SUMMER 2006

Ouzo / New York’s Greek Revival / Peaches to Love / Spoon Sweets / Santorini’s Volcanic Wines / Crete’s Cuisine / Greek Summer Kerasma Recipes

Contents
ISSUE 3 SUMMER 2006

Letter from the President of HEPO Letter from the CEO of HEPO Kerasma Faces-Kerasma Places Letter from the Greek Finance Minister Letter from the Editor Eat a Peach!
By Orestes Davias

4 5 7 8 11 13

Big Apple Greek: In New York, Greek Restaurants are Hot
By Daphne Zepos

19

Great New Dishes From New York's Greek Restaurants Ouzo 101: Greece’s National Drink is a Way of Life
By Konstantinos Lazarakis

27 37

Farming the Sea: Greek Mariculture Thrives
By Rachel Howard

45

Wines from a Volcano
By Constantine Stergides

53

Spoonfuls of Hospitality: Greek Spoon Sweets Return to the Plate
By Georgia Kofinas

61

Crete: Memories of a Cookbook Writer
By Diana Farr Louis

68

Crete on the Plate: Home Cooking and Restaurant Recipes Kerasma Summer in the Kitchen: Menus and Recipes from Greek Island Restaurants Kerasma: Treat Your Taste with Great Recipes for Ouzo, Assyrtico Wine, Farmed Fish, Spoon Sweets, and Peaches

81 93

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3 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER

But the Kerasma Conference was the catalyst to help us forge friendships and introduce our long-term plans for promoting the delicious. international audience. Crete was at the very core of the Mediterranean Diet Studies. Each of these products has its own unique character and identity. and mountain locale. fruits. We'll do what we do best there—run a great Greek restaurant in the heart of the show. We would love to invite all of you who were not with us in March to savor the delicacies of the Greek earth. it has been almost exclusively a local. familial pleasure. and our fish. feta cheese and more. yet again. olives. We'll see you in September at SIAL in Paris. It is a land like no other. we tout at least one aspect of the healthful Greek table. and pulses. Our wines. where the riches of the table also happen to be extremely healthful: Olive oil. different in every village. spices such as mastiha and Greek saffron. of the enormous range of Greek food products and spirits. island. healthful foods of Greece to a wide. Our aim is to share the Greek table with the rest of the world. prepared with ingenuity and variety. In this issue. wholegrain breads and rusks. I wanted to take the opportunity to remind readers. most unique regional Greek products.LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT OF HEPO The first International KERASMA Conference in Athens this past March was a unique and…delicious…experience! More than 100 retail buyers and food and wine journalists joined us from around the world to experience and assess the campaign we began here at HEPO as KERASMA-Greek Treats. herbs. our “Kerasma”-treats-included ouzo. the soul of the Mediterranean Diet. produced from truly unusual and unique local grapes. our cheeses. wild greens. Our guests in March also had the opportunity to learn more about something extremely basic to the Greek table—its innate healthfulness. where you will be able to sample a gamut of dishes that are part of our unique Kerasma— Treat Your Taste campaign. Of course. the national drink of Greece. Crete. honey—the most aromatic in the world—fresh and processed fruits. Papastavrou President HEPO 4 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . too. Panagiotis I. They sampled dishes prepared from our core of top Greek chefs. Greek cuisine is the heart of Mediterranean cuisine. its mountainous mainland and its myriad islands. all of them borne of the Greek earth. among them: exceptional extra-virgin Greek olive oil. are at the core of the Cretan diet. farmed in state-of-the-art facilities all over the Aegean round out the palette of Greek gastronomic treasures. unique in themselves because of the vast spectrum of indigenous Greek grape varietals. Until now. Each meal was organized around a full range of accompanying Greek wines. with the best.

we at HEPO organized a successful 1st Quality Greek Food. and distributors at the Grand Chelem during the men's and women's finals. is the grand specialty food trade event. held on each of the show's three days. food and wine journalists. They will work with key Greek ingredients. olives. Greek food and wine will be in the limelight with events at the United Nations. of course. For us. Germany. dinners. spices.LETTER FROM THE CEO OF HEPO Much has happened in the world of Greek food and beverage promotions since the last issue of the GreekGourmetraveler. where we organized a Greek Food Festival aimed at chefs. informative events. food journalists and industry leaders came together from eight countries and were treated to a grand array of Greek foods and wines. HEPO has twice the presence this year than it did in 2005. one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the world. at Roland Garros—The French Open—where we held a series of tastings and product presentations for more than 250 French buyers. capped off the three-day event. such as feta cheese. Way back in March. spoon sweets and more. olive oil. buyers and journalists. Nafplion. and a day trip to Greece's quaint. of course. Panagiotis Drossos CEO HEPO 5 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . and a grand wine event in October. Coinciding with this issue. to reach out with a vast array of Greek treats under the Kerasma campaign continues. We've enlisted New York's top Greek restaurants to participate in cooking demonstrations. and indigenous vinis vinifera grapes. and an all-around Greek presence in places as diverse as Dusseldorf. such as mastiha Chios. Wine and Spirits International Conference. HEPO was at the influential London Wine & Spirits Fair in May. the NASFT Show marks the start of a long campaign to bring Greek food and beverages into the consumer mainstream. a New York restaurant promotion. with 20 Greek food and beverage companies participating. The Fall promises to be busy. the New York Fancy Food Show. and wine producers. and Dubai. saffron. olive oil. The main events were held at the Athens Concert Hall. organizing tastings. The efforts. historic first capital. food-and-beverage managers. most recently and arguably most prestigiously. But that is just the start. HEPO has been on the road. and. at Prowein. excursions to cheese. Lectures on unique Greek foods and beverages. where more than 100 buyers. live cooking demonstrations. our mantra for the promotion of Greek foods and spirits abroad. enhanced retail activity. to create dishes both traditional and modern.

6 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

Wine & Spirits International Conference 7 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .Kerasma Faces Kerasma Places 1st Quality Greek Food.

but is also beneficial to human health. each wine has its own aroma. which in turn provide bees with their nectar. but eat to live. We have only recently begun to recognize and explore the multifaceted ways in which our cuisine can be promoted abroad. These are the areas where unique aromatic herbs grow. The merits of our cuisine are one of the country's greatest assets. Elsewhere. Socrates said that we do not live to eat. It is also distinguished for its rich variety.LETTER FROM THE MINISTER OF ECONOMY AND FINANCE. and the Greek diet is synonymous with good health and quality. In certain parts of the country the climate is dry. with its small-scale farming and perfect climate. From each island comes a different wine. GEORGE ALOGOSKOUFIS The products of Greece are unique and rare. Upon those rocks the sacred olive tree flourishes. For example. They are an integral part of our lives and are the heart and soul of this country. wine. olive oil that not only gives food a splendid taste. These bees produce the best honey in the world. is ideal for organic farming. 8 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . and spirits industry has realized over the last few years. and we quickly are recognizing the importance of cultivating ecologically sound food. but wine of an outstanding quality. In other areas the terrain is rocky. the significant potential of organic products produced in Greece adds to the overall leap in quality the Greek food. The much heralded Mediterranean diet is no place more prominent than in the Greek diet. the character of each place shapes the character of the products produced there. Many of these products have shaped our myths and formed the basis of our traditions. wines and spirits is unrivalled and incomparable. Greek products are universally acknowledged and distinguished for their quality. This is indeed true but in Greece eating is also an important part of living well. the sea's humidity waters the vineyards at night. It is from them that the finest olive oil in the world is produced. Even though Greece is a small country and its production capabilities relatively limited. MR. the quality of our foods. Every region of Greece is unique. Greece. its own hue. its own flavor. and market research indicates that consumers abroad trust Greek products. For us. These vineyards yield limited quantities of wine.

