Food

Boozy, Snoozy, Chocolatey Beer Cake

This chocolate beer cake doesn’t contain nearly enough alcohol to get anyone drunk – even if you never drink beer, abhorring the taste as in my case, or even if you feed the cake in mushed form to your newborn daughter or son. You can eat this cake or foist it off onto others and simply go about your business,…

A Perfectly Simple Peanut Butter Smoothie

So you’ve spread yourself some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and your peanut butter cheesecake with an oreo crumb is contentedly chilling all alone in the fridge, and you’ve sat yourself down and are ready to surfeit on a delicious dinner – but hold on, you doofus, don’t you need something to drink? After all peanut butter has a propensity for…

Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich

Whether dunking figures headfirst into hot coffee, laying waste to two-story family homes and rummaging for the fragments of icing and chocolate, or pressing half-imagined men and women together in indecent postures before licking them over and devouring them completely, everyone in some shape or form likes gingerbread around the wintertime. But the following recipes unite a thick and chewy gingerbread…

Swedish Lussekatter

Throughout Scandinavia but in Sweden most of all, Lucia is celebrated on 13 December. One of the most relished dates in the Swedish calendar, marking the start of the Christmas festivities, the celebration brings together old pagan and Christian traditions. Under the Julian calendar, which was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BC and thereafter followed across Europe, the winter solstice…

Food in Fiction: Hot Peas and Vinegar in ‘Two Gallants’

The addition of a condiment can sometimes turn an insubstantial side into a hearty supper. In James Joyce‘s ‘Two Gallants’, Lenehan stops at a shop for something to eat: ‘He paused at last before the window of a poor-looking shop over which the words Refreshment Bar were printed in white letters. On the glass of the window were two flying inscriptions: Ginger…

Swedish Prinsesstårta

Little over a year ago, my partner and I celebrated her birthday in the company of others, and made for the occasion a princess cake: the delirious Swedish prinsesstårta. This was shortly before the dessert appeared on an episode of The Great British Bake Off; and I posted briefly about the cake, with a photograph, over on Culturedarm’s Tumblr page. Alas, I never posted…

Food & Drink on Film: A New Leaf’s Malaga Cooler

When Henry Graham and Henrietta Lowell first meet in Elaine May’s 1971 film A New Leaf, it is over a cup of tea, or rather three cups, and quite literally over them for Henrietta has just spilled all three. ‘Incredibly clumsy woman isn’t she – no wonder she’s doesn’t ride’, utters Henry’s friend Bo, who has problems of his own:…

Swedish Chokladbollar

The tasty chokladboll, infamously once – and alas occasionally still – known as the negerboll, the humble chocolate ball when translated into English, is one of the most popular of all Swedish confections. As I have previously indicated, the Swedes possess a proclivity towards food days, and the chokladboll had its moment earlier this week: chokladbollens dag fell on Monday,…

A Cultural History of the Potato as Earth Apple

The etymology of the word ‘apple’ takes us back to the Early Middle Ages, when it appeared in various related forms across the Germanic languages: as ‘apful’/’aphul’ or ‘apfel’/’aphel’ in Old High German, ‘appel’ in Old Frisian, ‘appul’ in Old Saxon, ‘epli’ in Old Icelandic, ‘æplæ’ or ‘æpæl’ in Old Danish, and so on. At the time, the word referred sometimes…