10 Garlic Facts All Cooks Should Know

Gavin WrenFood Education, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food

10 garlic facts every cook should know! Cloves of garlic close up with soft natural lighting
Garlic. The ubiquitous garlic bulb as we know it, allium sativum, has found it’s way into almost every country and culture of the globe from coast to coast, across vast continents and is deeply entrenched in the history of our world. That’s because it’s a regular little superstar of a plant, garnering modern scientific recognition for it’s effectiveness against high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, colds, some cancers and historically was a highly prized bedrock of any medicine man’s cabinet. Simply put, garlic is an excellent tonic for the human organism and without doubt, garlic is here to stay. My top ten garlic facts will help you get the most out of it in the way that I know best; eating it. Garlic tastes fantastic, especially if treated carefully, with respect. Not everyone realises how delicate garlic can be, because its scent and uncooked flavour are anything but subtle, being…

‘The Main Ingredient’ and Culinary Prejudices

Gavin WrenFood Education, Food Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

butternut squash black background
Forgive me father. It’s confessional corner again, time to lay bare yet another one of my peculiar little nuances regarding food. This time it’s a distinctly partial perspective of mine, a way of approaching food which has taken years to become apparent, and taken quite some time to ultimately dispel. It affected how I planned meals, how I chose recipes and how I did my shopping. This particularly peculiar perception worked to furnish me with a set of culinary blinkers, which I’m glad to say have been cast asunder, left to lie in tatters at the kerbside of my culinary journey through life. The Main Ingredient. I have spent vast tracts of my life labouring under a misconception. I worked under the peculiar idea that when I make a recipe, there lies an item within it, just one single ingredient, which is so overwhelmingly powerful, vital and precious that it…

The future of food at Borough Market

Gavin WrenFood Education, The World of Food

borough talks future of food
Last week saw the final instalment of Borough Market’s ‘Borough Talks’ series, a set of hugely engaging debates that have taken place over the last few months as part of Borough Market’s 1000 year anniversary. This time it was about the future of food, a subject that filled my mind with wild sci-fi fantasies of space age foods and Jetsons-inspired meal packs, so I was keen to find out what people had to say, with the bonus of sampling some delightful food laid on by a few of Borough Market’s residents afterwards. Image from Borough Market’s Twitter feed, here, you can also find photos from this event here at Borough Market’s Facebook page. The panel Professor Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University London was an utterly compelling speaker, his knowledge and passion very clear from his first words, combined with a sense of frustration, as…

Home Cooked Truths: Check your herbs and spices!

Gavin WrenFood Education, The World of Food

Home cooked truths check your spices
I’ve got some bad news for you, and I’m going to give it to you straight. You know those old jars of dried herbs and spices in your cupboard? They DO NOT keep for ever. Using old jars that have sat at the back of your cupboard for years might be ruining your enjoyment of any dishes that you use them in. What’s hiding in the cupboard? If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a cupboard full of little jars of spices bought over the last 10 years or more. You buy a small jar or bag for a specific recipe, then don’t use it again for years. The big problem is that whilst these jars sit in your cupboard, or in your spice rack, they are slowly degrading, which means they ultimately become flavourless and hold about as much culinary value as sawdust. Actually, that’s unfair on sawdust, as…

Free oven temperature conversion guide PDF

Gavin WrenFood Education, The World of Food

Free oven temperature conversion guide
Today I’m writing about an extremely serious subject, oven temperature conversion. I hope you’re sitting comfortably because this is a seriously hot topic. Badum-tish.
Converting oven temperatures accurately
OK, I promise, no more awful jokes. Sometimes, we need all the help we can get when it comes to cooking a new recipe. Like when you’ve worked and fretted for hours before cutting into a cake, only to find the base is STILL soggy despite an extra 30 minutes in the oven. Or those roasted vegetables that simply WON’T BROWN LIKE IN THE PHOTO. And we’ve all had something, errr, how do I put it, ‘caramelise’ a bit more than intended. Some of these situations are completely avoidable. And I want to help you with these problems through the simple process of accurate oven temperature conversions, because the internet is full of incorrect information, and you might have been using that…