :: Cuisine: Moroccan :: Cuisine: North African :: Cuisine: Norwegian :: Cuisine: Oriental :: Cuisine: Scandinavian :: Cuisine: Swedish :: Cuisine: Thai A Slice of Cherry Pie A Taste of the Unexpected Absolute Press Accompaniments Aiden Byrne Alan Coxon Alcoholic Drinks Ale-Gar Almond Ancient Greek Vinaigre Anjum Anand Apples Aromettes Ashbourne Asparagus Bacon. Baileys Real Food Company Bakewell Baking Barbecue Basil BBC Beans Bed and Breakfast Beef Beetroot Bere Marsh Farm Beverages Bill Granger Bill McCarrick Bipin's Masala Birthday Biscuits and Cookies Bish Muir Blackberries Blackberry Blagger's Banquet Blakeney Bolludagur Book Reviews Books Bramley Apple Week Bramley Apples Bread Breakfast Breckland Orchard Breton Breton Cake Brett Cohen Bristol Britain British British Pie Week British Sausage Week Brittany Brunch Brussels Sprouts Bun Day Buns Bursting Day Butternut Squash. C.J. Jackson Cafe Cakes Carrots Casseroles • Stews Celebrations Cheeky Spouse Cheese Cherries Cherry Chestnuts Chicken Chives Chocolate chocolate cake Chocolate Unwrapped Chocri Christmas Chutney Cider Claire Martinsen Clarissa Dickson Wright Cley Cley Smoke House Cley-next-the-Sea Cloudberries Cloudberry Coast Coffee Cold Remedy Comfort Food Competition Condiments Confectionery Conversions Cookbooks Cool Cuisine Cotswold Legbar Crackers Cream Cripbreads Culture Curries Côtes d'Armor Dairy Damian Allsop Danish Danyel Couet David Oliver Fine Foods David Thompson Derbyshire Desserts Distillery Douwe Egberts Douwe Egberts Aromettes Dressings and Marinades Drinks Easter Eating Out Edible Flowers Eggs Elderberries Elderberry Elderflowers Europe Events Farm Farmhouse Breakfast Week Fennel Festivals and Shows Fettouma Benikrane Finland Fish Fish at the Fox Fish Market Fishmonger Flapjacks Flavoured Bread Flavours and Spices® Flax Flax Farm Flowers Food By Alan Coxon Food from Many Greek Kitchens foodbyalancoxon.com Foodies Festival France Frugal Fruit Fudge Fudge Kitchen Gadgets Gaia's Kitchen Game ganache Gardening Gin Gingerbread Gordon Ramsay Great Glen Game Greece Green Books Hafod Cheese Henry Dimbleby Herbs Hertfordshire Historic Food Historic Food Range History Hodder and Stoughton Holkham Holkham Beach Honey How To I Love Curry Iceland In Print In the Media Ingredients Jam Jamie at Home Jamie Oliver John Vincent Jon Birchall Josceline Dimbleby Julia Parsons Julia Ponsonby Karen Nethercott Kent King's Walden Kitchen Garden Kitchen Garden Companion Kitchen Helper Kitchen Tips KoL Lactofree Lactose Intolerance Lahloo Tea Lamb Lanvollon Lavender Leftovers lemon Lemon Balm Lent Leon Leon Book 2 Naturally Fast Food Letchworth Food Festival 2010 Letchworth Garden City Letchworth Living Light Meals Linseed Local Producers London Loquats Love Farm Made in Great Britain Madhur Jaffrey Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible Madsen Magazine Magog Muffins Main Course Mark Diacono Marsh Marsh Samphire MasterChef LIVE 2009 Matt Armendariz Meat Medieval Mediterranean Merchant Gourmet Mexico Milk Mint Moomins Cookbook Moroccan Cooking Muffins Murdoch Books MyBooks Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir National Chocolate Week National Curry Week Natoora New Holland Publishers News Nordic Norfolk Occasions Offley Hoo Oils On A Stick Open Farm Sunday Oregano Oysters Pancake Day Pancakes Paris Pasta Pastes Pastries Pastry Paul Wayne Gregory Peak District Peas Picnic Fayre Delicatessen Pie. Pies • Flans • Tarts Pilkington Farms Plums Pork Pies Pork. Potatoes Potty: Clarissa's One Pot Cookbook Poultry Pre-Prepared Foods Preserving and Pickling Press Product Reviews Products Puddings Quadrille Publishing Quickasteam Quince Quirk Books Rabbit Radio Radishes Radisson Blu Hotels Ramsay's Best Menus Ramsoms Rants Raspberries Raspberry Raw Food Raw Nibbles Read and Reviewed Ready Meals Real Food Festival 2008 Real Food Festival 2010 Recipes Every Man Should Know Relish Restaurants Reviews Reykjavik Rice • Grains • Pulses Risotto roasting Roman Vinaigre Rosemary Sage Salads Salmon Salt Marsh salted caramel Saltmarsh Sambocade Sami Malila Samphire Samphire Shop Sandwich Sauces Sausages Savoury Pancakes Scandinavian Scandinavian Cookbook Scandinavian Kitchen Sea Seafood Seeds SelfMadeHero Sereena; Alexa; Priya Kaul Serious Pig Shake Up Your Wake Up Shellfish Shopping Shrove Tuesday Simon and Schuster Sipsmith Skyr Sloe Wine Smoked Fish Smoked Haddock Snacking Salami Snacks Soup Special Offer Spices Spirits Sprengidagur Spring Taster Box Squash Squirrel St David's Day Stephanie Alexander Stocks Stories Strawberries Suffolk Summer Susan Russo Sweetmeats Tea teapigs Tesco Tessa Kiros Tests Thai Food The Artisan Food Trail The Artisan Smokehouse The Big Chocolate Tea Party The Big Yum The Billingsgate Market Cookbook The Chocolate Festival The Great Exhibition 2012 The Josceline Dimbleby Collection The Kitchen Trials The Pearl Fisher The Scandinavia Show The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook The Use-It-All Cookbook Thomasina Miers Three Counties Kitchen Three Counties Radio Thyme Tips Toastabags Tomatoes Total Greek Yogurt Tove Jansson Tracklements Traditions Travels Tried and Tasted Trina Hahnemann Twitter Two Fat Ladies Union Hand-Roasted Vegan Vegetables Vegetarian Vinegar Vodka Wahaca Wales Watercress Week Watercress. Weights and Measures West Whelks Whitstable Wild Food and Foraging Wild Garlic William Curley Willian Winter Warmers Wiveton Wiveton Hall Wiveton Hall Fruit Farm Writing Yogurt