Ep28 - Mastic, Mastiha, Mummies and Massage with Aristea Zougri of Althea Massage Therapy and Yoga

Heat from the body can soften it making it more pliable and chewy. Chewy is a key word around its etymology. It’s a tree sap that is dried in the sun from only one place, the Greek island of Chios. It’s all about mastic, or mastiha in Greek or by it’s poetic name Tears of Chios. I’ll look at its history, rarity, value and its many uses. There's art by Émile Bayard, Elisabetta Duminuco and Clémentine Bal. Our guest Aristea Zougri of Althea Massage Therapy and Yoga has a myriad of skills and talents as a massage therapist, yoga practitioner with her own line of body oils. We chat about her career, holistic treatments, lots about the food of her native Greece and some of her mastiha memories.

Read More

Ep27 - Feed A Lady Marmalade - Voulez-vous écouter avec moi ce soir

It can fluctuate from flavour profiles of bitter, tart, sweet and juicy…you can choose from thin or thick cut, even no cut! Thinking of it likely brings several things to mind - the first being…oranges, perhaps the second being whether you are actually into it or not and perhaps thirdly Paddington Bear? This episode is going to look at marmalade and all the twists and turns of it’s origins, etymology and the great stories associated with it. With a look at the popular manga Marmalade boy by Wataru Yoshizumi and artwork from Canadian artist Sylvie Adams.

Read More

Ep26 - Octopus, Polpo, Pulpo, Tako: Takoyaki - My Delicious Dilemma

Throughout the world and throughout time, people and cultures have both revered and feared this eight-limbed, legendary Cephalopod - the octopus. We’ll look at the mythology and folklore of the octopus, their physiology and behaviour; which all strengthen their reputation as symbols of strength, intelligence and mystery. We’ll look at artworks by Japanese master Hokusai, resin artist Keng Lye, potter Tammy Garcia and illustrator Esther Van Hulsen. Plus I make takoyaki - round octopus pancake balls! This whole episode was inspired by a chat to my amazing friend Michiru who I miss a lot! She was eating takoyaki while we were video chatting on Line and I just knew I had to make them! Thanks Michi!!! xox

Read More

Ep25 - Gooseberries and Gooseberry Gumbo at Jimmy's Festival on Jimmy's Farm

You’d be a gooseberry foole to miss this episode which looks at gooseberry history, etymology, historical pairings and lots of slang. We’ll look at competitive gooseberry growing, the Egton Bridge Gooseberry Society and the world’s record holder for biggest gooseberry. There is a brief look at the Enclosures Act and how they affected rural life in England. For art we’ll look at still life paintings by Dutch artist Adriaen Coorte, landscape painting by British artist Isabel Naftel and contemporary painting by Indigenous Australian artist Madawyn McCarthy. Plus you’ll find my recipe and some snippets recorded from my Gooseberry Gumbo food demo at Jimmy’s Festival hosted by Joe Hurd (Instagram) & Hardeep Singh Kohli (Instagram)…don’t be a gooseberry and miss this one!

Read More

Ep24 - Fiori di Zucca with Orso Tosco, author of Aspettando I Naufraghi

This episode it's the zucchini aka the courgette and their stunningly beautiful flowers. As my guest was Orso Tosco, the Italian author who has just published his novel, Aspettando I Naufraghi. For his topic Orso chose fiori di zucca or courgette/zucchini flowers as they feature in his novel and are one of his favourite dishes. As we will see there is a strong link between Italy and courgette flowers which will play out in our chat, the artwork covered in this episode and their interesting history. So listen above to find out about Orso's book, his process, food thoughts and memories; their earned reputation as symbols of the sensual and erotic, artwork from Arcimboldo, Giovanni de Udine, Georgia O'Keeffe and find out where courgette/zucchini come from, their travels around the world, how we get their beautiful flowers, and the myriad of ways that we can use them.

Read More

Ep23 - A Rhubarb of a Pickle of a Jam

This episode looks at where rhubarb came from and how it traveled the world. I look at the changes from how rhubarb was first used by humans to how it is enjoyed today. We'll learn about the etymology of rhubarb, the need for albarelli drug jars and then there's the utterly interesting link between rhubarb and the Zoroastrian creation myth. I'll share why the culinary tradition of Forced Rhubarb fully deserves its PDO status. I will share how I was inspired by the rhubarb inspired artworks by Nikolai Astrup, Mary Fedden, Elizabeth Johnson. I share some of the ways that I use rhubarb in my cookery, preserves, food photography and patterns.

Read More

Ep22 - From Christmas to New Year's Eve - Champagne, Prosecco and Cava

At Christmas-time and New Year we drink more champagne, prosecco and cava than ever and it seems perfectly acceptable to be cracking open bottles of bubbley before noon. Those bubbles can go straight to ones head…and what starts as giddiness…quickly moves into tipsiness…which is sure to end in headache if one too many glasses are enjoyed. We'll look at the roots of bubbly and how it became such a celebratory treat.

Read More

Ep21 - Christmas Chocolates - Twelve Foods of Christmas

This mini-episode is just a little taster, chocolate will get a FULL ON episode in the future, here we are just focusing on Christmas chocolates such as chocolate coins, chocolate tins and trays. From its roots in South and Central America cacao has created joy and good tidings everywhere it has gone and we love to gift it, share it and eat it at Christmas.

