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Fishing in Puglia

Fish unloaded from boat, Mola di Bari

Last week I had my last thematic field trip with the university, studying the fishing industry in Puglia. Our trip was slightly disrupted by the unsettled weather that was affecting most of Italy and unfortunately we didn’t get to go out on boats and see fishing actually happening (unless you count seeing a small net-full of fish pulled out of the water in a fish farm). Anyway, there was plenty of other fish-related stuff…

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Farmed cod proves unsustainable

Just as we are about to leave for our university field trip on fishing, the Guardian reports that the company involved with aquaculture of cod in the Shetland islands has gone into bankruptcy.  The administrator is reported to have said that farming cod organically was too expensive – the fish had cost twice the price of wild cod.  Read the article here

The Role of the Endocannabinoid system in eating

Cakes, Porto, Portugal

This morning we also had a visit from Dr Vincenzo di Marzo of the Biomolecular Chemistry Institute, Pozzuoli, Italy. He has been working with a group of researchers studying the endocannabinoid system and how it is involved with food intake and eating disorders.  I wrote a brief summary of what I learned…

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How Climate Change Could Affect Wine

Vineyard in Sicilly

This morning we had a presentation by Antonio Busalacchi founding director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) and Professor in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Maryland College Park. He has done research on how predicted climate changes in the next 100 years would effect the wine production areas of the world.  I wrote a brief summary of what I heard…

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Bengali Bhat Payasa – rich rice pudding recipe

Bengali rice pudding

After coming back from India and needing a dish to take to a party, I was inspired to make this recipe for a rich rice pudding that I had come across and cooked about 10 years ago.  I found it in the book “The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking” which is a wonderful source for Indian recipes.

The recipe is very simple but does require a lot of time – you have to reduce 2 litres of milk to about half a litre, stirring all the time – this takes about 1.5 hours and is quite a good meditative practice. I advise you not to attempt to make it 1.5 hours before the dinner you are taking it to, which is what I did when I made it a couple of weeks back. Yesterday I made it for another dinner, but this time I had plenty of time to prepare it in advance.  Instructions to make it…

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