George Alogoskoufis Minister of Economy and Finance 9 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . with intense effort. to cooperate with foreign firms in order to reach new markets and new heights. In 2005. For 2006. and Australia cosponsored by the Ministry of Finance and participating companies. there are many outstanding and reliable companies that produce products of outstanding quality. which is an obstacle to entering large markets. In the past. for many years our products were not widely available in foreign markets. The Finance Ministry is giving HEPO more resources to upgrade its institutional framework. In 2005. Two years ago. HEPO has done an outstanding job over the last two years. they rose by 31. in 2005 HEPO took part in 38. By encouraging investment and entrepreneurship we aim to make the most of our country's comparative advantages. The results of our policy are particularly encouraging. Canada.1% in relation to 2004. One area we are addressing is the relatively small size of most Greek companies. exports rose by 13. we participated in 18 international exhibitions in 2004. with decisive plans and commitment. This effort is part of a greater plan to expand the horizons of our economy. During the period from 2003 to 2004 there were no business missions abroad. All that has changed.However. the main goal of HEPO is to double its presence in relation to 2005 and within 2 years to triple its foreign presence. 16 business missions abroad were established. In Greece. with modern ideas and methods. The economic potential of Greek cuisine and products has possibilities too vast to ignore. With ever increasing participation in both large and small international and local exhibitions combined with the active promotion of our products through forums and other events we can have a dynamic presence in foreign markets. Since we have restructured our export promotion units we have managed to double our presence abroad. there was little organized political support for Greek products. One such program is the έ6 million promotion of Greek olive oil in the USA. HEPO has initiated an ambitious campaign to promote Greek products abroad. We motivate them to expand their horizons.5% in relation to January 2005. In January. Our commitment is clear: To actively support Greek exports. We will continue to strive towards the goals we set before us two years ago and I am confident that the results will continue to vindicate our endeavors.

recipes. Rachel Howard. wine-. Daphne Zepos Contributing Chefs Yiannis Baxevannis. Dimitris Skarmoutsos. Liz Steger. Kostas Vassalos Photography Battman.hepo. and travelindustry professionals.kerasma. John C.gr or www. Dimitris & Mihalis Mavrikos. CEO Marinou Antipa 86-88 Ilioupoli. a publication of the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board. travel.SUMMER 2006 GreekGourmetraveler Greek Food.E. Vassilis Stenos Food Styling Dawn Brown.gr http://www.kerasma. Christoforos Peskias. Jim Botsakos. Georgia Kofinas. Jodi Elliott.com Reproduction of articles and photographs No articles. The magazine is distributed free of charge to food-.com Information and subscription GreekGourmetraveler. visit our website at www. Konstantinos Lazarakis. Monica Ruzansky. Yiorgos Hatziyiannakis. Michael Dotson. Lei. Wine & Travel Magazine Editor-in-Chief Diane Kochilas Art Director & Designer k2design HEPO Liaison Anastasia Garyfallou Contributors Orestes Davias. Babis Mastoridis. Diana Farr Louis. Jonathan Sawyers. Kossyfologos & Associates A. Michael Psilakis. Paul Johnson. Tina Webb Printing Red Line G. Greece Tel: 00 30 210 998 2100 Fax: 00 30 210 996 9100 http://www. GreekGourmetraveler©Hellenic Foreign Trade Board. 163 46 Athens. Nea Ionia 142 34 ISSN 1790-5990 Cover Vassilis Stenos Publisher Hellenic Foreign Trade Board Legal representative Panagiotis Drossos. promotes Greek cuisine. Michael Symon. Lefteris Lazarou. If you wish to subscribe. Yiorgos Dracopoulos. or photographs published in the GreekGourmetraveler may be reprinted without permission from the publisher.hepo. Constantine Stergides. wine. Nena Ismirnoglou. 10 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Stelios Parliaros. All rights reserved. beverage-. and culture. Constantine Pittas. 87 Byzantiou Street. Christos Valtsoglou.

while Georgia Kofinas. landscapes as cosmpolitan as Santorini. have opened their doors. Greece's first Master of Wine. what the Greeks call glyka tou koutaliou. In this. with a thousand more places in between. most of them incredibly designed meccas of much more than moussaka. we've lined up some great summer reads. dives into the peach and its lore in Greece. Orestes Davias. seasonal fruits preserved to perfection in syrup.LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Greek summer is a very inviting time of the year: Languid. wherever you are. we opted to offer up a toast of sorts. to delve into the unique vineyards of Santorini and write about its national grape. our favorite plant guru. milky ouzo to a savory island meze to a luscious piece of summer preserved in the form of spoonfuls of fruit in syrup. We sent Diana Farr Louis on a journey of rediscovery through Crete. Diane Kochilas Editor-in-Chief 11 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . a culinary instructor and cookbook author. pours forth on the liquoricescented aperitif that has become synonymous not only with Greek summer. The issue coincides with the New York Fancy Food Show. We hope you enjoy the summer. to ouzo. warm. Finally. as complex as Crete. Dino Stergides. juicy. is what you will find in the summer 2006 issue of the GreekGourmetraveler. expounds on the virtues of other sorts of fruit. about which she has written a cookbook. from a little tipple of cool. our third issue of the GreekGourmetraveler. recalling the family kitchen rituals of her girlhood in North Carolina. a whole range of colorful. the intriguing Assyrtico. much more. What would a Greek summer be without a Greek peach. Kerasma. dripping with honey-sweet nectar. but also with the sudden explosion of haute Greek restaurants in the Big Apple. Greek is hot in New York right now. plump. Our intrepid New York correspondent Daphne Zepos peeks into their pots and dining rooms to see what's cooking in the toughest restaurant city in the world. Constantinos Lazarakis. and we asked one of Greece top wine experts. All that and more. in the way of recipes for our unique brand of Greek treats. in the last three years more than 20 new Greek restaurants. bright days inspire Greeks and visitors alike to enjoy all that summer in the heart of the Mediterranean has to offer. but with Greece itself. Greece in the summer is also about its islands.

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Greek summer more than a ripe.Nothing conveys the seduction of a hot. succulent Greek peach. a juicy. Eat a Peach! By Orestes Davias Photography: Vassilis Stenos Food styling: Dawn Brown 13 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . plump Greek peach—always seasonal. ancient scribes waxed poetic about it. always delicious—is one of the great pleasures of a Greek summer. The fruit has been endemic to the Mediterranean since time immemorial. To this day.

perfect for a composte flavored with cinnamon and cloves. Pliny perhaps was misguided by the fact that the peach did. It spread quickly and easily throughout Greece. so much so that the armies of Alexander the Great brought the fruit back with them from their campaigns. A case in point is the peach.It's been proven on more than one occasion that the names chosen by botanists to christen plants aren't always accurate. avid rainfall. where it has been cultivated for at least 5. really just perpetuates a fallacy. indeed. the peach tree requires a few weeks of cold weather each winter in order to bloom abundantly. winters. with its temperate summers. Pliny keenly documents the early trials and tribulations of peach cultivation. In the case of the peach. The areas of Pella. flourish grandly in the Persia of his time. and prolonged frost causes damage. excellent in baking.000 years. 14 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . namely that it failed miserably to flourish both on Rhodes and in Egypt. It cannot withstand extremes. Pliny the Elder mistakenly pointed to Persia as the peach's original home. As often happens. Although peaches have flourished in many parts of Greece for millennia. In fact. In both places it is simply too hot. implies that the fruit arrived from Persia. later scientific evidence points to the valleys of western China as the peach's indigenous home. but not icy cold. meant to corroborate information declared by naturalists of the long lost past. Prunus persica. of cold or heat. whose scientific name. one area in particular is especially suited to their production— the northern Greek region of Macedonia. Edessa and Pieria in central Macedonia are especially wellknown for the quality of their The many faces of a Greek peach: Delicious canned and spooned over Greek yogurt. and cool. the fruit's scientific name.

peaches. Tasty Free. FYROM. Caltesse 2000. Greek peaches are an experience—plump. Sun Cloud. Slovakia and Lithuania. Sun Crest. fleshy. and Silver King. Royal Glory. and Flaminia. Russia. the first harvest of Greek peaches begins to arrive in the market. their pink and white blossoms blanket the large stretch of plain. Nectarines arrived later and gained commercial importance among growers from the 1970s onwards. Fayette. Sun Free. Spring Lady. Poland. Early Gem. The most important markets for fresh Greek peaches are Holland. Italy. June Gold. such as Early May Crest. J. the fruit nour- ished by the hot Greek summer sun. Spring Red. the most commercially important cultivated in Greece are: Stark Red Gold. Hale. too. and highly aromatic. England. May Crest. May Grand. the main tablefruit varieties cultivated in Greece are: Red Haven. Venus. Fantasia. peaches have been one of the agricultural mainstays in the area. The fruit ripens slowly but the harvest lasts all the way through September. Peaches are the third most commercially important fruit export from Greece. Belarus. Moldavia. the Czech Republic. although there are a few whitefleshed varieties cultivated. juicy. 15 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . cultivated systematically in Northern Greece. Adriana. and O'Henry are also cultivated. Flavor Crest. Among nectarine varieties. Fire Bright. H. Each spring. Aurelio Grand. Bulgaria. Albania. Spring Crest. In order of commercial importance. Maria Bianca. Spring Belle. They are a favorite From the 1950s onwards. Other varieties. the Ukraine. when the trees flower. Most of the peaches grown commercially in Greece are yellow-fleshed. The main variety exported is the Red Haven. By June.