Read More

Ep20 - Gin & Sloe Gin - 12 Foods of Christmas

It's the mid point between Christmas and New Year…we might benefit from a break from the excesses that have been and may be yet to come. We also can't go cold-turkey from the excesses of non-stop food and drink so a gin and tonic or a bit of sloe gin is a welcome comfort. I never manage to get the timing right to pick sloes from the hedgerows where they can be foraged. The Sloe, or wild Plum, is the fruit of the Blackthorn found in the hedgerows. By autumn these small fruits are oval, blue-black and their sourness makes them perfect to cover with sugar and gin which by Christmas will have formed into a perfectly luxurious holiday tipple, sloe gin.

Read More

Ep19 - Christmas Chutney - Twelve Foods of Christmas

Capturing magic in a jar, sharing that with family and friends, creating new culinary moments and memories with family and friends and repeat.Today’s Christmas food is chutney. Since the last 12 Foods of Christmas episode featured cheese, it would seem only fitting that we follow that up with chutney. So there we have it, will you be enjoying chutney this Christmas? What are your favourite flavours?

Read More

Ep18 - Cheese - Twelve Foods of Christmas

It’s a perfect symphony of seasonality. Many cheeses  we enjoy at Christmas are coming into peak maturity around the holidays. What’s your cheese? British classics or continental cheeses? Do you go for the cheese board rather than pudding? At Christmas you can sample ALL the cheeses and ALL the puddings! It's a perfectly delicious puzzle when choosing ones plate of cheeses and pairing them w/chutneys, crackers, wines and ports. How cheese is good for us, more Ebenezer Scrooge and artwork by Floris van Dyck.

Read More

Ep17 - Oranges - Twelve Foods of Christmas

In the 5 or 6 weeks prior to Christmas is when clementines, satsumas, manderins and tangerines come into season and join forces to dominate the fruit bowl. Their flavours and essences appear throughout our food, drink and traditions throughout Christmas. Find out about the roots and origins of oranges and the differences between the easy-peelers. We'll learn about St. Nicholas and why we put oranges in stockings with help of Gentile da Fabriano and his painting, Three Gold Balls.

Read More

Ep16 - Mulled Wine - Twelve Foods of Christmas

It has lots of the familiar spices we associate with Christmas infused together in warmed wine, spirits, fruit and sugar. Walk in to a party from the cold and serving mulled wine and you’ll know instantly as it saturates your sense of smell and warms you up as it fills your belly. Since pre-history we have found ways to drink fermented beverages and we owe thanks to the Greeks and the Romans for specifically bringing mulled wine to Northern Europe and throughout the world. We'll discuss Circe, her role in the Odyssey and with Odysseus will be discussed as well as her appearance in Gioacchino Assereto's painting Circe Mulling Wine. I share my own tips and recipe for mulled wine and more.

Read More

Ep15 - Christmas Goose - Twelve Foods of Christmas

Goose - the squatted, more flavourful, dark meat alternative to their dry, white-melted fowl cousin the turkey. The custom and popularity of eating a goose during autumnal and winter harvest and holidays stretches from when they were domesticated by the Egyptians over 4000 years ago. This episode looks at traditions throughout the ages including the long-running Tavistock Goosey Fair, Michaelmas, the Smithfield's Market Christmas Eve Sale and the goose/turkey dynamic of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Read More

Ep13 - Cranberry Sauce - Twelve Foods of Christmas

These small, round, bright-red berries are more tart than sweet which makes them a perfect accompaniment to roast meat and dinners bringing a nice bright dash of Christmas red to ones plate. This week we look at how these North American fruits have become part of Christmas, gained status as a superfood and the many ways they can be enjoyed throughout the holidays and year-round.

Read More

Ep12 - Brussel Sprouts - Twelve Foods of Christmas

When I was little I was sure that someone with magical powers had shrunk cabbages into bite size portions. If you don’t think they taste delicious, you’re probably cooking them wrong! And if you’re just eating them at Christmas…well lots of people do but they deserve a place at the table beyond the Christmas holidays and sprouts are a £650,000,000 business with loads of varieties to try and inventive pairings and ways to prepare them. Artwork from Amedee Varin

Read More

Ep11 - Mincemeat - Twelve Foods of Christmas by Smy Goodness Podcast

Mincemeat and mince pies are markers of Christmas. Mincemeat is the filling baked inside pies and they originally contained dried fruit, spices, vinegar and meat when they first appeared in the 15th century. There’s the old wives' tale that you should eat a mince pie on each of the 12 days of Christmas for good luck in the upcoming year. Listen and see below for more information, tips and recipes.

Read More

Ep10 - Plates and Platters with Tim Parker of You'll Soon Know on NTS

This week I sat down with Tim Parker the Web Developer, Designer, DJ and host of the NTS radio programme You'll Soon Know. We discussed food and music memories, travel, design and how we approach and share all of the above.

Before my chat with Tim I look at the history of plates from our pre-history days as humans and their quick evolution from functional pieces to decorative, artistic and even space exploring items. The work of Judy Chicago, Chloe Wise, Dr Amanda Furman's The Ascent of Woman, the Voyager Golden records and more are discussed.

Read More

Ep9 - Anyone Sycophancy a Fig?

Figs reverence surely stems from their historic connection to our own agricultural journey and they are a symbol of abundance and important to ancient peoples, cultures, art, cookery and religions. They are symbols of fertility, wealth, youth and the brevity of life. This episode will look at the Greek etymology behind 'sycophancy' and the Roman Apicius' recipe for fegato. Artists discussed include Giovanna Garzoni, Albrecht Durer, Clara Peeters, Suzanne Valadon, Vivienne Westwood and Figs in Wigs.

Read More