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Showing posts from 2015

THE NOT SO HUMBLE DUMPLING

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Dumplings, and variations on that theme, are found all over the world. Dumplings are small pieces of dough, cooked alone or wrapped around a filling. They can be made from flour, potatoes and bread and their filling may include meet, fish or vegetables.

In Britain dumplings are most commonly found floating atop a hearty stuff, like puffy clouds. Made well, from a mixture of flour and suet, they are light and fluffy, but add a useful helping of carbohydrate to a meat or vegetable stew of broth.


Travelling east, dumplings in various forms are found all over Europe, from ravioli and tortellini in Italy to knödel in Germany and Austria, not forgetting the famous Pierogi of Poland, which come in savoury and sweet varieties. Meanwhile, Turkey's answer to ravioli is Manti (meat-filled dumplings), and indeed these are popular throughout Central Asia. And in India there are samosas. Swing round the globe the other way, and in Central and South America, there are empanadas and pasteles.

Far…

MUSIC & CAKES IN VIENNA

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Last weekend I visited Vienna for the first time with members of my piano group. Because of the musical connections (Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mahler, Schoenberg and more all lived in the city), it's a city I have long wanted to visit. The trip was ostensibly to connect with a Viennese amateur piano group, and we also took in a tour of the Bosendorfer piano factory while we were there. But aside from the piano activities (which included a joint concert given by ourselves and the Vienna piano group), we were all keen to sample the many other delights which Vienna has to offer, culinary as well as cultural.

One of the most famous Viennese culinary specialities is Sachertorte, a rich chocolate cake invented by confectioner Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna. This rich chocolate cake consists of a dense chocolate cake meringue based with a thin layer of apricot jam on top, coated in dark chocolate icing on the top and sides. It …