Author: Dominic

Venetian food: a beginning

It’s probably safe to say that Venice beat Walt Disney to the title of “most magical place on earth” by over a thousand years. But like so many things, The Most Serene Republic is a city built on compromise. The first people to settle on these damp heaps of mud didn’t do so out of choice. They came here to escape the rather unpleasant chaps who had a penchant for coming down to Italy and setting things on fire. The islands we now refer to as Venice, scattered as they are throughout a shallow Adriatic lagoon, started life as seasonal refugee camps. It wasn’t until AD 421 that Venice became a permanent settlement, and even then, it was a destination for groups that had been driven from their homes elsewhere. It’s a place chosen by people who didn’t really have all that much choice left. And even after things got a little more permanent – mud and wood gradually providing the foundation for masonry and stone – Venice spent much of its history practicing its Read More

Coffee: A Manual

The third and final instalment of Dom’s Treatise on Coffee: The Manual – your guide to becoming a moka pot pro.  Last time I shared some of the reasons why I often reach for the moka pot when making coffee at home. Done right, it can get you damn close to a shot pulled for you in an a bar, and open up a world of delicious espresso-based drinks right in your own home. Done wrong it can end up a disappointedly bitter affair. Here are some tips for achieving a consistently delicious shot: For god’s sake keep it clean – I can understand why so many people believe the myth that you don’t need to clean a moka pot. It fits with that logic that you have to season cast iron, or that you should purchase a second hand wok if you can. You don’t want a seasoned moka pot. No soap needed, and you shouldn’t need to scrub it. But you do need to take it apart completely after each use, that means Read More

Coffee: The Little Machine

Welcome to the second part of Dom’s treatise on coffee. Here he talks all things moka – the history, the design, and the reasons you should own one. Grab a coffee and get comfortable. “Prodotto in Italia!” The Italians have good reason to be proud of the contributions they’ve made to the world, which is good, because they are. We have them to thank for such essentials as the radio, eyeglasses, and the parachute. Perhaps even more important than the parachute, at least for me anyway, are prosecco, Campari and Cinzano – a trinity for which I will be eternally grateful to the region we have called Italy for the last 156 years. And while you could very well argue that there have been some missteps along the way (Fascism probably wasn’t the best of ideas), a significant portion those still managed to be incredibly stylish at the same time as being unreliable (except Fascism, that wasn’t even stylish). But I’m here to talk about coffee. So onward towards my point. Modern coffee culture is Read More