Welcome to the new lovefoodandmore.com blog, here you will find insights into a variety of topics relating to food, drink, travel, hospitality, food security, businesses and charities making a difference and much more. Finding a domain name that encapsulated all the food-related topics was a challenge, hence the birth of lovefoodandmore.com. It’s a place for all those with an interest in food and related subjects to read, engage, share thoughts and experiences and provide some useful resources.
I have enjoyed a lifelong love of food and drink. Being Italian-Irish, born in London, I was exposed to different cuisines, mostly Italian, from a young age. Growing up in London I had the pleasure of sampling food from all over the world. Then moving to Rome in my twenties allowed me the opportunity to immerse myself in the Roman and Italian food culture. What a treat! My interest and learning increased during my studies for my MSc in Gastronomy from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. What an incredible year of learning, sampling, understanding, expanding my knowledge and awareness of where food comes from, how it’s grown, food security, consumption, climate, how food is produced, distributed and communicated and so much more. Being with a group of people with a shared interest, who enjoyed talking about food, sharing food, enjoying gastronomic experiences in the UK and Italy, meeting producers, learning about their challenges, made it a memorable experience. All these experiences to date have inspired me to write this blog.
I am writing this as we drive through my favourite country in the world, Italy. It is where my heart is happy and I feel at peace (most of the time! Some things drive me crazy too). I love the contrasts, driving past fields of immaculately planted olive trees and vines, all lined up perfectly, standing proudly ready to produce fruits in abundance. Then you have fields packed full of sunflowers, nearly all with their heads facing down and a few lonely ones, trying to stand out from the crowd, taller than the others, crowning their necks trying to get their faces in the sun. I love the way the food tastes here. Why is that tomatoes here are packed full of flavour from the first bite, they are juicy and just divine, especially when combined with a touch of fresh basil, a little salt and a splash of local extra virgin oil. I know the realities of transportation have an impact, maybe it’s the lack of time in the sunshine during their journey that also affects their taste. I understand the feeling of a lack of sunshine, I too feel different when it’s sunny. Everything seems better when the sun comes out.
I love the contrasts in flavours of fresh foods, the sweetness of a perfectly ripened melon or a fresh fig with the savoury flavours of cured parma-ham. Or a pasta dish with a seafood-based sauce, usually the speciality dish or the house. I never seem to be able to recreate the ‘secret’ recipe for the sauce when I get home. Maybe it’s the freshness of the local ingredients in Italy or the way it is expertly prepared. Every time I try it back home in Edinburgh, it never tastes quite like the pasta dishes I savoured in Italy. Maybe it was the deliciously crisp, dry, chilled white wine that accompanied these dishes. Or just the fact that I enjoyed these dishes when holidaying with loved ones that made it all taste better.
Food Provenenace and Accessibility
The provenance of food and time to market has a massive part to play in how food tastes, in how it looks, its texture and freshness. Accessibility of food, particularly during the recent Covid-19 pandemic and eating local has become prominent. This trend should continue. It is good for local producers, the economy and for the consumer, the taste is well worth it. During the pandemic, there was a realisation about the food poverty experienced by some people in Scotland, with many existing and new charities popping up to help feed those in need. Local ones to Edinburgh that worked hard during the crisis and continue to do so include Social Bite, Empty Kitchens Full Hearts and Scran Academy. Other charities and social enterprises are on a mission to teach people about nutrition and how to cook healthy food. With the prevalence for obesity high across the Western world, action needs to be taken now to ensure it doesn’t affect people’s quality of life, to prevent chronic medical conditions and a resulting strain on health services.
Food means so many things to so many people, evoking memories of places and people, bringing to life various food cultures, traditions and identities. This blog will focus on all these different topics and more and will also signpost to other sources of information. Contact me now if there is a specific topic you would like to see featured in the future. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Stay up to date with updates by connecting with lovefoodandmore.com blog on our social channels.