Inspired food, drink


#1

I’m wondering what are your favourite foods things that inspire you, the ingredients that you can’t help but always use, the spirits and liqueurs that you can’t step away from.

Bonus points for ethical considerations, things in your backyard or things from distant lands.

For me, I’ve become totally enamoured with Chartruese, and I make fresh tabbouleh almost every second day for felafel rolls. It’s weird for me to eat this healthy, but lately I’ve had no red meat, and have been eating 80% vegetarian for nearly a month. I feel like I’m not just eating for sustenance, but eating to be alive. The further I go with this, the more I want to make myself…maybe I’ll try flatbread and my own felafels soon.


Other natural or unnatural processes that are like modular synthesis
#2

We grow 175 (and counting) different fruit varieties at Birdsong Orchards.

Violette de Bourdeux is our favorite fig.

Indian freestone peach has an incredible ruby colored flesh, in spite of its drab gray skin.

pit fruit


#3

My mouth is watering. Those fruits are beautiful, I wish I had access to fruit that lovely and colourful to use for work.


#4

Come to Santa Cruz, it’s calling…

:wink:


#5

I used to leave near an incredible bakery in east London, but unhappily moved to a different part of the city, so I went to a class at said bakery and have been making my own sourdough bread for about nine months now. To get a good crust, and basically commercial oven-level results in a home kitchen, you really need to bake bread in something that can trap the steam released by the dough, so I got a Lodge cast iron combo cooker, and cast iron cooking has since become my new obsession. Aside from pseudoscience-y sounding things like that it puts small amounts of iron into whatever food you cook in it (good for my partner and me as we are basically vegan at home, except for butter and the odd bit of cheese), it’s a super sustainable and enjoyable way of cooking. This thing will outlive all of us, unlike shitty non-stick pans which you have to throw out after a couple of years, and it’s insanely versatile. I have visitors from Australia at the end of the year bringing me some true blue solidteknics cast iron to make me feel like I’m back home too, so the collection is growing!

Pics of some nice loaves I made a couple of weeks ago attached because I thought they were pretty


#6

If you ever need anything mailed from Australia, don’t hesitate to ask!

I am curious about how it feels to be sustainable and what other lengths you go to, to make that happen with your consumption. It’s something that has been on my mind a lot for the last few months and I’d like to move more in that direction/understand how other people do it.


#7

Ha! Thanks man. I’ll let you know!

The thing with the sustainability stuff is that I feel like as much as you strive to make your consumption more sustainable, you’ll always find some other aspect of your life that is less sustainable than another. Some people find that daunting and resort to the “oh well, I guess I’ll do nothing” response, but I think that’s a bit of a cop out. It’s just another thing to keep in mind and strive to do some part of it a little better. You’re never going to be perfectly sustainable in all aspects of your life, but educating yourself and putting the effort in is really important. Food is an enormous thing that I think many people don’t even realise has wider consequences than just your calorie intake, but aside from that, my partner and I are especially conscious at the moment of making sure our clothes are from ethical sources with a conscious, sustainability-focused ethos. We try to buy vintage clothes more now, and support smaller brands who’re based in the UK or Europe which focus on the things that are important to us (shout out storyMFG, olderbrother, finisterre, Patagonia, Haeckels for cosmetics, etc).

Back to food tho (I am totally derailing this topic… maybe we should split it as I feel that it’d be a really interesting conversation to have on lines!), buying local food in the UK is a bit tough because nothing is grown here in winter. The berries and greens in summer are great, but most stuff is from the EU and a lot in winter is from South America and South Africa, so we’re just selective about whether we really need something from there, and just try to stick to stuff from Spain and Holland because at least they’re reasonably close, even local by Australian standards. Australia is actually quite good for this kind of stuff because up in Queensland they can basically grow anything year round.

I also think as far as cutting out meat/dairy/whatever goes, it’s always been a process for me. I don’t think having a date where you go “I’m veggie/vegan now” necessarily works for everyone, and there’s a certain amount of pressure that comes with that to maintain it forever and ever lest you be a FAILURE! I think that’s bullshit, and I think longevity is much more important for these kind of changes to have any impact, whether that’s on your health or on the environment. A few years ago I said “I don’t really eat meat anymore,” and I ate meat every now and again. Nowadays, I can’t remember the last time I intentionally ate meat, but I still say to people that I don’t really eat meat anymore, because I think the stigma that comes with saying you’re vegetarian or vegan is annoying and also makes people more combative in their response to it. People seem to be a bit more willing to talk about their consumption because of that, and I think it’s important to point out that animal rights aren’t the main reason a lot of people stop eating meat or go vegan (not that they’re not a good reason to!). I still get all the fucking “but what about bacon?” comments… Just have to ignore it.

Anyway, this got way longer than I intended it to, but I think there are just lots of small things that make a big difference, and the things that are better to buy/consume will be different in every place depending on what you can get locally. I love talking about this stuff, and would’ve split into a different topic but I can’t figure out how to!