The speed with which the fruit is transported from groves to processing plants ensures that it is canned at peak freshness. together with its juicy texture.000 32 48 103. that latter of which has an aroma and flavor so intense they are among the most sought-after fruits of the Greek summer. nucipersica. as well as processing technology. While it would be hard to verify that scientifically. which takes its name from the Greek word nectar. are state of the art. they are just another species of peach. It's not a coincidence that in Greek art and poetry. some peach trees occasionally bear nectarines. There are hundreds of peach varieties worldwide. halved. both as a fresh and processed mainly canned— fruit. sliced as a fruit composte. the peach. whether fresh or canned. Even today. packing. Greek peaches spill their perfumed juices into your mouth with the first bite. and shipping. VITAL STATISTICS 437. in fact. Greek processed peaches come in many forms: frozen. most likely in Italy. with its soft. when. The fruit absorbs ambient odors easily and reacts to changes in temperature. so if improperly stored its own aroma will be compromised. namely in ice creams and sorbets. Peaches can be broken down as yellow-fleshed and white- fleshed.000 tons of peaches and nectarines produced in 2005 percentage consumed fresh percentage processed number of tons exported in 2005 number of tons consumed in 2005 by Russia.524 number of square meters devoted to peach and nectarine cultivation in Greece 769. quartered. Greek peach processors are highly experienced at treating their treasured fruit properly. Prunus persica var. in Greece about 20 are cultivated. Peaches were once thought to bestow youth and beauty on those who savored them. Peaches are also divided according to their pips. Many people think they are a hybrid. Freestone peaches are most valued by the formidable Greek peach canning industry because of the facility with which they can be halved and processed. and write about all sorts of plants. which emerged naturally several centuries ago in the Mediterranean. approximately 10 of which are commercially important. the foreign country with largest consumption of Greek peaches Orestes Davias is a biologist who loves to cook. as an ingredient for the frozen dessert sector.fruit among the throngs of tourists used to the peaches from northern countries. eat. or diced in syrup. harvesting techniques and equipment. which are either freestone and clingstone. has long been a symbol of joyous love. Even a matter as seemingly simple as refrigeration becomes decidedly more complicated in the case of the peach. and some nectarine trees occasionally produce peaches. 16 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . No matter the variety.000 28. of course. as juice. downy skin and its firm but succulent flesh. Nectarines are one of the most misunderstood fruits. either between peaches and prunes or peaches and apricots. There is. a peach varietiy that doesn't have a downy skin—the nectarine. Greek peaches are among the most delicious fruits in the Mediterranean. it's not at all hard to wax poetic about the fleshy truth of a good Greek peach: Full of vitamins and minerals. and their aroma fills whole rooms. which crunch like a cucumber when you bite into them and have little or no taste. succulent and perfumed. the elixir of immortality imbibed by the gods. Greek peaches have a revered place on the international market. peaches are relatively fragile fruits that require care and caution when handling.

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John C. clay. Thalassa. Ammos. Pylos. a multitude of names flashes and tugs at my heart. Thalassa. dreams. mores. Onera. Monica Ruzansky. Lei. customs.Parea. sand. These are significant words: Parea means group of friends. Ethos. Liz Steger. Greek Restaurants are Hot By Daphne Zepos Photography: Battman. Paul Johnson. Milos. Scanning the list of Greek restaurants in the new 2006 Zagat Survey. All of them are Freudian enough to appear in my dreams. Pylos. Onera. Vassilis Stenos 19 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . sea. Big Apple Greek In New York. Ammos. Ethos. the bible for restaurant goers in New York City. Avra.

is on the trail. are the urban venues in North America where new Greek restaurants fast are taking root. like Barbouni. Boston. and Avra for its potpourri of just about everything everyone expects in a Greek restaurant in a location most operators would envy. and Atlanta. and each restaurant is a manifestation of its owner's and/or chef 's vision. and lamb. with crystal ginger. some sought advice from Greek food experts of another ilk—cookbook authors who have combed the terrain with the scholarly preci- 20 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . as the restaurant scene heated up. there are more than 50 Greek restaurants in the entire city. According to Larry Cohen. In the shadow of New York. for example. San Francisco. and Thalassa. among other places. It was inevitable that Greek restaurateurs would eventually come to realize that their native cuisine is not about only fish. tomatoes. the Greek restaurant renaissance has seen a resurgence of classicism. on the Upper East Side. all tremendous- ly successful midtown dining meccas. which means red mullet and occupies a huge space in the chic east 20s. and Avra. marry Greek traditions with more international influ- ences. away from the taverna mold. The Times has awarded five Greek restaurants with a coveted two stars and another two with one star. have carved a niche by presenting elegant regional fare. Philadelphia. feta. In most cases. Los Angeles. Each has its own recipe for success. a gorgeous restaurant in TriBeCa. smack in the heart of major hotels and office towers. following suite. pairing the hallowed grilled octopus. an editor at Zagat. In the last few years. Some. one fact stands out: Greek food has arrived and is being reinterpreted in the toughest restaurant city in the world. Palo Alto. with tradition going upscale. Molyvos for its home-style Greek fare. like Pylos. with places like Trata. Over the years. no small feat in this demanding city of inveterate restaurant goers. Molyvos. Others. The New York Times. but they represent the classic mold recast for fine dining: Milos as the standardbearer for exquisite grilled fish.No matter what their names. As of this writing. the new restaurants weave a tapestry of time-honored classics with a twist. other cities are also finding themselves in the throes of a Greek restaurant revolution. at least 13 have opened in Manhattan alone since 2003. of course. Greek food is navigating itself out of the grilled fish and taverna mode and into the deeper waters of more adventuresome dining. The city's paper of record. in places such as Milos. including the five boroughs. Restaurants are theatre.

combine a little of both. among other signature dishes. depicting fiestas and family celebrations in Greece. But the yearning to reach Opposite page: from left to right. a beef short rib braised in Aghioritico wine. and Kellari. with artichokes in spring and with pumpkin and sweet potato in autumn. ground. elusive spiciness. and for the ouzo-spiked chocolate mousse. for example. Ethos. and hand-blown glass. He instructed them on the finer points of traditional meze. umbrellas. in the more hip East Village. Molyvos serves Greek bourgeoise cuisine with its classical and regional roots still intact.” According to Zagat. with photographs on every surface. such Ethos. having worked at both and honed his skills as an expert grill man for whole-on-the-bone fish. comes from the Milos-Molyvos fishing MODERN CLASSICS The new Greek dining scene is about both the classic and the iconoclastic. broke the mold by building upon the home-style cooking of Greece in a warm and friendly setting that looks a lot like a Greek home. which has a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a rich. the New York Times' restaurant critic. uses its downtown location and the poetic license that affords to build a menu of unusual regional Greek fare. coupled with a signature design—the ceiling is covered with inverted small clay amphorae—which sparked Frank Bruni. Several Greek restaurants in New York City. Among my favorite well-executed classics here is the Vodino Krassato. got a jolt of authenticity with the help of another veteran restaurateur. The chef. a familiar theme handled artfully with mosaics. of the classic Taverna Roumeli in Astoria. it is also among the top restaurants in the city for repeat customers. Pylos. have adapted recipes from their books and tapped into their considerable wealth of knowledge of traditional and regional fare. for the beets layered with mint-infused feta. 21 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . the restaurants Barbounia and Thalassa: this page Pylos restaurant. in midtown. which was popular in Astoria long before crossing the river into Manhattan kitchens. for the Greek-honey-andcumin-marinated Cornish game hens. playfully named mouzo.sion of culinary anthropologists. Christos Avlonitis. Ammos. among them Pylos and Molyvos. and grilled whole fish. Molyvos. They come for the unusual renditions of moussaka. The newest places. the décor aims to create a decidedly Greek summer-atthe-sea feel. charcoalgrilled meats (a Taverna Roumeli special). to call it one of “the prettiest restaurants in the city. opened by two veteran Manhattan restaurant operators. At Ammos. Christos Christou.

