The New Foodieism: Like many of us, I spent the winter muddling through a mental miasma, pondering the meaning of life and democracy. I did, of course, think about “food” — how it’s produced, marketed, discussed, consumed, and so on — during my self-imposed hiatus from near-constant writing, which began more than 18 months ago. But I also wondered about its relevance. So much so that, after the election, I said that working on food issues had to take second place to “defending democracy”: It seemed to me that food was somehow less important than it had been BT“Before Trump.” Since this is a food column, after all, we could also say “before the chickens came home to roost,” acknowledging that the founders actually established a faux-democracy, which allows the system to be rigged to the point where even a statement like “all white men are created equal” is a joke; and how that, in turn, left a large enough number of voters apathetic and/or frustrated enough to make room for a disrupter like Trump.. I mean, we were instantly looking at the near-dissolution of the EPA. Six months later, we’ve withdrawn from the Paris climate accord, which withdraws us from honest engagement and responsibility in the global community. How could we not reconsider the relative importance of farmers’ markets, veggie burgers, the role of ruminants in agriculture, or soda taxes?
Summer books of 2017: Food: Tim Hayward selects his mid-year reads
Pão de queijo is the history of Brazil in a moreish cheese snack: At almost every Brazilian gathering you’ll find pão de queijo (pronounced pow-ge-kay-ju) on the table: small golden cheese balls with a crunchy crust, a light, fluffy centre and a slightly tart flavour. They are similar to French gougère but are naturally gluten free.
A barbecue, Argentina-style: We live in a 200-year-old barn in Somerset we are renovating. Opposite, we have another long barn with an old tin roof, oak posts and white stone gables, which we are slowly doing up too. While the renovations are happening, we’re using the outdoor area in front of it as something of a summer kitchen space.
Wine: orange is the new white: We pride ourselves in this country on our openness to new influences, but when it comes to orange wine, Canada has the edge. I’ve just spent a few days in Montreal, where practically every restaurant (OK, not Tim Hortons) lists orange wines; one place I went to, Nora Gray, had 10. The quality-control board in Ontario has even drawn up regulations for skin contact wines – wines where the grapes are left in contact with the skins; it’s the first in the world to create such a code.
Dark kitchens: is this the future of takeaway? It’s 5.45pm and the orders have begun to arrive at Motu Indian Kitchen in south London. Bollywood music is pumping, the air is thick with spice and chefs whirl through it with the fierce focus demanded when your boss’s Michelin-starred reputation is at stake. At the sound of a buzzer, a runner ducks in, whips the pristine dishes away and deftly swerves through the chain-link curtain into . . . a vacant car park.