Lessons from history's most famous dinner parties

Throughout history, hosts have sought to impress their guests with elaborate and unusual feasts. Although our modern dinner parties are very different from these historical ones, there are still a few things that we as modern hosts can learn from their examples.  The Feast of Trimalchio Roman writer Petronius Arbiter was making fun of the pretensions of the city's new rich when he described the feast of Trimalchio, a fantastic banquet which included a roast pig stuffed with sausages and a hare with birds' wings stitched to it.

How Hot Is that Curry?

If you mention Indian food to someone, chances are they'll imagine flavoursome spiced dishes with plenty of heat. And while the cuisine of India is well known for being hot and spicy, that's not the whole picture. Sure, there are plenty of dishes that have a bit of a kick to them, but there are others that are mild enough for the most avid avoider of spice. The trouble is, if you're not used to ordering at Indian restaurants, it can be quite daunting.