Snack. grilled Greek sausage with pear and fennel. across the city. and moussaka with ground prunes instead of ground meat. The place is owned in part by Michael Symon. at least to this restaurant fan. but so are Symon's unusual Greek-inspired creations. a culinary wizard from Cleveland who happens to be part Greek. Parea. too small to even be called a restaurant. served with Cretan barley rusks. It was one of the first restaurants on the scene to deconstruct the classics and rewrite “stylish dishes that are presented with an almost French elegance. a dish found in Crete and Cyprus with Middle Eastern overtones (like the Arabic kibbe). a spate of places that consciously break with timehonored tradition has opened all scenario of Greek menus. Onera. Molyvos. and radishes. though. 22 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . olives. a snappy little place in Manhattan's West Village. a holein-the-wall casual Greek place. Onera. Eric Asimov wrote about its This page the from left to right: Dona. like Pylos. like a saganaki tasting menu. Snack Taverna. and Dona lead the pack as far as adventuresome Greek and/or Grec-Med food goes. Meze is a big part of the menu at Parea. and a braised kid in yogurt. It is not the elemental taverna food…it is anything but rustic.” Among Snack Taverna's signature dishes are: grilled octopus with peppers. Snack Taverna. Here the chef uses crabmeat and lobster in his bulgur-wheat crust. At Kellari. raw tuna meze. like BREAKING WITH TRADITION Most excitingly. a fact that enables it to be more playful and less tethered to glories of the past. for example. one of the newest restaurants as of this writing. reaps the benefits of being in one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the city. The restaurant is owned by GreekAmerican Elias Varkoutas and Adam Greene. In the restaurant's Times review. grew out of Snack. The openings continue apace with Parea.beyond the classics appears in dishes like his sea bass cooked in clay and another called koupes. the otherwise classic menu also includes some novel ideas. another recently opened place on west 44th Street. But it captures the flavors and spirit that makes [Greek] dishes so winning. melted goat's cheese specked with almonds and apricots. and Thalassa: opposite page: Parea.

a price is spoken. sleek space designed brilliantly with marble. At some point. In the 1980’s and 1990’s. No mention of recent Greek restaurant history could be made without paying homage to Periyali and its owner. but none with quite the same cache. poetically simple but exquisite grilled fish. the tide began to turn and Greek restaurateurs began to look at their own cuisine differently. Milos was the first Greek restaurant to be housed in an ultra-modern. Greek-style with spinach and feta. too. These days. who was a maverick on the scene. Last year it was awarded two stars in the New York Times. among other things. veteran restaurateur Steve Tzolis. Greeks branched out and began opening other restaurants. If Periyali made it ok to eat rabbit in a Greek restaurant.CLASSIC GLORIES While Greeks in the New York restaurant business go back to the earliest days of immigration. Milos took a Greek tradition —that of the fish taverna— and highwired it for upscale audiences. Ordering at Milos is like a ritual: The patron peruses the fish and makes a selection. In the process. opening in 1987 what was essentially the first modern Greek fine dining establishment. by the pound. 23 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Milos made it sexy to eat fish. Periyali was the place to go for excellent Greek food. and the patron returns to the table. the restaurant hardly rests on its laurels. Perhaps Periyali is the best illustration of the timelessness-and timeliness—of Greek cuisine. In the years after it opened several similar grilled fish places opened. Costas Spiliades owner of estiatorio Milos certainly belongs to the club. and the signature crabcakes. It is weighed. displayed stunningly on a mountain of crushed ice. in a space that is Greek by inference but sophisticated. The restaurant is filled to the brim at lunch and dinner. perfect fish. a restaurant that dared to serve rabbit stew and seared quail. sold whole. sure that he'll be served the freshest fish in the city. and has a steady fan club of New York powerbrokers who pine after the kitchen's perfect fried vegetables. As far as mavericks go. the restaurant spawned more than a few imitators. with standard menus that seemed to be the same everywhere. and wood to evoke Greek island simplicity —and light— without the least hint of cliché motifs. for decade upon decade most Greek restaurants were either diners or tavernas. glass. as a potentially highend cuisine perfectly fit for fine dining.

taking a cue from Aegean fishermen who long have held a fondness for raw seafood. Psilakis's vision is to create Greek Haute Cuisine. Daphne Zepos is a cheese importer. and chef in New York City. Psillakis presents a delicate raw-fish menu. 24 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . He offsets the sweetness of a raw scallop. Haute Cuisine. by a yogurt cucumber sauce and celery leaves. The cheese course is served as a linear succession of four flavors: sheep's milk manouri from Crete. and partner. the one New York Greek chef most ablaze with inspiration is Michael Psilakis. he asks. and red-wine vinegar and lobster dolmathes. for example. step by step. to him. sea urchin sits on a sliver of earthy beet. the owner of Onera Restaurant. Today. together with Donatella Arpaia in the just-opened Dona. It's about references and connec- Without doubt. toasted fennel with praline. can you push Greek cuisine and still be Greek cuisine? HAUTE AND HOT Arguably. is not only about perfection. tions. At Dona.seafood brined with dill. a briny piece of tuna is touched by a hint of cinnamon. Greek restaurants are rich with a glorious battalion of genuine delicacies that have been deconstructed or reinterpreted. it is salty. some dishes are even more recognizable as Greek. and a sip of Mavrodaphne (a dark sweet wine). The recognition of a new cuisine is born slowly. the blue-andwhite. Many of the most progressive chefs cooking Greek food today are taking thoughtful risks with the foods they grew up on. burata cheese and caviar. sour cherry granita. Astoundingly. Instead of sweet. Daily he questions the nuances between “Greek-inspired” and “Greek-influenced. olives. Perhaps the only way to get to the turning point is to be led by true visionaries. he casts his net over a larger part of the Mediterranean. with a Greek-coffee note from the fava beans that makes it magical. and Parea: opposite page: Parea. The sea urchin here is adorned with a puree of fava beans.” How far. cliché-clutching syndrome is not representative of Greek restaurants anymore. This page from left to right: Thalassa. At Onera. Perhaps Psillakis put it best. consultant.

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To serve. Layer the scallops in the container. and greens and herbs to garnish. Set aside. Transfer slices to a deep container with a lid. roasted garlic puree ** see steps below 1 Tbsp. salt & pepper. Gather the tin foil around the bulb and twist at the top to enclose. smooth Dijon mustard 1 tsp. Bake for 25-30 minutes. New York City For 6 servings 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1 Tbsp. 27 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . 3. Cover the scallops with a layer of plastic wrap. In a large mixing bowl combine lemon juice. place one scallop on a spoon. and refrigerate to marinate for 1/2 hour. Reserve about 4 tablespoons as a garnish. parsley. Place the bulb of garlic on a sheet of tin foil. slice thinly into round wheels. top with a bit of the marinade.Raw Scallops with Greek Olives and Oregano Kerasma New York recipes Chef Michael Psilakis. pitted and finely diced Microgreens. Top with a tad of reserved lemon marinade. Serve immediately. Onera and Dona Restaurants. Whisk until combined. lined with a cloth napkin to prevent spoons from sliding. oregano. sushi grade quality 10-12 Thassos olives. **Roasted Garlic Puree: Preheat oven to 400F (200°C). sprinkle with olive oil (to moisten). Placing the scallop on its side. and continue to layer with the remaining slices and marinade. place the lid on the container. diced olives. whisking to emulsify. Greek oregano Salt and pepper to taste 1 cup extra-virgin Greek olive oil 6 diver sea scallops. salt. Slice the top off the garlic bulb so a bit of the cloves is exposed. and pepper. Place the spoons on a rectangular serving tray. 2. Slowly add olive oil in a stream. or dill chopped finely to garnish 1. mustard. garlic.

