The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘Suma’

vegan chocolate, olive oil and smoked sea salt sorbet

The chocolate industry is worth over $100 billion per year. Most of that chocolate is manufactured and consumed in the USA and Europe, although the raw cocoa from which is produced is grown thousands of miles away on the west coast of Africa. The biggest exporter of cocoa is the Ivory Coast. When the Ivory Coast achieved independence, back in 1960, a quarter of the country was covered in dense […]

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roast beetroot, halloumi and freekeh salad

Today marks the midway point of the Soil Association’s annual “Organic September” campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the value of organic food and organic farming. Far from being a fad, organic food is, of course, what we all used to eat before chemical-dependent farming began to dominate food production in the latter part of the 20th century. It is real food. The more of us who choose to […]

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vegan Singapore-style noodles

Climate change brings unpredictability and instability to the environment, a major worry when it comes to growing food. Plants which may once have thrived in a particular region may no longer do so if that region suddenly experiences significant fluctuations in temperature, or becomes subject to flooding or drought. This uncertainty makes it all the more important to our survival to have a wide range of edible plant species available, […]

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asparagus, broad bean and Spring herb tart

If I could encourage readers of this blog into one simple, routine habit it would be this: to read the label on any item of fresh produce before you decide whether or not to buy it from the supermarket or store. I can guarantee that if you are not in the habit of doing so, you will be surprised by what you find. Take asparagus as an example. Those who […]

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coffee ice cream with pecan biscotti

In case you weren’t aware, we are currently in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight, an initiative launched by the the Fairtrade Foundation to encourage us to be more aware of the origin of the produce we buy, and how it came to reach our table. I’m using coffee in this week’s recipe and, as it happens, coffee was the very first product to come under the wing of the Fairtrade […]

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kale and butter bean fritters

The UK now imports over 50% of the food that we eat, a proportion that has grown steadily over recent decades (in 1987, for example, it stood at 36%). One hidden consequence of this growing reliance on other countries for our food is that as we import more and more food from abroad we simultaneously export more and more of the environmental impact of growing that food. A recent study […]

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individual pear tatins with cinnamon ice cream

Professor Jane Plant, a pioneering scientist and remarkable woman, died in March of this year. I had not heard of Jane Plant until last year, when a relative who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer recommended that I should read her book Prostate Cancer – Understand, Prevent, Overcome. Jane Plant was a geochemist by profession, whose personal circumstances ended up taking her in an unexpected direction: researching the impact of […]

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pea and ricotta polpette with mint and pistachio pesto

As I write this post it is a week since the momentous decision of the UK electorate to vote to leave the European Union (“Brexit”). In the run up to the referendum both the “Vote Leave” and the “Vote Remain” camps led disgracefully shallow and misleading campaigns. As someone who is proudly European and who sees immigration as a positive cultural influence, I was particularly dismayed at the barely concealed […]

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yellow split pea and wild garlic tarka dhal

The recent announcement by the makers of Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s, advising consumers that their sauces should only be consumed once a week, struck me on two levels. Firstly, as the manufacturer was not required to make this declaration, I wondered what could have motivated it to take such a unilateral step. Ever the cynic, I believe this move was less about serving the interests of consumers and more about […]

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