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Stirred’s Guide to Italian Rice

August 18, 2015

Three Italian Rice Varieties Arborio The most popular and, by a very large margin, the most plentifully produced premium Italian rice, Arborio is classified as superfino, a term applied only to strains that produce the plumpest, largest grains. The thin outer layer of the grain disintegrates quickly in cooking, providing a generous amount of the […]

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Stirred’s Guide to Italian Wine

The DOC regulations of Italy were established in the early 1960’s. To say that they have been a double edged sword ever since would be to understate the Italian national desire to simultaneously institute and circumvent regulation. Italy is the most legislated country in Europe (generally, not just in wine) and no sooner had the […]

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Comparables Across Continents

A recent visit to Hong Kong does not make for obvious similarities to Northern Italy.  However, an early morning visit to the bustling wet markets in Kowloon proves me wrong; the freshest of fish; razor clams, red snapper, cuttlefish and squid straight off the sampan at 5am, all sold out by mid morning, gives me […]

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The Spirit of Spring in a Pea Pod!

So, when I try to envisage what single thing evokes the spirit of Spring for me, I have a recurring image which I just can’t shake – a first harvest, new season, freshly podded……pea. It haunts me with its perfect shade of green, the intensity of its natural sweetness which will never again be reached, […]

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An Italian Celebration of Baby Spring Vegetables

Spring may be dragging its heels here in the UK but in the Veneto, it’s in full swing. This roast vegetable salad recipe is a celebration of baby Spring vegetables in all their glory for when the great British weather finally obliges… Salad of Roast Spring Vegetables with Olive Oil, Lemon, Chilli & Garlic A […]

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A Salad to Set the Tone for Spring

Move over winter, spring is arriving. You know it is by the bunches of purple baby artichokes hanging from the market stalls above the wooden crates of tiny fave or broad beans and hessian sacks peeled back to show off the new season peas. Not only a feast for the eyes but the promise of […]

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A Rialto Fish Fix

Gliding around the Rialto fresh fish markets on a cold, crisp winter morning is quite possibly one of the best things a fish and seafood junkie will ever get to do. Senses on high alert, nerve endings sparking off the rich tapestry of colours and textures – the sheer abundance and variety is something to […]

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Stirred’s Guide to Hidden Venice

Have you ever wondered how you go about finding that place in a foreign city you love, which at once makes you feel like a local and not excluded, feel at home but buzzing with the excitement of being in a new place and feel that tiny bit special that you have found a diamond […]

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The Faces of Stirred Travel – Introducing Sophie Braimbridge

Highly acclaimed chef, Sophie Braimbridge was trained by the Roux Brothers and has cooked in some of the world’s leading restaurants, including Le Gavroche and the River Cafe in London, and Chez Panisse in San Francisco. What Sophie doesn’t know about Italian cooking isn’t worth knowing. A chef, writer and cookery presenter, she has been […]

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Valentine’s Day – something and nothing?

For a keen ‘risottista’ it certainly is a something. Making risotto is a love affair. From the moment you drop the onion soffritto into the pan of gently melting butter to the final shower of parmesan and a slow scarpetta around the plate to make sure you haven’t left one last grain, it demands your constant devotion. There are […]

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