The Oxford Companion to Food fact of the week:

Small rice noodles called mondi or mohinga, made from slightly fermented rice flour, are the basis of what is generally considered to be the national dish of Burma, ‘Mohinga’. The noodles are bathed in a fish and creamy coconut curry sauce, accompanied by a number of side dishes.

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Image: Mohinga, by CCFood Travel.com. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr.

The Oxford Companion to Food fact of the week:

Tamales, well-known in Mexican and Latin American cuisine, are little dough “packages” made out of cornmeal that are stuffed with sweet or savory fillings and then steamed in corn husks.

Follow the #OxCompFood hashtag across social media for more delicious food facts from The Oxford Companion to Food.

Image: Tamale Thanksgiving, by Snugg Le Pup. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Flickr.

Balsamic Roasted Fig, Fennel & Arugula Salad.

Fennel seems to thrive year-round here in southern California, which make me a very happy lady when it comes to salad concocting. In fall and winter, fennel takes on deeper, richer notes, paired with heavier, sweeter flavors. As the weather cools, I’ll begin cooking the fennel as well. For now, a transitional moment with fresh fennel, roasted figs, and goat’s cheese. Summer waning into fall.

This salad unites the curious brightness of fennel with the intensity of figs roasted in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, smoked salt, and fresh thyme. The figs nearly caramelize, sizzling and blistering and making this salad a sexy adventure of a dish.

Read more and get the recipe here.

Here at OUP Archives, we celebrated World Food Day on Thursday and were delighted when we unearthed a First World War era photograph of the OUP Gardening Association show. The Gardening Association was originally established in 1917 to grow food for the war effort and as this photograph shows, staff did a sterling job. At a later Gardening Association show in 1921, one attendee recorded seeing a pumpkin ‘that would find more suitable accommodation in Christ Church kitchens’. The writer felt that his quarters would have proved rather a squash for such a monstrous specimen!

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