All posts tagged: Agricultural history

Medieval Hemp Soup Recipes

I don’t know if you aware of it but hemp seeds in food are a pretty modern thing. I know that doesn’t fit the title of this post. But, yes they are! Only recently machinery was developed – the first sometime in the ’90s in Europe – that allows the non-laborious dehulling of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds have a very tough hull – not nice to eat (for a very nice overview of hemp economics and biology look at this recent book). This may be one of the reasons – besides that hemp was primarily for producing cloth, i.e. was harvested when the seeds weren’t ripe yet – that hemp used to be food for the poor. Thus, all traditional hemp recipes out there are really down-to-earth recipes. Don’t get me wrong. They ARE amazing!!! Despite being Medieval, they are even for modern standards pretty healthy… very healthy… Now here is the thing, you hardly find Medieval hemp soup recipes – besides Siemieniotka – on the English web. Thanks God, I speak German as well …

Dinning like Cersei

Do you get itchy by the thought of how many months are still remaining until season six starts? Did you mark in your calendar potential dates when ‚Winds of Winter‘ may come out ahead of the series, so that you stay updated about Westeros? Are you scandalized by the news that HBO is considering pushing back the premiere of GoT back in favor of another series? Then I can offer you a very pleasant way of comforting you through GoT-withdrawel period: ‘The Inn at the Crossroads’. The first official GoT food blog is just the most comprehensive list of Westerosi cuisine – with some information about Esso‘s cooking as well. Links for ebooks with Westerosi recipes (some of which include forwords by George RR Martin himself – yay!) are available. And, yeah, the name of the blog DOES sound familiar: it is an actual location from the song of ice and fire. So, read the recipe? Gathered all necessary ingredients and kitchen utilities? Then, only one thing is missing: the correct attitude while dinning. To …

On the spotlight: navette (turnip)

Turnips are called navette in French, rzepa in Polish and Mairübe in German. Before the arrival of the potato in Europe they were very important vegetables. As I got into lazy cooking recently, I rediscovered them for myself. Their very elegant taste – softer than garden radish or horsradish but definetely with a sharp spike – makes them perfect veggies for a salad. Just peel them (they are easy to peel), cut them (they are easy to cut) and put olive oil, lemon juice and salt on them. Any yoghurt dressing or sweet dressing will do as well. It tastes just magnificent. Last but not least – you can store them for weeks, so it is a really good vegetable for lazy cooks 😉

Agricultural Innovation

Where is the limit to agricultural innovation? That‘s what a friend of mine – a Romanian living in the Netherlands who took the picture – recently asked herself. Nowadays, you can buy Pineberries in her local supermarket. Pineberries were of course bred by traditional methods. There are contradicting sources on the web. Some say that Hans de Jongh collected the few remaining plants in 2003 and saved the species from extinction. Other sources say that he himself bred the species further into a commercializable version. Nowadays, pinebeeries are available all over Europe – only 10 years after de Jongh finished his project. They are part of a larger wave of “agricultural innovations” entering the markets. Another prominent example include sweet lupines. Some say this innovations are very needed, other are of course hesitant. In any case the world is on the move.