Switzerland’s Hot and Cheesy Casserole Named After A Disease

Goms is a valley in the rugged mountainous canton of Valais in Switzerland, where this pie originated. The unusual name of this pie, Gomser Cholera, derives from the cholera epidemic that hit Switzerland hard in 1836. Rather than leave the house and risk infection, people tended to prepare meals with the food they had on […]

Make A Spicy Jewish Soup from North Africa

Bread bakers set aside a portion of yeasted dough to act as a starter for the next batch of bread. This starter is called a sponge, poolish, levain de boulanger in French, and biga in Italian. But in this medieval soup of the Jews of North Africa it is the foundation to a soup. The […]

Christmas Eve Risotto from Venice

This is a typical Christmas Eve dinner preparation and is unusual for two reasons: it is not cooked according to the risotto method even though it’s called a risotto, and it combines cheese with fish. The dish probably evolved from a simple fish pilaf, one using, perhaps, gò (goby, an ugly little fish that lives […]

Greek Classics For A Special Dinner At Home

Greek food is one that is festive, healthy, simple and delicious, and Greek restaurants are always fun to go to. Greek food is easy to cook at home too, as long as you have the basic staples — none of which are exotic — such as olive oil, tomatoes, oregano, lemon and feta cheese. When […]

Sicilians Know Swordfish!

The popularity of swordfish in Sicily goes back to the ancient Greeks when they established colonies on the island.  But this preparation has four of the hallmarks of cucina arabo-sicula, the folkloric cuisine believed to be vestigial of Arab influence from the Arab-Sicilian era of the ninth to twelfth centuries: the use of citrus, grilled […]

Summertime Squid, Grilled the Sicilian Way

Calamari Ripieni   Print Prep time 25 mins Cook time 40 mins Total time 1 hour 5 mins   For ease, buy the squid already cleaned but make sure they include each of the squid’s tentacles. Eight squid should weigh about 1¼ pounds, and that size is ideal for grilling in this recipe. You can […]

Sicilian Frittedda: A Riot of Tender Spring Flavors

In the springtime in Sicily a simply named dish reveals an explosion of flavor that belies its satisfying complexity. It is a dish special with spring vegetables — fava, peas, scallions and artichokes — and called frittedda (or fritedda). In western Sicily, where frittedda was born, it is served as a grape ‘u pitittu, a […]

Sicily’s Cucina Erotica All in a Seafood Stew

Sicilians are noted for culinary preparations with vulgar names. It’s not clear when this tradition began, but many of these dishes are sexual in nature and considered part of what would be called cucina erotica.  One particular style of preparation–and actually the name of the sauce in a variety of preparations–is called picchi-pácchiu, referring to […]

Give Christmas A Sicilian Spin With Hearty Tummala

Families all seem to have their own Christmas classics — roast turkey, baked ham, crown roast or pork, or prime rib. Many Italian-Americans will have lasagna or a feast of seven fishes. One spectacular preparation for a change of pace is to follow some families and make the classic Sicilian Christmas tummàla. Tummàla is a […]

Pumpkin Inspiration from Tunisian Jewish Cuisine

Tunisian Jews traditionally ate the same way as the Muslim population, that is, they ate little plates as part of a meze table, or what was called an ādū, a Tunisian Arabic expression for meze, an assortment of olives, relishes, pickles and prepared food served on small plates as an entire meal or to nibble. […]

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