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lump crab meat. New York City For 6-8 servings. scrubbed and debearded 2 1/2 cups white wine 12 Gulf shrimp (21-25 per pound) peeled and deveined. about 3-5 minutes. Top with a generous portion of seafood salad mixture. when the mussels are cool enough to handle. sugar. Meanwhile. Remove the skillet from the heat and discard any mussels which did not open. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over mediumhigh heat. 2. and cook until all the mussels have steamed open. and herbs. celery hearts. fresh mint 1 Tbsp. peeled and finely chopped 2 cloves garlic. reserved cooking liquid. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with lemon slices if desired. and calamari. Combine the lemon juice. Increase heat to high.Cretan Barley Rusk and Seafood Salad Kerasma New York recipes Chef Jim Botsacos. remove the meat from the shell and discard the shells. scallops. thinly sliced 1/2 cup scallions. Reduce heat to medium-low and return the skillet to the stove. Use a slotted spoon. 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. calamari. pitted and sliced 1 cup celery hearts. sea scallops. cut in quarters 1 lb. Molyvos Restaurant. 4. cover. and lightly whisk to combine. clean tubes and cut into 1/4 inch rounds. and add the seafood to the mussels to cool. 3. sugar 2 Tbsp. Toss gently to coat. allowing the juices to baste the rusk. Transfer the opened mussels to a baking sheet to cool. fresh dill Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1/2 lb. 6. scallions. olives. Season with salt and pepper. Greek extra virgin olive oil 2 shallots. In a large. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 hours before serving. add the mussels and deglaze with the wine. sliced on the bias 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid 1/2 tsp. picked over (may substitute pasteurized jumbo lump crab meat) 6 Cretan barley rusks 1. fresh parsley 1 Tbsp. 5. peeled and smashed 2 lbs. tentacles halved 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup cracked green Greek olives. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the shallots and garlic. 7. PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels. Combine all the seafood and dressing in a large nonreactive bowl. Dip the rusks in warm water and gently shake to remove excess liquid. remaining olive oil. cut lengthwise 1/2 lb. Cook for 1 minute. 29 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Set out 6 serving plates. noncorrosive skillet. Add the shrimp. Place one rusk in the center of each plate. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent.

30 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . minced Salt and pepper 1. filleted. Color of tzatziki should be light red. Sear skin side down on the plati (flat top) until cooked through. Chiogga Beet Tzatziki Combine all ingredients. and let marinate overnight. minced 1 garlic clove. torn Sea salt for garnish Chiogga Beet Tzatziki 1 Chiogga beet (roasted with salt and olive oil and then diced small) 4 cups Greek strained yogurt Zest and juice from 1 blood orange Zest and juice from 1 lemon 1 shallot. and garnish fish with sea salt 1. season to taste. torn mint tossed with blood orange segments. Season red mullet with salt and oil.Plate with tzatziki. pinnboned) Pinch of Kosher salt 1 tsp. gutted.Red Mullet Plati with Beet Tzatziki and Orange Kerasma New York recipes Chef Jonathan Sawyers. Greek olive oil 1 Tbsp. minced 2 sprigs dill. New York City For 1 serving 1 red mullet (scaled. Parea Restaurant. Chiogga Beet Tzatiki (see recipe below) 3 blood orange segments 1 mint leaf.

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Spread a dollop of the yogurt mousse over it. 3. Place a teaspoon of the mousse filling in the center of a serving plate and place the first phyllo rectangle on top. Sift confectioner's sugar over the top. Diane Kochilas.Phyllo Napoleon with Greek Yogurt. 2. whipped 1 packet commercial phyllo. 4. Repeat until all the phyllo is used up. or until golden. dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. To assemble the napoleon: Take three double rectangles at a time. Place another pan on top and bake for about 5-8 minutes. Pylos Restaurant. Serve. and Sour Cherry Spoon Sweet For 8 Servings Kerasma New York recipes Chefs Christos Valtsoglou. and vanilla at high speed in a food processor or blender. pressing down gently and dollop some mousse over that. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours. In a saucepan. Add this mixture to the gelatin and transfer to a bowl. and garnish with mint. sugar. drizzle with sour cherry syrup. New York City 2 envelopes powdered unflavored gelatin 2 cups strained sour cherry Greek spoon sweets. too. Stir to soften then heat gently for it to dissolve completely. Cover with a third double rectangle. until firm. Process the strained sour cherries. vanilla extract 2 cups strained Greek yogurt 2 cups heavy cream. dry place. Cut into equal size rectangles. Prepare the phyllo: Preheat the oven to 450 F (220°C). syrup reserved 2/3 cup sugar 1 tsp. thawed For garnish Confectioner's sugar Fresh mint leaves Sour cherry syrup 1. 5. Remove the top sheet pan immediately and let the phyllo rectangles cool. Place two phyllo sheets on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Mix in the yogurt. 32 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Set the prebaked phyllo rectangles between layers of paper towels or parchment and store in a cool. Whip the cream with an electric mixer until stiff and fold it into the yogurt-cherry mixture. Place another rectangle over that.

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3.Milk Pie with Lemon Sorbet and Lemon Marmalade Kerasma New York recipes Parea Restaurant. Brush a mini muffin pan with butter. Put the sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Pour into a pot and whisk constantly over low heat until the mixture thickens. 34 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Bring the water and sugar to a boil. then fold in half again. Place everything into a bowl and whisk until its all combined. Lemon Sorbet 2 cups lemon juice 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup water 3 Tbsp. vanilla Zest from 2 lemons Juice from 1 lemon 1. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and corn syrup. light corn syrup 1. Pastry Chef Jodi Elliott For the Phyllo Shells: 2 sticks unsalted butter 12 commercial phyllo sheets. 2. Stir together then pour into a bowl to cool. brush with butter again. Gently place the square inside one of the muffin cups making sure it comes up all the sides and has no holes. quartered For the filling: 6 cups milk 1/4 cup fine semolina 1 cup sugar 1/4 tsp. then pour into phyllo shells and bake at 300F (160°C) just until set. Take 12 sheets of phyllo dough and cut them in half. Soak with lemon syrup while still warm.30 minutes or until it's a syrup consistency. thawed For the Lemon Syrup: 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 cups water 1 lemon. fold in half. Freeze in an ice cream machine. so you have a small square. Bake at 325F (165°C) for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Add the lemon and simmer for 20 . Then take each half sheet and brush with melted butter. salt 7 eggs 1 tsp. Repeat this process until all the cups are filled. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.

covered for 30 minutes. Add to the pot and bring to boil. making sure all the pectin is dissolved. and water in a pot and simmer. Zest 12 lemons with a large zester (one that produces long. Juice the other 12 lemons. Mix sugar and pectin together.Meyer Lemon Marmalade 24 Meyer lemons 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup sugar 1 Tbsp. 3. Remove from heat and chill Serve each piece of milk pie with a dollop of lemon sorbet and a spoonful of the marmalade. Put the zest. pectin 1. juice. thin ribbons of zest). then peel them and remove all the seeds and chop the pulp. 2. pulp. 35 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

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W. Our relief button is a phrase we use often to confront challenges of every sort: Pame gia ouzaki.For us Greeks. Photography: Vassilis Stenos Food styling: Dawn Brown 37 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Ouzo 101 Greece's National Drink is a Way of Life By Konstantinos Lazarakis M. ouzo is the elixir that makes all of life's caprices a bit more pleasant to deal with. Translation: Let's go for a little ouzo.

where nothing is ever wasted. in other words a grape marc distillate. Within the Greek communities. Wine had always been made in these regions. however. people began to look beyond the grape for the raw ingredients that could be turned into suitable distillations. pips.It's no secret that the anise-flavored liqueur is our national drink. Ouzo runs through our DNA. but always is accompanied by mezedes—small. Turks. but its place in Greek culture goes far beyond mere potent tipple. among them the Greek raki. Then. tsipouro. in fact. and tsikoudia. making spirits that are with us to this day. but sometime during the 18th century some local winemakers began to look to wine's by-products—skins. varied plates of food. politics and war changed the course of ouzo's early history. who lived side by side in the multiethnic enclaves of Asia Minor (present day Turkey). For years. Armenians. 38 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Greeks have a relationship to their national drink most foreigners don't grasp. and others. part and parcel of our lifestyle. They began experimenting with other fruits and grains. the art of distillation is much newer. our national spirit has a complex history. The Italian grappa is a similar spirit. They used the residuals of winemaking in the still. at least upon first sip. and must—as a source for producing other beverages. stems. These are all drinks that evince the innate sense of economy in Mediterrranean households. While Greeks have been making and enjoying wine for millennia. Ouzo evolved out of these early distillations. The political and Ouzo is never served alone. of how we socialize and share experiences with friends and family. pommace. it was the domain of small numbers of Greeks. especially in regions along the Aegean and Black Sea coasts. Ironically.

