This Week’s Food News

Chocolate prices to rise
Political uncertainty in the Ivory Coast will lead to a massive rise in the price of chocolate, experts predict. In an effort to stem funds for controversially self-elected honcho Laurent Gbagbo, recognised leader Alassane Ouattara is contemplating an export ban. This has led to a 12%  leap in cocoa prices, with futures rising too. Chocolatiers, however, reckoned the rise was ‘short term’.

Chinese wine the next big thing
By 2015 China will produce more wine than Australia, according to a leading forecaster. Although China’s current offerings are met with turned-up noses by most oenophiles, its geography gives it some serious potential. So instead of Semillon and Chardonnay we may soon be supping Dragon’s Eye and Ju Feng Noir with our nuts.

French cuisine UNESCO protected
French food has joined the Royal Ballet of Cambodia and Mexico’s Day of the Dead Festival as one of UNESCO’s “World Intangible Heritages”, despite a general agreement that French food has lost its way (even Joël Robuchon admitted British food was better). Either way, France’s contribution to our own cuisine is undoubted and vast, so good on them.

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Other food news this week:
* Rapid growth in the UK for Caribbean food.
* Too much water in supermarket bacon, watchdog finds.
* South West named hottest region for UK food.
* Beef being sold as lamb in Falkirk.
* General panic about food prices continues. Yawn.

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Piece of the week
* A very entertaining piece by Christopher Hirst on the history of British binge drinking.

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Recipe of the week
* Helen Graves’s jerk chicken.

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Ollie and James run the marathon
My pal Ollie Thring and I are running the London Marathon on April 17th in aid of Action Against Hunger. We’d be incredibly grateful for any donations, which you can give here.

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Video of the week:

Let’s hope Ollie and I avoid a catastrophe like this:

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