Friday Food Things, Part II: Skyr, BBC Radio 4, Olia Hercules, and Bee Wilson

Listening to…BBC Radio 4 Food Programme

IMG_1891I’ve been eating so much skyr recently that my Instagram feed could be sponsored by the Icelandic Skyr Promotion Board, should such a thing exist. I just really love the taste of it: the sharp lactic tang makes it resemble neither yoghurt nor cheese but brings to mind sour cream. However, I discovered that the brand I’ve been buying, Arla, is not actually Icelandic, as I assumed, but Danish. So much for supporting the Icelandic cottage industry (I’m now trying an Icelandic brand, simply called Icelandic Skyr).

I found this out when listening to the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme, more specifically when catching up to its episode ‘Ferment’ (which features, as a guest speaker, the fabulous Olia Hercules, my current cookery crush, if I can say something so gauche). It was mentioned in the programme that authentic Icelandic skyr is hard to find, and I was compelled to look up what I had been eating.

Since then I’ve been greedily catching uIMG_1896p on the Food Programme and found myself utterly fascinated by such things as the history of pizza and gulping down an interview with the lovely Bee Wilson about her equally fabulous book First Bite. If you love food and for some reason haven’t yet listened to the Food Programme, I highly recommend you do – the full archive is available which is fantastic.

Octopus Books / Foyle’s / delicious. magazine Cookbook Confidential

I treated myself to an issue of delicious. magazine at the

The beautiful 'Mamushka', by Olia Hercules
The beautiful ‘Mamushka’, by Olia Hercules

beginning of April and found out about a series of collaborative talks between Foyle’s, publisher Octopus Books and delicious. magazine which will feature a range of food writers, cooks and chefs, who will discuss their recent books or speak to a specific theme. Although I’ve signed up to all but one (only because I’m already busy that night), I’m particularly looking forward to How to Break into the Food Business, featuring aforementioned culinary crush Olia Hercules as a speaker, and An Evening with Diana Henry. The talks are £12 and include a glass of wine and, according to my magazine, a copy of delicious.


Currently reading…

IMG_1898Following on from First Bite, I’m now reading Bee Wilson’s Consider the Fork, a history of cooking and eating implements and tools. Her writing has an extraordinary power to spark of my imagination; it’s vivid and blends beautifully the academic, analytical and anecdotal/personal.

I’ve also recently discovered Amelia Morris’ blog Bon Appetempt and am ploughing through the archives. The combination of recipes and frank, often funny, but equally often poignant reflections on life, ambition, motherhood, family and writing are irresistible to me.



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