and the knowledge of distillation. grappa. moussaka. all stock has to be produced once a year and suffice for the year's anticipated needs. The Asia Minor Greek refugees brought with them minimum possessions. and so did the country's national drink. One of the indispensable things many refugees carried with them into Greece was their copper. the production cycle is restricted to within a few weeks after the grape harvest because that is when the raw material is both at its prime and available. grains. arak. arrived on the Greek mainland. By law distillates. Thanks to them. Tyrnavo. and potatoes. ouzo must be distilled from a minimum of 30% grape residuals. the rest can be distilled from other fruits. urbane cuisine. ouzo. the capital of Lesvos. ouzo has a distinct advantage over other grape distillates because many of the raw ingredients needed to prepare it are available year round. tsikoudia. That's not so with ouzo. In the case of tsipouro. Therefore. Supplies cannot be replenished until the following harvest. and Thessaloniki. belly- shaped still. and producers fiercely debate the details necessary to make the best possible spirit. now the Greek national dish. such as Mytilene. the capital of Macedonia. From a commercial and production point of view. raki. a rich.social upheavals of the early part of the 20th century forced millions of Greeks living in Turkey to flee. on the Greek mainland. became centers for ouzo production. and other purely grape THE ART OF OUZO PRODUCTION Ouzo production is far from simple. Most settled en masse in specific areas of Greece. and many of these areas. 39 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

since there are a number of different spices with similar aromas. and the length of maceration. and fennel seed. etc. Their flavor nuances change not only according to type but also according to the spice's age. the degree to which the spice is dried. The final taste is the result of many details: at what stage the spices are added.The production process starts with a high strength spirit —very pure alcohol. obtained by the distillation of agricultural products. aniseed. Coriander seeds. The high degree of alcoholic purity. the quantities used. however. are among some of the other spices in a typical ouzo recipe. Even choosing anise is not an easy task. means that this pure spirit is neutral. Each producer Anise provides the core of ouzo’s aromatic expression. While anise is the basis of ouzo's flavor. whether everything is macerated together or separately. That is why it needs aromatics. The main flavor component is anise. a great deal of ouzo's distinctiveness comes from the skill and creativity the master distiller who uses a range of other herbs and spices. fennel seeds. such as star anise. 40 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . even cloves. and therein lies the art of ouzo production. rosemary. the producer selects a range of aromatic seeds and grains which he macerates in the alcohol in order to extract all the aromas and flavors that give ouzo its final character. Once the pure alcohol has been obtained. which provides the core of ouzo's aromatic expression.

One never pours an ouzo for someone else. a spirit the Greeks call ouzo apostagma. distill just a portion of the flavored alcohol. so that each person can do what he likes with it. so that more robust flavors. something that adds a distinct. People relax as the ice slowly melts and the spirit dilutes. Matching ouzo with food is an art. There are even a few connoisseurs who seek out the rare bottlings most distillers keep for their private use. the resulting distillate is too high in alcohol to consume. There is a niche market for ouzo with greater alcoholic purity. alcohol content not only affects the taste but also the tax on the drink— one reason why higher alcohol-content drinks are available in dutyfree shops. there is usually some kind of succession. which is essentially its alcoholic content after water has been added. anithol causes the liquid to turn white. others want a tall glass. The style of ouzo is purely a matter of the producer's preferences. On the island of Chios. Typically. when serving ouzo. Most producers aim for alcohol content close to the 40% mark. most people enjoy a cold and rather diluted ouzo. these have been flavored with an additional sweetening agent. Some ouzos are very sweet. for example. very close to cask-strength whiskey. because each individual prefers to drink it a particular way. more commercial brands tend to be sweeter. salty. but there are also regional schools of thought. THE OUZO-MEZE CONNECTION Ouzo never is served alone. which affect the temperature but also slow down the speed with which it is imbibed. which helps liberate the aromatic nuances and implies that the drink be sipped and savored slowly. the better to enjoy it in one felt swoop. affects how it is served. some go as high as 46%. others opt for the costly process of distilling the whole amount of infused alcohol. for example. ouzo producers spike their mixture with the crystal resin. or brined foods. the chemical compounds of which remain unaffected in any wateralcohol solution higher than 38%. The diehard like ouzo in a shot glass. For that reason. alcoholic strength influences the flavor profile of a spirit as well as the ease with which it is flavors to the strongest. which has great finesse. is also very important. which can take anywhere from 24 hours to a few days. in order to weaken it with lots of water. The array progresses with each round. Typically. others on the rocks. That's how ouzo gets its milky haze whenever ice or water is added. are served later. mild. incense-like aroma to the drink. After the production of ouzo is completed. most ouzo falls within a range of 38% to 42%. The easy. like the Japanese tea ceremony. it is the very potent nature of the drink which directly 41 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . With those first. others on the rocks and watered down together. others with just a few cubes of ice. the purest form of ouzo. while smaller. producers each have their own distillation techniques. where the mastic tree flourishes. Ouzo is always served in a small carafe. But with ouzo. in order to refine its character. Most top quality producers go for 100% distilled ouzo. but always is accompanied by food. a natural order from the lightest SERVING RITUALS Appearance and color notwithstanding. These are generally not for sale. Some. It is another flavor dimension altogether. But if the solution is diluted to less than 38%. from dry treats like olives or salted fish to rich dishes with piquant sauces. After the seeds and other flavoring agents macerate in the alcohol. Alcoholic strength is a lot more important in ouzo than in most other alcoholic beverages for one reason: The maceration of aniseed produces an extract called anithol. consumption is almost a ritual. for example. such as hot. usually mezedes (small plates). mild mezedes arrive first. more artisanal producers tend to make ouzo that is dry. the ouzo distillate is broken down with water. The consumed. such as sugar syrup.has his secret recipe. which must be demineralized. Some like it straight up. but WHY OUZO TURNS WHITE The bottling strength of ouzo. dishes. with ice and water on the side. I have seen ouzo with a 59% alcohol content. In the case of ouzo.

The drink can cut through the oiliness of many dishes. pasta. But I've seen retired sea captains congregate near the port of Piraeus and savor their ouzo with a piece of blue cheese. Greeks like the ample feeling that family-style dining creates. a sweet sesame brittle. Fried small fish and shellfish are especially popular. Intensity of flavors rather than volume on the palate is more important then. which is one reason why many mezedes for ouzo are fried. people are free to take what they like instead of having a rigorous course-by-course meal imposed upon them. His book. and if you happen to be with a group of people near and dear.as the meal progresses the drink is replenished and diluted less and less. Wine consultant and writer Konstantinos Lazarakis became Greece's first Master of Wine in 2002. hence the penchant for salted fish. for the cook. Ouzo also complements foods that have a high acidity content. was short-listed for the Andre Simon Memorial Award in 2006. As a general rule when matching food to ouzo. especially with poached fruits and mild cheeses. The Wines of Greece. literally and figuratively. into their ouzo. all the better. and sweets. I like to think of it as a palate rebooter! One highly respected producer explained the method to the madness. Around a table. to take in the sunshine. an array of mezedes is necessary. some pickled vegetables. a skewer of grilled octopus dipped into a water glass filled with the milky-white drink. a cube of sharp cheese. Mitchell Beazley. one finds something called ouzohtapodo. and pickles. in the southern Peloponnese. 42 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Ouzo is meant to match with the whole gamut of flavors presented but also to cleanse the palate after each robust mouthful. On the island of Kalymnos. but that isn't the only component in the drink's ritualistic imbibing. Individually plated meals are new affectations on the Greek table. and I've been in small cafeneia in the Mani. What it doesn't go well with are starchy foods like potatoes. mild cheeses. a lightly salted tomato wedge or cucumber slice. It works very well with salty foods. Everything that swims is an easy match for ouzo. In Kalamata. By tradition. olives. It's a whole experience. with one sip you're bound to see that ouzo is more than a drink. the drink's high alcoholic content acts the way acidity works when pairing wine and food. and rice. One needs first and foremost to relax with it. or a strip of salted anchovy on bread are among the simplest accompaniments to ouzo. That way. To savor an ouzo. Greeks dine communally. people slip a strip of pastelli. London. while everything that walks or crawls is better off with pure grape-based spirits. although in the last few years chefs have been experimenting with ouzo in syrups. the range is meant to illustrate the care and trouble he or she has taken to satisfy and honor each guest. A few olives. where the meze of choice is nothing more than a handful of roasted chickpeas. If you happen to be near the sea on a typical Greek summer day. most meats. from shared platters the contents of which each person spoons onto his plate. such as tomato-based dishes. The simplest meze usually suffice.

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Greeks have always had a symbiotic relationship with the sea that surrounds them. and rugged spearfishermen can still be seen with a freshly caught octopus in hand. battering it to tenderize it along one of the country's seemingly endless coastlines. It is no surprise then that Greeks should also be at the forefront of fish farming. Farming the Sea Greek Mariculture Thrives By Rachel Howard Photography: Vassilis Stenos 45 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .Images of Greece inevitably bring to mind the sea. Leatheryfaced fishermen still ply the Aegean in their colorful caiques.

global fish consumption will rise 25% to 160 million tons a year. The EU supports sustainable aquaculture as a means to replenish natural stocks and supplement the struggling fishing trade. With annual production of around 100. it should not exceed 100 million tons annually.Consumer demand for seafood never seems to slow down. Yet. for fishing to be sustainable. the number of fish farms in Greece rose from 12 in 1985 to 290 in 2005. and sheltered coves.000 tons. according to the Greek Mariculture Federation. Greece has been one of the leading beneficiaries of this policy. farmed fish has more than doubled in the last 20 years. Thanks to generous EU subsidies and visionary Greek entepreneurs. and sales turnover of 460 million Euros. the Aegean is ideal for fish farming. but overfishing and other industrial practices have depleted wild fish supplies all over the world. “With its long coastline. strong currents. And we don't have major 46 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Greece is the world's leading exporter of Mediterranean sea bream and sea bass. aquaculture is set to grow sevenfold in the next 25 years.” Ventiris explains. whose short production cycles are ideal for farming in Greek waters. General Manager of the Greek Mariculture Federation. mariculture is now the country's second biggest export sector. In the European Union (EU) alone. Consequently. attributes this remarkable growth to two factors: Greece's natural environment and seafaring history. “Greeks have always taken full advantage of the sea. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that by 2030. Akis Ventiris.

For example. Greece is the world’s leading exporter of Mediterranean sea bream and sea bass. Now. most Greek aquaculture companies started as small. and Canada. many small farmers cannot compete in the global market. We can just pick up our cages and go.industrialization. rather than the sandy beaches preferred by tourists. none of whom were interested in seasonal work in tourism. Other emerging markets are Eastern Europe and Japan. are all former fishermen. family-run businesses. Since fish farms require deep waters. so our seas aren't polluted. CEO of Cephalonia Fisheries. The industry has stabilized and consolidated through acquisitions and mergers by conglomerates. Most Greek farmed fish is sold in the European Union. the United States. with supermarkets demanding a steady supply of large quantities at lower prices. Seven Greek aquaculture companies are listed on the Athens Stock Exchange. And as Lara BaraziYeroulanou.” Like Cephalonia Fisheries. the domestic market accounts for about 25% of sales.000 people are directly or indirectly employed in the aquaculture sector. the staff at Cephalonia Fisheries. points out: “Tourism has a permanent impact on the coastal environment. 47 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . one of Greece's first fish farms. Greek entrepreneurs are also exporting their expertise to the Middle East and Eastern Asia.” Some 10. the two industries are compatible. which has boosted outlying regions and barren islands once threatened by depopulation and unemployment. including market leaders Nireas and Selonda. Almost all produce was sold to Italy. the other major employer on the island.

Bigger fish 48 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . “You can't avoid feeding fish to fish. so there's no need for hormones. which is less than most other operations. in darkened tanks filled with filtered water. resistance to illness. Breeding stock are genetically selected (but never genetically modified) based on their fertility. ural life-cycles of the fish. because it is highly automated. the tiny silver creatures scramble to the surface. so we do everything we can not to stress them out. vibriosis and pasteurellosis. In humid hatcheries. expecting food. the larvae are fed plankton.” says Tsimiklis. which I visited recently. they are vaccinated. “Stressed fish are more prone to illness and high mortality rates.” says Yannis Tsimiklis. combined with vitamins and minerals. cultured in bubbling green sacks. manually. This is standard practice in Greece.” Before the fish are transferred to 'ongrowing' tanks. “They grow fast. shortlived species. derived from fast-growing. against the most common diseases.000 tons of fish a year.” says Selonda's hatchery THE PROCESS In Greece. The farm employs 110 staff. “We feed them as much as are fed powdered fish meal. eight to nine percent a day. manager of the sea bass farm at Selonda Bay. and produces around 3.” says John Sweetman. “Production units are more sophisticated and automated. because that's their natural diet. which give the water a murky tinge.“Since I started working here in 1990. one by one. near ancient Epidaurus in the Peloponnese. an international aquaculture consultant based in Greece. the aquaculture industry works harmoniously with the nat- they can eat. Broodstock are left to mate naturally. “But sustainability requires us to look at incorporating vegetable protein replacements like soya into fish meal. As we approach the tanks.” All fish feed is highly regulated to EU standards. because the marine environment is so conducive to farming. the sector has changed drastically. and development rate. which makes our job less labor intensive.

then immediately packed in ice and shipped abroad. bacteriology. In those rare instances.” Barazi-Yeroulanou maintains. fish is an excellent source of protein and unsaturated fatty acids. the fish are transferred to sea cages equipped with remote control feeding systems. under expert supervision. and selenium. our fish are raised in a regulated environment. provided the farm is correctly run.) Next.5%.5 tons of fish per hour. “Unlike wild fish. the fish are screened by the histopathology. which are of unknown provenance.5 euros a kilo. fish are thoroughly tested to ensure all active compounds have disappeared before the fish are sold. and parasitology laboratories. In the packaging unit.manager. under the hopeful gaze of hungry seagulls. by changes in oxygen levels. to less than 0.” From a nutritional perspective. are removed. At about 4. After about 120 days. reaching the table within 12-48 hours. It works like a giant pinball machine: Fish are slammed into slots according to weight and packed in Styrofoam crates that go straight into refrigerated trucks. Workers in orange waterproofs cruise the circular cages. with the strictest quality specifications. a powerful antioxidant. at the time of this writing. (Stress can be caused by sudden changes in the temperature or salinity of water. wholesale. The aim is to ensure that the whole farming process is as close as possible to the fish’s natural environment. After 16 to 18 months. such as fish with twisted spines or other skeletal abnormalities. farmed fish is also cheap compared 49 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . They are shocked in near freezing water. The use of medicines has been drastically reduced in Greece. so these factors are carefully regulated when handling or transporting the fish. the fish are ready for consumption— only a few months earlier than wild fish would be. Andonis Kollis. or by noise levels. where any 'faulty' specimens. So it's the safest fish you can eat. SUPERVISED FOR HEALTHFULNESS “Farmed fish is the perfect food. women in white rubber uniforms work a clattering conveyer belt that can pack 2. which help the heart and immune system.

quality. the marine environment is completely rehabilitated within months.” IN TUNE WITH THE ENVIRONMENT Aquaculturists have to contend with environmental campaigners. Issues include stock density. Greek producers are developing new species like turbot. since modern fish feed is more digestible. However.” practices of the first salmon farmers in Norway back in the 1960s. and filleted fish. “Studies have shown that pollution caused by fish farms is negligible in comparison to pollutants in the sea from industrial activities on land or even from the use of the sea for swimming. But as Barazi-Yeroulanou concludes: “Farming the sea is much better than killing it off. In the face of falling prices and international competition. “Anyway. as well as improving processing facilities for smoked.” To further tighten up regulations.to other quality food products. and the sediment caused by accumulated residues on the seabed. the EU has stopped issuing new licenses. and sustainability are major concerns for the future of the industry. and octopus.” says Ventiris. “A kilo of sea bass is cheaper than an espresso these days. who call for stricter controls. canned. Ventiris asserts. if cages are moved. fish escapes. so from the start it has been regulated much more stringently than animal or crop farming. Transparency. traceability.” Environmentalists' reticence about the ecological viability of fish farms stems largely from the irresponsible Rachel Howard is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler and other major British and American magazines. rotating cages and leaving them 'fallow' can also solve the problem. blue-fin tuna. But the industry has made radical progress since then. and stabilize prices. 50 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . avoid over-fishing. and Sweetman is keen to set the record straight: “The fish farming industry is relatively new. such by-products are becoming less and less of an issue.

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Assyrtico. the quintessential Greek white wine grape. Constantine Pittas 53 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .If there were a vintage of Santorini sunlight it would be made with the island's most famous grape. the Assyrtico. Wines from a Volcano Santorini's Assyrtico Wines Combine High Acidity with High Alcohol By Constantine Stergides Photography: Vassilis Stenos. and Santorini has always been identified with wine. has always been identified with Santorini.

