Pepper: Demystifying the World’s Most Famous Spice
Wednesday 23rd September, 2015
Room G22/26, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU
Pepper is surely the world’s most famous—and ubiquitous—spice. But its omnipresence in the kitchen as a universal seasoning belies its exotic origins and complex history. Join us on a tour through the world of pepper, starting with the history of its production and initial appearance in Europe, and continuing on to an introduction to the myriad varieties of pepper, their processing, flavours and sensations. Christine McFadden, author of Pepper: The Spice that Changed the World, will guide us through an overview of the subject. We will also be joined by Bertil Akesson, owner of the Madagascan Ambolikapiky Plantation, where he and his team harvest wild Voatsiperfery Pepper, one of the rarest of all peppers, in addition to some of the world’s greatest cacao.
There will be tasters.
About the Speakers:
Christine is a well-established food writer and cookery teacher, well known for her inspiring cookbooks and her regular magazine features on local food producers. She has a passion for spices and seasonings, and a particular interest in the historical impact such ingredients have had on culture, politics and economics. Living in the food mecca of West Dorset, Christine is a staunch supporter of local food producers and farm shops, and runs a cookery school there. When not writing or teaching, Christine spends her time gastro-travelling – exploring food markets and attending cookery schools in far-flung parts of the world. She has travelled widely in Europe, the Middle East, Morocco and the United States, and has also spent time in the Kerala, southwest India where she researched her book Pepper: The Spice that Changed the World.
The son of a Swedish diplomat, Bertil had the chance to discover the world of African cocoa plantations from a young age. At his family estates in Madagascar, he has learned over the years the secrets and subtleties of managing and developing plantations. Ultimately, he focused on and specialized in fine cocoa and spices, whilst his consistent aim was to achieve the highest quality in a sustainable way. Today, his plantations in Madagascar, Brazil, and Indonesia supply world famous chocolatiers and chefs. In close collaboration with these passionate artists, he experienced the fascinating art of conjuring cocoa into chocolate and how pepper enhances recipes and, ultimately, he launched ÅKESSON´S, a small and exclusive line of chocolate and fine exotic foods. He is keen to share the credit: “The creation of ÅKESSON´S could not have taken place without the close collaboration and support of my family and friends. I am eternally grateful to all these people and especially to the growers and the team with whom I work every day.”
23rd September, 2015Room G22/26,