The German Reinheitsgebot –
the oldest, currently valid consumer protection law in the world
Today we are celebrating a very important anniversary: the German ‘Reinheitsgebot’ (purity law) is 500 years-old. On 23 April 1516, the co-regents of Bavaria, dukes Wilhelm IV and Ludwig X, passed a decree that beer may only be made of barley, hops, and water.[i] Continue reading
Grains of Paradise again –
in herring pies from Norwich
As happens so often, once you notice a topic, it seems to crop up everywhere. This was the case for me with Grains of Paradise. I first came across this spice as the special ingredient in the original Alban Buns. Today I happened to read a post about herring pies made by the City of Norwich for the king and there it was again. Continue reading
Alban Buns – do hot cross buns
originally come from St Albans?
It is the season of Lent and in a few weeks’ time it will be Easter. Visit any supermarket and you will find hot cross buns displayed in a prominent position. Nowadays they belong to Easter like Easter eggs, but where does this tradition actually come from? Continue reading
The Ginger Diaries (2) – an update
Nearly six long weeks have gone by since planting some ginger roots. During the first weeks nothing seemed to happen. I was getting very disappointed and had given up on growing ginger as a complete failure. At least, as far as trying to grow it from ginger root bought at the supermarket was concerned. I thought that possibly even the organic ginger had been sprayed with some growth inhibitor, as the experts had warned. Or that maybe the ginger sold as organic wasn’t organic after all. Continue reading
The Ginger Diaries
Day 1 and 2 – the first steps
Yesterday I came across an article on how grow your own ginger.[i] That’s an idea that had been floating around in my mind for a while – without me doing anything about it. Reading this article gave me the push I needed. Continue reading
Swakopmund, Namibia –
a German town in Africa
Recently, the Australian broadcaster SBS reported that the German language is making a comeback in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, which has a rich German heritage. In my opinion, it could only be to the advantage of the Barossa to cultivate this heritage and promote the language to help attract German tourists.
This reminded me of our experience of Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast of Namibia. Several years ago we spent an unforgettable holiday in Namibia. We were in Swakopmund for 6 days. I would like to share some of my memories with you. Continue reading
Our Daily Bread –
well worth the time and effort
No, I’m not going to talk about the Lord’s Prayer, but about the bread, our family eats daily. Although it is pretty remarkable that in the Lord’s Prayer the request for bread comes before the more philosophical requests like the forgiveness of sins. Continue reading
Home-made Kefir – an ongoing adventure
Many years ago, when still living in Germany, I used to like kefir with my muesli in the morning. In Germany you can buy it in the dairy section of your local supermarket. However, this is not necessarily the case in other countries, and I sort of forgot about kefir. It was only when researching the history of cheese that I was reminded of it. Continue reading
Strawberries and Cream – and Richard III
Who doesn’t like strawberries and cream? And what if Richard III was no exception?
One of my favourite sites on the internet is Medievalists. Net, where I always find some article which interests and inspires me. The latest offering was no exception, ‘Recipes from The Tudor Kitchen’. I immediately thought of Julia, the expert on medieval cuisine of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society. Continue reading
Cheese Making through the Ages
I love cheese. So when I came across a reference to cheese during my research into Robert the Mason, I kept it in my mind’s “of interest” tray to come back to later.
In the 12th century, Geoffrey de Gorham, who was abbot of St Albans from 1119 to 1146, assigned to the monastery’s kitchen all of the cheeses from the Abbey’s demesnes of (St Paul’s) Walden, Abbot’s Langley and Sandridge (all in Hertfordshire).  It seems likely, as cheese was specifically mentioned in the Gesta abbatum, it had a high priority for the diet of the monks.