There is a lot of “pretend” Greek food going around and there are also a lot of “authentic” Greek recipes. I’m a bit fed up, to tell you the truth. So I’ve enlisted the help of my mum Despina (who is a bit of a rock n roll gal) to make some videos with proper Greek nomz. We are not claiming these are authentic, ancient Greek or anything like that. This is the type of food we, as Greeks, make and enjoy.
Today, it’s tzatziki, a super yummy and garlicky yoghurt based dip. It goes down a treat with barbecue but do try not to kiss anyone after you’ve eaten it (it’s the garlic).
Do drop us a line if you have any more ideas for Greek food videos.
Lots of love to the bands below for allowing me to use their pod safe and brilliant songs.
So this is one of those Greek words that means you will probably end up with tongue injury: Melomakarona
The word should not concern you however – just call them Christmas Honey Cakes or some such. The taste is a LOT more important.
Basically, unless there are melomakarona or kourabiedes (don’t ask) somewhere about the house, it’s probably not Christmas.
The recipe is by Katerina and I did a video of it – I know, it’s all Greek to you. I’ve translated the recipe below and added some comments that should help you out. Do try making them – they are absolutely divine and go down a treat with tea or some Greek/ Turkish coffee.
I don’t know if you’ve watched old films with vine harvests and wine juice making or wine making but they always seem to contain plucky villagers without shoes stepping on the grapes. That’s all very well and dandy but apparently it hardly ever happens any more.
The team in Atalanti, Greece, went about finding out what actually does happen nowadays to get wine juice. This is effectively the process before one starts wine making. A lot of people in Greece with their own grapes will just take them to a patitiri (the place where the grapes are literally ‘stepped on’) to get wine juice. They then take the wine juice and make their own wine at home.
So this might seem a bit weird. Why would a Greek go to see The Real Greek chef make moussaka? “Isn’t it like your national dish?”, “Don’t you know how to make it from birth?” Yes, thank you I get the point, even though I learned how to make it when I was 23.
When I got the e-mail for a moussaka making experience from the lovely Megan I thought exactly that. However, I’m always learning so I really wanted to see this staple of the Greek family table done from a professional chef. Secondly, I had completely stopped going to The Real Greek three years ago so I was super curious.
These days my sister and I are at my mum’s and my stepdad’s house in Atalanti Greece. You can imagine the mayhem.
On Friday we had amazing weather so we went out in the garden to gather wild greens. They are called χόρτα (chorta – wild greens) in Greek and we gather them from gardens and fields. I imagine that in an English garden some of those yummy wonders are killed off as weeds. They are boiled and then served hot or cold with olive oil and lemon. They go amazingly well with fish, but I love them any old way.
A few months ago Mama Despoina (my rocking mum) called to inform me that at a dinner with friends she had a mythical cheese pie. I initially failed to grasp the significance of this since my mum rarely expresses such admiration for food. Even rarer is for her to gobble down THREE PIECES of feta pie in one go. So this was clearly a feta pie I needed to know all about.
Let’s get the scary stuff out of the way first. This is a post about soup with INTESTINES. (Wait! Come back!)
So, now that we are left with the brave folks here goes the story.
Mama Despoina (also my mum – she simply rocks) blogged the recipe for Magiritsa the other day, the Greek traditional soup eaten after the Resurrection. It’s incredibly yummy even though I know it sounds weird.
Since we started getting an organic fruit and veg box delivery each week I have been trying out all sorts of new things. It’s so exciting to be getting vegetables every week that you’ve never tried. It makes you look for information, learn and do new stuff. Sort of brilliant.
Especially since we are going through Lent (and the Greek version is a bit weird as I was saying the other day) it’s great to be doing different things with veggies.
One of the things you have to understand about Greek food (apart from the obvious stuff like souvlaki, frappe, koulourakia and all that) is that at least once a year the word “nistisimo” appears almost everywhere. It’s probably Lent, aka Sarakosti.
Lent for the Greek Orhodox people starts on a Monday. Much neater that way, don’t you think?
I already posted the other day on Tsiknopempti, our BBQ Thursday. Then there is the Sunday of Apokreo – very similar to Halloween, but probably a bit more Dionysian in nature – when we dress up, eat, drink, dance and generally go a bit crazy.
The next day is Clean Monday, the start of the Great Lent, 40 days of no animal products whatsoever. Supposedly. Most Greeks don’t fast during Lent anymore. However, I’ve heard it’s quite good for detox to abstain from animal products now and again.