The celebration of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, is probably as old as human settlements and agriculture, if not older. Although the real winter cold is yet to come, the days are getting longer again. The crop has been brought in, there is not much outside work to be done, the... Continue Reading →
Culinary History video channel
I did it: I started a Youtube channel for historic cuisine. In the following weeks I will upload more videos featuring a selection of ancient recipes ranging from Mesopotamia to the Middle Ages. My idea is to present historic recipes in a way that they can be reproduced at home, in normal household kitchens with... Continue Reading →
Vacation With An Artist: historic cooking classes
I just joined the @vawaa_ family! VAWAA (Vacation With An Artist) offers mini apprenticeships with master artists and craftspeople all over the world. You can now book a VAWAA workshop with me and learn about historic cooking for four days. Find out more at https://vawaa.com/artists/ursula-historic-cooking-italy/. Look out for the winter solstice special!
A dinner fit for a knight
A medieval dinner featuring Apulian ingredients: A meat and mushroom pie, crepes with chicken cooked in spiced wine with apples, vegetables, fire roasted onions with verjuice and olive oil, cheese, pears poached in red wine, and bread baked from home grown wheat. Not to forget the wine, of course.
The origin of the trullo
The origin of the trullo is unclear. It is often claimed that the shape of the trullo goes back to a 17th century tax evading scheme by the Counts of Acquaviva, ruling the County of Conversano – which included Alberobello – since 1481. According to this narrative, drystone architecture was imposed upon settlers so that... Continue Reading →
Southern Italy for National Geographic
Last year, my husband and I published an article about the history of Islam in Southern Italy in the Italian edition of the National Geographic Magazine, which was published unter the title Quando Eravamo Arabi ("When we were Arabs"). Below is the English original text. Doing research for this article inspired me to write the... Continue Reading →
Verjuice (French „verjus“, Italian „agresto“, Persian „ab-ghureh“) is the juice of green, unripe grapes, hence its name „vert jus“ = green juice. It is acidic and astringent and is a perfect substitute for vinegar and lemon juice. Actually, I totally prefer it to vinegar. We even make ceviche with it, instead of lemon juice. Verjuice... Continue Reading →
The archaeology of cooking
As an archaeologist and food historian, I offer culinary archaeology workshops, featuring the history of Mediterranean and European cuisines. Ancient recipes surprise with their - for us - unusual combination of tastes and aromas, blending the salty, the sweet, the sour and the spicy into astounding combinations.