Eating: The tyranny of tradition

WHEN THE Italians get something wrong, they do it quite spectacularly. Look at - well, their government. But more importantly, take their antipasto. It's an inspired way of eating that transforms raw and cooked vegetables, seafood and simple cured meats into something irresistible.

Letter: French do talk

Sir: As an American living in England, and for several weeks each year in France, I assure Sue Arnold (Comment, 24 April) that the French do talk to me often and at length. In fact, they talk to me more than I have ever experienced from either British or American neighbours. The 35,000 English-speaking expatriates living in South-western France find that their French neighbours are receptive, friendly and civilised. If Sue Arnold prefers Italian food, Indian mythology and Irish friends that is fine, but she need not indulge in French-bashing.

Words: presliced, adj.

RAJ SHARMA of Leicester's Sharma store laments: "Sometimes it's a lonely business. But with The Grocer you feel you've got someone on your side." In Jane Kelly's "Focus on Pizza", Green Isle Foods' managing director Michael Dwyer lauds "the next generation main meal pizza" which, says Ms Kelly, is Feast of Flavours "presliced with sharing in mind".

Book'n' Cooks

Alastair Little

Letter: Pizza with principle

Sir: From David Usborne's article "Lifting the lid on the pizza man", Tom Monaghan comes across as an "ultra-conservative", eccentric, right-wing, fanatical and dogmatic Catholic. Few details of all this are given, but in particular his extremism is typified by his opposition to abortion.

A tasty pasta snack for PizzaExpress at pounds 6m

Investment Column

Restaurants: Best cellar

Valvona & Crolla is a long-established Edinburgh landmark. The palatial Elm Row delicatessen and wine shop has been wafting out the scents of focaccia, prosciutto and Parmesan on to the capital's streets since the 1930s.

Letter: The perfect pizza

Sir: Aoife O'Riordain's article on pizza was most interesting (Fast Track, 28 May). I lived at one time with a Sicilian pizzaiolo. Whilst staying with his sister I was able to eat the real thing, and wonderful it was . The base was thick (certainly not thin and crispy) and the topping was sparse, although local herbs were added, and naturally she had the traditional oven. One of the things that sorts out the proper pizzas from the others is that the dough should be made the day before.

Fastfood

Think you know all about pizza? Well, think again. What you're being fobbed off with is utterly alien to the real thing - crisp, expertly baked and topped with the finest fresh ingredients

K is for Kool Aid at a different kind of club

That old devil Piers Adam (proprietor of Hanover Grand and SW1) is at it again, reports Xenia Gregoriadis. Only now he's 33 he's grown out of strobe lighting and alcopops and wants somewhere a bit more salubrious to hang out. Welcome to his world...

Youths lured pizza men to deaths ambush

Franklin, New Jersey - Two teenagers "looking for a victim" lured two pizza delivery men to an abandoned house and killed them in a hail of gunfire.

Queensborough in the black after 13 years

Queensborough Holdings, the leisure group in effect controlled by Kevin Leech, the biotechnology multi-millionaire, yesterday moved to damp expectations that it was ready to bid for a restaurant chain as it announced its first dividend and profit for 13 years.
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