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News & Views Bard and Balti!

Curry lovers enjoyed a cultural twist to their meal when Newcastle restaurant Koh-i-Noor staged a special three-act production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream during a three-course meal. Staff removed some tables to turn the centre of the dining room into a makeshift stage.

The Taste of Shakespeare event was performed by the Young People’s Theatre Company, which is part of New Vic Borderlines, and featured 16 young performers who gave Shakespeare’s comedy a Bollywood makeover, complete with Indian dancing and traditional costumes.

The New Vic had approached the restaurant with the idea of staging Shakespeare there so they could make it more accessible for audiences.

Cider with Ruby?

There is of course the famous novel Cider with Rosie. But perhaps a new pairing is on the cards - Cider with Ruby (Murray)! Birmingham-based cider makers Aston Manor believes its products are ideally suited to drinking with curries and are now marketing in the spice restaurant sector.

According to Gordon Johncox, marketing director,“Wine or beer is usually the drink of choice, but what many people don’t know is that cider is a perfect drink to complement spicy flavours. A clean, crisp cider made with bittersweet cider apples, like Knights Premium Reserve, is an excellent match with Indian cuisine

as the blend gives the drink sufficient bite to balance out spice and heat and deliver refreshment.”

To complement Thai curries, a more rounded drink with a rich fruit charac- ter is needed to cope with the flavour, and Malvern Gold, a lightly sparkling cider, is suggested by Mr Johncox. “For a medium-spiced dish like rogan josh it is important to have a cider with sufficient body to not be overwhelmed and also to have sufficient character to deliver both refreshment and flavour to enhance the experience,” he adds. In this case Kingstone Press and Malvern Oak are recommended.

Aktar Islam, head chef at Lasan, is a convert to pairing cider with Indian dishes. He says, “Ciders have clean, complex, fruity tastes, that can balance out spice and heat, without overpowering the overall flavour.”

Turmeric may stop deadly virus

Researchers have found that turmeric may help protect people against the potentially fatal Rift Valley Fever Virus which is carried by mosquitoes. Work at the US Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases discovered that curcumin, which is found in turmeric, stopped the virus from multiplying in infected cells.

The centre now plans to test 10 different versions of curcumin to determine which one works the best.

Scientists are also investigating how curcumin can help in the fight against dementia. A clinical trial has started at a Sydney, Australia, retirement village where 100 residents will take supplements of curcumin and be given MRIs to monitor progress.

Spice Business Magazine


January/February 2013

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