Can food transparency backfire? My pig farm tour made me feel queasy

Food companies are increasingly trying to tell stories about the origin of their produce – but, as my behind-the-scenes tour showed, it’s vital to hit the right noteFor a second we locked eyes, 300lbs of pig staring at me. The pig inched closer, its body pressing again the metal barrier, its snout rubbing against my jeans.“They’re pretty social animals, and like to be petted sometimes,” said Logan Sweers, a tour coordinator at Iowa Select Farms, one of the largest pork producers in the world. I petted the pig, surprised at how soft she was and how much she looked like Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web – or Babe in the movie. Continue...

The weekend cook: Thomasina Miers’ raspberry recipes

Of all our glorious summer berries, the raspberry is far and away my favouriteMy love of British apples is so strong that, despite the delights of summer, I always feel a bit bereft that they’re no longer available. No matter, berries are there to save the day at this time of year, and I find none as delicious as the raspberry. I like to use raspberries in savoury and sweet dishes alike, which is one reason I’m so delighted by the resurgence of raspberry vinegar, thanks in no small part to our love affair with all things Scandinavian. So, today, I’ve used them in a wonderfully colourful savoury salad, and in a lemongrass-infused compote that transforms a homemade scone. Continue...

Cocktail of the week: Añejo daiquiri – recipe

Tangy, sweet, aromatic – what more could you ask for on a summer’s evening?This twist on the Acapulco daiquiri is effortless yet refined, and a perfect refresher for mild summer evenings. The tangy, citrus flavours are matched by the gentle sweetness of plum jam and the aroma of thyme. Serves one.50ml Cuban rum (I use Ron Cubay Añejo)12.5ml lemon juice12.5ml lime juice 10ml sugar syrup 2 tsp plum jam1 egg white1 sprig thyme, plus leaves to garnish Continue...

Lupins, London SE1: ‘This is a find’ – restaurant review

The chocolate mousse is an outrageous creation, the sort of thing that should only be eaten behind closed doorsSpring onions dredged in cornmeal and fried until the green spears are pleasingly almost-scorched, the white bulbs a soft, sweet squidge, and their popcorny carapace a crunchy contrast: what genius is this? Utterly simple, completely seductive. Why haven’t we all been coating and deep-frying scallions for decades? Dunking these in chipotle mayo, I imagine festivals dedicated to the things, as the Catalans do with their calçots.This dish is typical of the menu at a newly opened little outfit near London Bridge that promises “seasonal British produce with a splash of sunshine”: at its base something familiar, the finished item a frisson of delicious novelty. It was the editor of another newspaper who insisted I try Lupins, and while he’s not someone whose printed output I’m normally guided by, he sure as hell knows his restaurant, er, onions. This is a find. Continue...

Blooming tasty – edible flowers are summer’s hottest food trend

MasterChef and Bake Off – with a little help from Instagram – spark rush to use violas and nasturtiums in cakes and cocktailsWe used to just admire beautiful blooms, or enjoy their fragrance – but now we are looking at them in a whole new way: as food.Britons are increasingly taking a leaf out of the recipe books of Michelin-starred chefs and Great British Bake Off contestants by using edible flowers in salads, cakes and cocktails. Continue...