Nature Queen's Blog

News from the world of Food and Beverages

Sustainable British cod on the menu after stocks recover

A recovery from near total collapse has led North Sea cod stocks to be labelled as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council for the first time in 20 years

Fish and chip lovers can now enjoy North Sea cod with a clear conscience, after the fishery was awarded sustainable status by the Marine Stewardship Council on Wednesday.

Stocks of cod in the North Sea were once one of the world’s great fisheries but plummeted by 84% between the early 1970s and 2006. They came perilously close to the total collapse seen in the Grand Banks fishery off Canada in the early 1990s, which has still not recovered.

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Think pink! How rosé became the booze of choice for millennials

Sales of the pink wine are booming – thanks to its Instagram-friendly hues, some trendy rebrands and a hot summer. But it’s not just thirsty twentysomethings we’ve got to thank for its renaissance

For some readers – I’m talking about the kind of reader who spent their youth sinking two-for-a-fiver off licence bottles of pink zinfandel before every night out – this article should perhaps come with a trigger warning. Because rosé wine, the oft-maligned drink that could sometimes taste more like Ribena than Ribera del Duero, is having a moment. A roségence, if you will. And for those who remember the drink as a sweet, strawberry elixir that slipped down almost as effortlessly as it came back up, the very thought might bring on a hangover.

You can’t argue with the numbers, though. Sales are up 16% year-on-year at Majestic, while Sainsbury’s has increased its range by 15% in order to keep up with the hot-weather demand for the drink. The Rosé festival is launching at the Geffrye Museum in east London this weekend, while the craze for frosé – rosé in slush form – is in full swing.

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Rachel Roddy’s Italian sausage with tomato and pepper sauce recipe | A Kitchen in Rome

A rustic recipe for sausages in a rich peppery tomato sauce inspired by the typically candid pages of Italian cookery idol Marcella Hazan – delicious, everyday alchemy with flavours and textures that just work

I bought my copy of Marcella Hazan’s The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking from The Almost Corner bookshop in Rome. With a new soft-covered edition under my arm, I walked down Via del Moro, exquisite and grubby, sat down on the even grubbier steps of the fountain in Piazza Trilussa and started reading it like a novel, all the while folding back corners on recipes and underlining sentences I can still chant with ease: “flavour in Italian dishes builds up from the bottom”; “food is best when it tastes fully of itself”; “never put anchovies into very hot oil – they will harden instead of dissolving and may turn bitter”; “an imperfectly made soffritto will impair the flavour of a dish no matter how carefully the following steps are carried out”... all of which feels like wisdom for life, not just for food. Some cookbooks inspire, but leave you sitting on the sofa. Others propel you into the kitchen, though you are not quite clear what you should be doing. Marcella inspires, prepares, propels and then stands next to you as you cook. Kitchen company indeed.

I went home and made a soffritto for soup; then, that night, rice with butter, mozzarella, parmesan and basil, because her introduction to the recipe reads: “Butter and cheese melting into a bowl of hot boiled rice is one of the unsung heroes of Italian food.” She is right.

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No whey! Cheesemaker offers £500 reward after theft of prizewinning cheddars

Boss of Wyke Farms cheesemakers says loss of two 20kg blocks of prize-winning cheddar was ‘like having a valuable painting stolen’

A Somerset cheesemaker has offered a £500 reward after two of its finest vintage cheddars were stolen during a prestigious show.

The judges at the Yeovil show had crowned the two hefty blocks of cheese champion and reserve champion and the specimens were being left in a marquee overnight so that they could be admired by members of the public next day.

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