Recipes with History site is about giving cultural context to the food on our plate.  Every recipe came from somewhere and has a story – of culture, community, connection. It is a story that ties together geography and history. The story can go back to the Stone Ages or be considered modern history. It can even be a family history.

I like to learn those stories. Finding one small detail can become like pulling the string that unleashes a whole, multi-layered history.  Why is a particular place known for a specific dish? Why this place and not the village 5 miles away? Why this technique, or this method of serving? The history of a recipe adds spice and interest to the dish, making me appreciate it more. 

Learning about a recipe and eating the local dish is such a great way to connect with people and to share in its culture. When travelling, it opens the door to conversations with locals which instantly improves the experience. 

Though currently grounded, like everyone, due to Covid-19 restrictions, I am a full-time traveller as of a few years ago. In March 2020, I spent over 3 weeks in Cape Verde, my 50th country. In every country, I have sought and tried the local specialties in food and drink, of course enjoying some more than others!

Learning the history of a recipe also enhances other aspects of life and travel.  For example, when I am in a museum, I notice details such as what the food is in a particular painting, or the agricultural tools and cooking devices in a historical museum.  On a hike, it makes me pay attention to the flora and fauna of the area, edible or not. 

I do also love to cook and am adventurous in my cooking and eating.  And though I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I will try a dessert if someone tells me its story or it is significant to a place, but it usually has to be a special reason – unless it’s my sister’s pie, which I will eat any day!

When I return to travel, I plan to provide more in-person accounts but until then, I will share my (and others’) experiences enhanced with extra research.

What I do

I love to be outdoors, particularly hiking and swimming. And Italy is probably my favorite country. In this photo, I am hiking above Vernazza in the Cinque Terre, a place that feels like home to me.

At travel or at home, I like to attend cultural events such as concerts, plays, and festivals.

And also being a photographer, I take my camera everywhere I go (though this was taken with an iphone).

Apparently, I will do anything to retrieve a golf ball! Maybe I had already lost too many that day?!

Want to collaborate?