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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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape