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Ep24 - Fiori di Zucca with Orso Tosco

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...


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. Go to to see the artworks I was...


Ep22 - Bubbly: Champagne, Prosecco and Cava - 12 Foods of Christmas

At Christmas-time and New Year we drink more of it than ever and it seems perfectly acceptable to be cracking open bottles of bubbly before noon or anytime you have guests round. It’s also the perfect gift to bring round, a ribbon tied round the iconic bottle. Bubbly is a great aperitif, can finish off a meal, be paired with liqueurs or drank on its own. 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...


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.


Ep20 - Gin & Sloe Gin - 12 Foods of Christmas

William Hogarth's Gin Lane, 1751 engraving It's the mid point between Christmas and New Year…we might benefit from a break from the excesses. We 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. 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 has...


Ep19 - Christmas Chutney - 12 Foods of Christmas

How do you eat your chutney? What is your favourite cheese and chutney combination? 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. I have often been asked by Spanish or Italian friends or customers what a chutney is. Chutney originated in India and has now become a staple condiment that has no standard recipe. Discoveries, capitalism and colonialism all contributed to chutneys...


Ep18 - Christmas Cheese - Twelve Foods of Christmas

It’s a perfect symphony of seasonality. Many cheeses that we enjoy at Christmas have been made in the summer and are just coming in to peak maturity around the holidays. What’s your cheese? British classics or continental cheeses? Are you someone who goes for the cheese board rather than a pudding? Luckily at Christmas you can sample ALL the cheeses and all the puddings! It's a perfectly delicious puzzle when choosing ones post Christmas dinner plate of cheeses and pairing them with...


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. Three...


Ep16 - Mulled Wine - 12 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...


Ep15 - Christmas Goose - 12 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 A Christmas Carol.


Ep14 - Cinnamon - Twelve Foods of Christmas

It works sweet or savoury and can be oh-so overpowering if you let it. It’s not my favourite spice and is one that I use sparingly so that it doesn’t dominate a dish, but properly balanced, cinnamon brings warmth and depth of flavour to dishes all year round but particularly at Christmas. We'll look at its importance throughout the ancient world, how beneficial it is in terms of health and how it is only recently enjoyed by the masses. Artwork from 'Tractatus de Herbis' by Dioscorides,...


Ep13 - Cranberry Sauce - 12 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.


Ep12 - Brussel Sprouts - 12 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. Save


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...if I eat two per day will it bring me double the good luck next year? Listen for a brief look at the history, art and design of mincemeat.


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 technological. The work of Judy Chicago, Chloe Wise, Dr Amanda Furman's The Ascent of Woman, the...


Ep9 - Anyone Sycophancy a Fig?

Figs are one of the earliest if not our earliest cultivated plant. Their 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,...


Ep8 - Dumplings with Peiran Gong and Tongtong Ren of Chinese Laundry Room

They occur all over the world in some shape or form - you might know them as ravioli, empanada, gyoza, fufu, piroges, tortellini - pastries filled with savoury meat and/or vegetables or even sweet versions filled with fruit. They can be steamed, boiled, broiled, baked or fried. This episode will focus on the Chinese dumpling, and look at how this ancient food is the epitome of a food so steeped in art, history and design that, when done properly, is a little edible works of art. I will...


Ep7 - Bunches of Grapes

Grapes are one of the first plants to be grown domestically by people and this cultivation cycle . One only needs to look at the symbolic, religious and cultural importance of grapes to get a small fathoming of what they must have meant to the early peoples who first fermented them to what they mean across the world today. Since Ancient Greece artists have used grapes to show off their artistic skills by capturing the beauty held within both the individual grapes and as a whole bunch on...


Ep6 - Ice Cream w/Tara Esperanza of T.O.I.C. - Tara's Organic Ice Cream

Show Notes: 0-2.30 - Episode Intro 2.30-7.30 - Ice cream, history and design 7.30-10.15 - Picasso, Axell, Burman - artists and ice cream depiction 10.15 - 57 - Tara Esperanza of T.O.I.C. interview 57-59 - episode closing comments This week it's ice cream! Listen above to hear how, why and when ice cream became the world-wide popular dish that it is is. Everyone has their own memories and preferences relating to this frozen treat that it delicious served with fruit, cake in a cone or...


Ep5 - Pancakes & Creativity w/ Aimee Furnival of Another Studio

This week I'll be looking at pancakes and chatting to Aimee Furnival, Founder and Director of Another Studio. Aimee and I made pancakes together, something we have done countless times. Pancakes are the popular breakfast food that are generally enjoyed on the weekend, at brunch or special occasions. It's always a special occasion to spend time with Aimee who is a truly wonderful friend and a creative inspiration. Over pancakes we chatted about design processes from start to finish and how...