Great Goulash and a Very Slovak Scandal

Greetings, fellow food enthusiasts! Yesterday was a day filled with savoury surprises as Izzy and I embarked on a culinary adventure in Markusovce. We were invited to be part of the jury for a goulash cooking competition, and let me tell you, it was a feast for the senses. Alongside us was our dear friend, Addy Akram, a seasoned food lover and critic.

The Gingerbread of Blore

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a bit of gingerbread, and this is the recipe we make every year. It is a synthesis of four different recipes from Waitrose, Channel 4, Epicurious and The Joy of Baking, and contains the four horsemen of Christmas: ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. If you’ve never crushed a clove or grated a nutmeg, please go and do so at the next possible opportunity. And then have a lovely big sniff.

My Chocolate Cake

When I was a kid, my mum used to bake me a chocolate cake for every birthday*. It was a chocolate sponge filled with chocolate buttercream, and firmly established my idea of what a birthday cake should be. At some point in my teenage years, she gave up this habit, and started serving Sara Lee chocolate gateaux from Iceland. It was never the same.

Lovely Tortillas!

Not long before I came to live in Slovakia, I spent a couple of months travelling in Mexico, Guatemala and America. There were so many great things about that holiday, but, to those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that the food was one of the highlights. My memory of those days is pretty impressionistic …


If there’s one thing missing from Slovak cuisine, it’s the combination of pastry and meat, best exemplified by the wonderful Cornish Pasty: I found a couple of packets of ‘Lidl Deluxe’ rump steak in the reduced section (10 euros for a total of 800g). I made steak and chips with the first packet, and couldn’t decide whether the second one …