The Flavour Weekly: Proper coffee and real bread

I’ve been busy.

Busy is good. Not only have I been occupied working but I also been busy taking my taste buds on a sensory adventure. Now it’s time to play catch up.

Last week I happened to be in London and since that’s a bit a rarity for me to venture across the Tamar, I leapt at the invitation from the ‘make mine Milk’ team to learn a few proper coffee making skills along with a group of other bloggers. It was a ruse to get some feedback on their campaign so far and discuss upcoming activity for 2011, however I’m easily seduced by the fantastic spread of breakfast they provided us with.

The ‘coffee morning’ took place at the London School of Coffee where  we were treated to a crash course in Barista skills.

Daisy Rollo, originally from Brittany, was our barista trainer. She grew up with the smell of cafe au lait and a warm croissant in her nostrils everyday. I grew up with Tetley tea and burnt toast in mine so I feel I started life – as most Brits – with a certain plebeian disadvantage. Continue reading

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Kids, Garofalo pasta and grated Davidstow Cheese .

My children love pasta. It’s quick, convenient and a very easy meal to put together in and the one dish that’s guaranteed to have them all leave their plates clean at the end.

My normal, basic winning formula is to mix an ordinary, bland supermarket pasta with a tomato-based sauce made more flavoursome with a spoonful of pesto and top each bowlful with lots of tasty grated cheese. I try to give variety as much as possible with minced beef, bacon, and bits of chorizo or squeezing type of vegetables in that they would normally pick at suspiciously.

The pasta, however, is normally treated as a bland platform to support a richer, tastier food and I’ve tended to buy the cheapest ones I can find.

THE CHALLENGE:
Offering to try and then review Garofalo pasta, I thought would be a challenge in itself. For one, I wanted to know if the difference between premium pasta and a cheap one is great enough is to pay the higher price. Secondly, I wanted to see if my children could taste the difference.

Garofalo pasta is a top-selling brand in Italy, however, what chance does it have among the British at growing a loyal band of premium pasta followers? Continue reading