A bit on the side

  Virgil Evetts There is always room on my palate and plate for a smidgeon of relish, sambal, sauce or chutney. I’ve  never been one to settle for default settings, so I like to customise every mouthful. It’s theses final flourishes and accessories to a … Read more »

Toxic Nuts & Devils Dung

Virgil Evetts This week, while reorganising the sizeable portion of my pantry set aside for spices, it occurred to me that a number of the things that I use everyday are probably all but unknown to many. And I feel it’s … Read more »

Carob Revisited

Virgil Evetts I’ve said it before I’m sure, but I don’t like substitutions. Not in cooking or in any other aspect of my life. When I was a child back in the now distant 80s, dietary substitutions were all the rage, from … Read more »

Freeze Dried Food Heroes

Virgil Evetts Dear very nice people at Fresh As freeze dried foods. I’m really sorry I haven’t delivered on the article I promised when I asked for some sample product. You were so very generous and, despite my best efforts, … Read more »

Sweet, Lovely Cardamom

Virgil Evetts I always liked cardamom well enough. I’d throw a few pods in a pot of rice or add them ground to an unctuously cashew-rich korma, but mostly because that’s what I was taught to do. I didn’t dwell … Read more »

Italian Cheeses

  Virgil Evetts Today the variety of Italian cheese available in New Zealand is broad and exciting, but to many consumers they remain a pricey mystery.  So, being quite the Italio-phile and a prodigious consumer of the nation’s cheeses, I … Read more »

Useless Kitchen Clutter

Virgil Evetts A few years ago I wrote an article about my favourite kitchen gadgets and appliances .And while  my ‘best of’ list remains pretty much unchanged, its counterpart of useless items and ill- conceived follies grows ever longer.

Chilli-Free Thai Curry

Virgil Evetts My daughter Olive  (nine months)  has now decided that Madre and Padre’s food is vastly more appealing than her own. If she’s up and about at meals times she quickly crawls over to the table and installs herself at our feet … Read more »

In Season May/June

Virgil Evetts As an impossibly long Indian summer finally retreats, it’s starting to feel a bit like winter ‘round these parts – in that sodden, clammy Auckland way. As we near the equinox the sun seems to only skim the … Read more »

Pursuing Persimmons

Virgil Evetts I never really got the point of persimmons. They struck me as a looks without substance sort of fruit – pretty and sweet, but ultimately forgettable.  But age has mellowed my views, just as it mellows the flesh … Read more »

High (or low) Tea

  With Royal wedding fever spreading around the world there are likely to be tea parties galore in celebration of the event. Whether you are a Royal watcher or not there is something lovely about the elegance of a tea … Read more »

Hot Cross Buns

Virgil Evetts Avowed atheist I may be, but I can’t fault Christianity’s influence on baked goods. Some of the finest examples of the bakers’ art including Panetonne, Pandoro, Colomba, and of course  Hot Cross Buns have their origins in Christian … Read more »

Why Anchovies Matter

  Virgil Evetts Pity the poor anchovies. In the minds of many they’re a thing of derision: too fishy, too salty, too pungent and rank.  But the joke of it is that even the most committed anchovophobes wolf them down … Read more »