#8

I think about this all the time. On the one hand, local food solves all kinds of sustainability problems around the distribution systems. On the other hand, it’s not just the UK that is inhospitable for growing for significant portions of the year. This likely describes a huge percentage (a majority?) of humans on earth.

So, “buy local” isn’t the silver bullet I once (long ago) hoped it would be. That being said, I do hope more people will find ways to start a garden (however modest) as time goes on. Direct experience with growing food can be extremely educational on multiple levels.

But we need better distribution systems. We need to find ways to offer distribution to smaller growers, who are more likely to be using sustainable farming practices. It’s also possible that we need to start thinking about how to facilitate migrations of large numbers of people to more hospitable climes (ideally further from the coast than people currently prefer to live, so we don’t all end up underwater as the sea level rises).

Someone sent me this the other day and it sent my head spinning a little bit:


#9

This is totally the conversation I want to have and I’m glad you’re bringing so much to the (ha!) table. I was just asked if I wanted to merge into a food thread but I was much more curious about the thoughts and philosophy of how lines eats.

You’re total right about Australia and our abundant food supply, year round. I think it’s something that I will look more into as I go further down this rabbit hole. As for making small changes, I totally agree with you on the matter of refusing to do anything in the face of overwhelming consideration, but I’d like to try harder, to compromise less.


#10

This basically sums up my approach to everything surrounding sustainability. Thank you for putting it so concisely! I think you’re based in the Hunter, right? If you were in Syd I’d have plenty of tips for you for veg/vegan restaurants!

@jasonw22, that article doesn’t really surprise me, except for the cost of the places there(!!!), and the gated community vibe it gives off. Aside from that, they actually sound like kinda nice places to live! I noticed some similar stuff but in the city when I was back in Sydney earlier this year… City farms are going off! The UK has quite a thriving “allotment” culture, so it’s not unusual to meet people who grow veg year round to supplement what they buy – the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, even gave some TV hosts a jar of jam from fruit he grew himself in his allotment. I live in a big apartment building in south east London and we have allotments for growing veg on the rooftop! I’m not sure many other places do it quite like they do here in the UK, but it needs to get bigger, and less prohibitively expensive (getting an allotment in London can be super competitive and also pricey), so more people can participate.


#11

It’s how I try and look at most things, it can get pretty depressing fast just trying to uncover all the things we take for granted, all the death and sadness just bellow the surface. I know it’s such a first world thing to have overbearing guilt over the state of things, but I hate to have a set of ideals and just throw them away whenever it is convenient to do so.

I am, but feel free to give me some tips, I’m not there often but I do go occasionally!


#12

Nice to see your reflections on this.

It’s so easy to get completely overwhelmed and depressed by this subject that the natural response is to avoid think about it. But being conscious of the consequences of our consumption is super important, as is not putting an over the top amount of pressure on yourself. For a while I worked with gold miners in the Congo, providing health care…coming back to the UK and seeing the the value we place on precious stones and metals, knowing the kind of places it comes from, really disgusted me for a time. Sometimes I catch myself despairing at the over consumption in our societies… and then come home to my ever growing record collection and am a bit embarrassed at the hypocrisy of it all. It’s kind of impossible to escape that to some degree.

We try to grow some fruit and veg on our 4th floor apartment balcony in England but it’s not much. Something I definitely want to do more of. Though with winter on the way that will have to wait.

Back to this. Black beans - I can’t get enough of them. Delicious, versatile and more protein than red meat (apparently)

Also @edbkt that bread looks so delicious!


#13

Thank you! There’s always a loaf for you if you’re in London!


#14

looks like my cousin’s bakery:

https://www.todaybread.com


#15

Close! It was actually e5, but I’ll definitely have to head up to Walthamstow to try your cousin’s place. Looks great!


#16

I may take you up on that offer! :slight_smile: I live in Cambridge but I work in London


#17

I’m intrigued by the Georgian cuisine. Even so much that I almost started a Khachapuria (street food stand selling the thing below) in Berlin a couple of summers ago…

Here’s the khachapuri (the Adjaruli variant to be precise)

And here’s khinkali:


#18

I’m a huge fan of what we call soda, carbonated water from a syphon according to wikipedia. I also have the metal kind where you make your own, but I don’t prefer it. We drink around 22L a week between the two of us.

I made a track called “Hay dias que no tengo soda” (Some days I don’t have soda) one week where I didn’t have access to any. It wasn’t a great week haha.

@jasonw22 Those fruits look unreal! Never heard of the first two before, they look great.


#19

I’m personally really, ridiculously fond of ginger beer and recently fell in love with sarsaparilla (root beer.) I’m really fond of anything that is complex, herbal and fruity and there is such a rich tradition and complex web behind all these herbal sodas and liqueurs, that I find fascinating. I’ve been meaning to get around to making my own cola at some point!


#20

re: nothing is grown in winter; well, there are a few roots; the ancient British diet of potatoes/turnips/more turnips is a result of our delightful soil and climate.