When our much-loved Jennifer of Domestic Goddess, creator of the oldest and most revered virtual food blogging event Sugar High Friday, asked if I'd like to host another round, there was no hesitation on my side. After seeing the incredible array of innovative entries for the last round I chaired (And God created... chocolate truffles!), I was keen on presiding over another instalment of this ever-popular event. Sure I'd be up for it! But when she asked me what I had in mind, I struggled for a bit... after 33 events, the most obvious sugary themes have been exhausted - from the very simple beginnings of apples and white chocolate, people have come up with the most innovative ideas for this sweetest event of the month... what to pick? What to pick?
It was when I went on vacation to Tuscany a couple of months ago when inspiration struck: driving over the beautiful hills around Montalcino and Pienza, I realised what abundance of local and regional specialities we have here in Europe - and I assume everywhere in the world. Thinking back to my childhood, I didn't even think twice before tucking into Gramastettner Krapferl, rumba plums or Schwedenbomben... it is only now that I realise how precious these local or regional specialities really are, especially when the produce selection of your local supermarket, be it in Southern Italy or the northernmost town in Sweden, is pretty much the same everywhere and shopping becomes more and more restricted to the same old chains you find in every town between Dover and Delaware. Some courageous initiatives aside (Waitrose has started offering local produce, made by artisan suppliers in the immediate vicinity of a shop, a few years back and my branch for example sells a small selection of frozen pies made by a housewife in Twickenham), you are hard-pressed to find someone who keeps and age-old tradition going over decades and centuries.
The other thing I love about local specialities is that there is always a story behind them: on the afore-mentioned trip, I bought Ossi di Morti (bones of the dead) in Montalcino and the legend says that after another battle between the Florentines and the Sienese on the foot of the hill on which Montalcino is situated, the Montalcinese had nothing better to do than raid the battle field and take anything that wasn't breathing anymore... the bones of the numerous contenders who lost their lives certainly didn't put them off!
For this round of SHF, I want you to be on the look-out for a speciality that is local or regional to where you live - or, if you're really unlucky enough and Krispy Kreme is the only thing your town has to offer, I might even accept something you have come across on a recent holiday. Try to make it in the comfort of your own home and if you can add something about the origins of the dish or a spooky/funny story surrounding it, all the better!
You have until Monday, 27th of August, to blog about your local/regional speciality.
Make sure you include a link to this announcement and, eventually, a link to the round-up.
Send an email to including the following information:
Your blog's name
The name of your creation
The permalink to your post
A picture (if it's not in jpg/gif format in the post so I can copy & paste it from there)
As is (the new) custom for this event, I will be posting the round-up of all your wonderful creations on the last Friday of the month, which falls on the 31st of August... so get going, eat your way through local patisseries and coffee shops, raid your gran's recipe scrap book, quiz your local baker over those legendary biscuits they sell - I am sure you'll find an abundance of things that are blog-worthy!
If you are at all unsure whether your entry qualifies, do drop me an email - I will be on holidays until the 28th of August and might be slow at picking up emails, but will respond eventually!