A history of the onion leaves one crying for more

I am a big fan of Mark Kurlansky. His Cod is one of a handful of books I recommend to people keen to learn about the way in which certain foods have helped shape the world we live in. But while The Core of the Onion has its moments and is an enjoyable read, it’s a mark of how high Kurlansky has set the bar that it doesn’t quite hit the mark for me. For centuries, no writer has dared to tell the truth about caramelising onions The main problem is its brevity – a mere 240 pages. Given that the author is someone who can write more than 300

French kissing with the French

Every year Vernon celebrates the gathering in and pressing of his olive harvest by inviting friends to a ceremony at his house. This year there were seven of us. He poured about a third of a pint of the freshly pressed, very green oil on to a central white china plate. We each took a small piece of toast, rubbed it with a garlic clove and soaked it in the oil. Then we removed it from the oil and rubbed it against the pulp of a quartered tomato. Apparently it’s a Provençal peasant tradition. The new green oil catches the back of the throat and isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.

Why I’m thanking God, my immune system and garlic

‘Contact a GP if you’re worried about symptoms four weeks after having Covid.’ That was the NHS quote on the end of a story about Piers Morgan, who was still feeling ill three weeks after getting the lurgy. Me too, Piers. It took the builder boyfriend almost as long to get over it, and his father. We make an interesting control group, don’t we? Piers Morgan and the builder boyfriend’s father are both double-jabbed. The builder boyfriend and I are not vaccinated. And yet here we all are, going through exactly the same thing as we try to get over Covid. Of course, the government wants to argue that the