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Most people might think that food from afar has only one kind of heat – the type that sears your taste buds and renders you semi-conscious. This of course, is not true. So how do you employ spices and chillies in a way that flavours your food without overpowering the palate? Read on gentle reader, read on.

*note – Chillies differ from Chile. The latter is a fruit of a plant while the other is most certainly a country of the South American variety! For the purpose of this article we will concentrate on the chillies used in Asian cookery.

Punavuori tastes Italian.

On a quiet Friday afternoon before the lunch rush things are taking a rather Italian turn at Mille Mozzarella. I sit myself down and there isn’t a soul to be seen. Taking off my coat and setting up my lap top and still the kitchen staff seem to be intent on ignoring the front of house. Oh well. Eventually Lorenzo Dotson-Smith pops out of the kitchen and is all smiles and starts rustling up some food.

The weird and wonderful tastes of your local Asian grocery store.

Eat your greens! How many times have you heard that line? In Finland this may pose a two-fold problem: first of all you gotta find your greens, and, when faced with a mighty array at the Chinese market, the next question would be, ‘How?’ But, have no fear, for this month’s edition will take you through all things great and green.

An exotic Northern African café in Helsinki welcomes people to take a break from their hectic lives and try drinking coffee sitting on a floor. That’s right – Helsinki! So, if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth or are a fan of art and design, then ChoFé is the place for you.

The weird and wonderful tastes of your local Asian grocery store.

Dried versus Fresh

The eternal questions that never seem to raise heated debate – brown bread versus white, white wine versus red, fresh versus dried. Fresh has to be better – right? Not necessarily. Some ingredients in Asian cookery are optimised by the drying process, with flavours becoming more enhanced, and usability increased because they are always ready to be used in the pantry. Don’t be put off by their skeletal nature, after a brief soak in hot water, or being wakened up in the pan with some clarified butter or oil, you will find the flavours of dried herbs, foods and products far from petrified. Here is a list to set you on your way to the marvellous world of dried miracles..