Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Times UK: Meet the Food Bloggers: Delicious Days

Times Online

June 9, 2009

Meet the Food Bloggers: Delicious Days

Nicole Stich blogs about unusual ingredients - radish pesto, anyone? - and hearty traditional fare from Bavaria, Germany

Nick Wyke

10. Blog: Delicious Days

What inspires you to write a food blog?

Like a dear friend of mine says, "food always tastes better with a story to it" and I couldn't imagine it any other way. When I discovered food blogs it was like discovering a whole new world, one that provided everything I could possibly wish for: people who could talk about food forever and who were passionate about cooking; who loved to create new recipes and exchanged tips and tricks about how to prepare, for instance, an out-of-this-world pesto.

The trust people put into my recipes and their immediate feedback (via comments and emails) is a wonderful reward to the effort I put into my blog. Meanwhile my love of food writing and food photography has become a full-time job, and led to this book. I couldn't be happier.

What sort of posting really gets your readers excited (good or bad)?

Recipes that contain an unusual ingredient are quite popular, for example my radish leaves pesto got many readers excited just recently. Or the postings about traditional German/Bavarian/Czech fare from my grandma (like the sponge cake roll, apple greaves dripping or Zwetschgenknödel – it's always nice to read comments about my readers' own food memories. Food is such an emotional element in our lives.

Which cookbook can you not do without and which chef is your hero/heroine?

I could never pick just one. It's the whole collection I treasure, from different books on bread baking to Indian cuisine, so I can compare recipes and see the diversity of food, style and culture.

There's also no particular chef I admire, but I have a lot of respect for every passionate chef working in a restaurant kitchen – I don't think I could stand the pressure (both physically and psychologically) on a daily basis.

Share a seasonal recipe with us...and a tip for a local restaurant?

When my grocery shop offers different ripe and fragrant melons, I chop them up in little bite-sized cubes, add some crumbles of good feta cheese and finely chopped fresh mint – a quick and colourful snack to enjoy your very own - "summer in a bowl".

We have this amazing bakery in our neighborhood, led by Japanese ladies. Obori (Lothringer Str. 15, München) sells fantastic tiny mousse cakes and their breads (French baguettes, Fougasse with walnuts and bacon) are out of this world.

Tell us something about food from your part of the world?

Bavarian food is not necessarily light and healthy, quite the contrary. But if you look closely and don't overeat on pork roast and potato dumplings with gravy, there are some real gems to discover. Regional and organic food has become highly popular in the past couple of years. Traditional cakes, baked goods and breads are exceptional.

Beyond that, the immediate proximity of the Alps, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy has influenced our cooking style quite a bit, let's say we take the best of each and combine it with our own roots.

What would you eat for your last supper?

How about a 10-course meal, consisting of some of my all-time favourites – in smaller quantities, of course... Like burrata with oven-roasted tomatoes, pumpkin gnocchi with browned sage butter, basil-lime sorbet, my grandma's mushroom-soup with Schoppala, lettuce with rendered bacon cubes, a wood oven pizza topped with fresh arugula, a really hot chicken curry with buttered naan, my tiramisu, a semifreddo of roasted pumpkin seeds and a huge cheese plate with membrillo. Seems full of carbs, fat and many, many calories? For my last supper it'd better be!

Which other food blogs do you read regularly?

The number and creativity of foodblogs out there amazes me each time I surf the web. A lot of my long-time favorites are on Times Online's list of 50 of the world's best food blogs, but I also enjoy stumbling onto some fairly new ones.

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