Food and travel

Lessons from Brazil

London, 24 December 2014

I frequently visit projects which are transforming the lives of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people – by increasing crop yields, reducing malnutrition, restoring degraded lands, providing better access to education and healthcare. However, all too often these projects are confined to small areas and the question remains: how can they be scaled up to benefit hundreds of thousands or even millions of people? [read full article]

Trinidad’s multicoloured ancestry

Port of Spain, Trinidad, 24 May 2013

If you arrive in Trinidad after spending time on other Caribbean islands – or, at least, the ones I have been to – the first thing that astonishes is the number of people of Indian origin. The explanation is simple enough: when slavery was outlawed plantation owners had to import a new labour force, the freed blacks being disinclined to work the sort of hours and regimes required by their erstwhile owners. Hence, indentured labour and a vast influx of Indians, whose descendents now make up around 40% of the population. Another 40% are of African descent; most of the rest are mixed, though there is a remnant population of whites. [read full article]

I need a drink

Lima, Peru, 17 March 2013

We were in some out of the way places during the past few days, and we ate surprisingly well. I hadn’t been expecting much in the way of classy food in Pucallpa, a sprawling town in the Peruvian Amazon largely devoted to logging and other forms of resource exploitation on a tributary of the Amazon. But dinner was a revelation: [read full article]

Wild food, uncivil society

Cameroon, 22 January 2010

The menu at the Christina Hotel, an unpretentious establishment on the outskirts of Bertoua, was reasonably extensive by the standards of provincial Cameroon. There was a choice of steak au poivre, poulet basque, singe, vipère or porc-épic – steak, chicken, monkey, snake or porcupine – but there was nothing to say how the bushmeat was cooked or what it was served with. [read full article]