Before the advent of modern winemaking techniques. the yellow split pea reaches extraordinary heights of flavor and creaminess thanks to Santorini's unique terrain. especially in such a traditional way. including Athiri. of course. Aidani. A magical. wines made with Assyrtico are blessed with a rather rare combination of high natural acidity and high alco- hol content. tend to lose acidity as their sugar content increases. active volcano with sunsets made for Hollywood. which were stored underground in cellars called canaves. As a result. Santorini attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists but also is home to some of Greece's most indelible gastronomic and viticultural traditions. In the spring and summer. earthquake-prone. exposed to enough of it. The Greek summer is kind to Assyrtico.400 hectares (3. Assyrtico's alcohol content can skyrocket well past 15 percent. Most grapes.” For decades they were shipped off to 54 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Some of Greece's best tomatoes are grown here. The wines traditionally were heavy in alcohol.459 acres). dug into the soft volcanic rock that makes up most of the island's terroir. islanders traditionally kept their hefty Assyrtico wines for over a year in huge 2. Although Santorini is host to a number of indigenous Greek grape varietals. and Mavrotragano. The variety adores bright sunshine. almost like sherry. but it is the grape that has mostly made its mark on the chalk-earthed island slopes. never scarce in this part of the world. Assyrtico is thus a viticultural aberration. slightly oxidized. while at the same time its acidity levels remain abnormally high.000-liter casks called afoures. but they lacked what in contemporary winespeak is called “fruit. gave Santorini's Assyrtico wines a certain rustic quality. They possess excellent aging capabilities in both oak casks and bottles.The island is arguably one of the strangest places on earth. the Assyrtico reigns supreme. It occupies about 70% of a total vineyard area of 1. Woodaging. the island is a gorgeous juxtaposition of Aegean postcard blue-and-white and the green of all its vineyards.

The growers were asked to harvest their white grapes in the beginning of August. for the customary overripening of grapes made it impossible to vinify in an international style. went back after the vinification to visit the villagers who had participated in the experiment. It has always been customary on Santorini. without realizing that only the white grapes had been harvested. indeed. and it did not take him long to convince the cooperative's management. The first experimental harvest took place in an isolated village in the southern part of Santorini. including the leading grape growers of the island. and of course the farmers' livelihood! 55 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . a new generation of French-educated oenologists arrived on the scene to court revolution in the Greek vineyard.Athens and used to fortify blends. He was full of novel ideas. the local goat-herders did just that. He wanted to thank them. the local Santorini cooperative hired one such young gun. or sold off as nondescript bulk wines in local tavernas. their animals feasted on a few tons of late-ripening red grapes. It was duly saluted by the small —in those days— circle of Athenian wine connoisseurs. As a result. The oenologist. for shepherds to herd their goats in the vineyards. right after the harvest. brimming with pride. having seen the harvest take place. But the island's farmers had a dif- ferent perspective after that first harvest and the story is wrought with more than a dose of irony. a definite departure from the conventional tastes of the island. In the summer of 1990. that the future of wine belonged to fruit and acidity. But they were livid. So. The early harvest was crucial to the success of the experiment. as all the primary aromas of the Assyrtico were lost in favor of alcoholic strength. a good 10 days earlier than usual. That all began to change about 20 years ago. In the late 1980s and early 1990s. excellent: fresh and fruity. decimating about one third of that year's vintage. an oenologist freshly graduated from the University of Bordeaux. The resulting experimental wine was.

Sophisticated wine connoisseurs. has waxed poetic about Santorini wines in more than a few of the columns she writes each week in the Financial Times. so much so that the island's wine industry has advanced by leaps and bounds. 56 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Ultimately science triumphed over tradition. The renowned British master of wine.These days. Well. who once lauded fruit as the ultimate measure of a wine's quality. It possesses innate minerality thanks to the soil from which it grows. juicy fruit. almost. wine gurus declared the Riesling grape the world's most interesting varietal. now tout minerality as the be-all and end-all of a good wine. Santorini is invariably the region in Greece that harvests earliest in the year. Santorini wines are winning critical accolades as well as medals in international wine competitions. however. but also combines that with lovely. farmers. most importantly. Assyrtico's rise is timely. The number of wineries has doubled to 10 since 1990 and. and since then there has been a concerted effort among global producers to emulate Riesling's mineral taste. Jancis Robinson. and proud oenologists all exist in harmony. Assyrtico achieves that effortlessly. goats. A few years ago.

especially the gilthead bream. but mainly it is one of those rare grapes that is a perfect vector of its terroir. Semillon. especially in the Halkidiki and Drama areas. a respected oenologist who has worked on the island with the Boutaris family and is now marketing the Sigala Estate wines. Within the span of a decade. it is used in numerous blends with Sauvignon Blanc. Assyrtico wines are more flowery and almost citrus-flavored. It has the ability to combine warmth with freshness (in other words. invariably with excellent results. In the Pelponnese and other areas of southern mainland Greece.S. Santorini's Assyrtico is poised to catch the attention of international wine makers sooner or later. the Assyrtico produces elegant. Next. In northern Greece. and Malagouzia. outside of Athens. sparked interest in the grape among winemakers all over Greece. even memorable. as Greek winemakers saw its potential in Santorini flourish. the traditional terrain for the Savatiano and Roditis varietals. most Greek winemakers would probably agree that the varietal is the premiere white vinis vinifera grape in Greece. almost on a par with Santorini. and those first results outside its native soil were encouraging. highly aromatic wines in the northern Peloponnese. and Australia”. with a distinctive freshly-cut-hay aroma on the nose and a full body on the mouth that can hold its own against some of the cuisine's richest dishes. The truth is Assyrtico is a grape that easily adapts to different soils and climates. who were looking for a suitable white grape variety to complement their Nemea red wine production. in a few years we'll be seeing plantings of Assyrtico in the U. There. and fat mouth feel that have been picking up prizes in international wine competitions. Indeed. Although it is seldom bottled on its own. predicts Yiannis Koulelis. alcohol with acidity) in a unique way. meatiness. It was planted in Attica. grapes notoriously lacking in acidity. the highly versatile grape found new homes. such as moussaka. began experimenting with Assyrtico. almost angular attitude in the mouth. 57 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . and the exquisite wines that began to evolve as a result. “Mark my words.HOMES AWAY FROM HOME Assyrtico's success on its native Santorini. with a very high-brow. to mention but a few. These are fruitdriven wines with intense aromas. he says. But it is in northern Greece where the Assyrtico truly has found a second home. These are perfect with certain types of fish. After more than 20 years of avid experimentation with the Assyrtico. and the native Greek Roditis. winemakers in the northern Peloponnese. wines have a more Mediterranean style. Assyrtico provid- ed a much-needed balance in new blends. linear. the results were even better. An experienced taster can easily identify Assyrtico wines from different Greek regions because they are all so unique.

Instead. tankfermented whites. ideal as an aperitif as one gazes into the sunset from the cliffs of Ia. 58 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . The island's grape growers have countered the effects of wind and fleeting moisture by developing a completely unique way to prune their vines: Santorini's grapevines are traditionally pruned low. their leaves absorb the moisture that gathers on the ground during the night as seawater from the Caldera (the volcano's ring) evaporates. Such is the versatility of this grape. almost to the ground. In the last few years. oak-fermented whites. and eggplant. Nowhere else in Greece does the Assyrtico grape produce wines of such extreme sensations. full-bodied. To say that the Assyrtico has adapted well to Santorini's ecosystem is to underestimate millions of years of geology and 3. highalcohol. Santorini’s vines don't get their water from currents deep under the earth's surface. full-bodied. Assyrtico reaches the full glories of its potential only on Santorini. lurks an unmistakable minerality. black volcanic rock and flaky white chalk. The island is windswept and dry. allowing the vine's roots to go deep into the earth in search of moisture. a few vintners have started experimenting with vertical plantings. such as creamy yellow split peas (fava). with excellent aging capabilities. However. salted fish. the grape's undisputed natural home. If there ever was a place that illustrated the famous French notion of terroir.NATIVE GROUND But for all its chameleon-like adaptability. but tradition still runs deep for most.000 years of wine-making on the island. contrary to most other places on earth. in the traditional. certainly Santorini is such a place. called Nychteri. as if someone squeezed the essence out of Santorini's black volcanic pebbles and poured it drop by drop into the wine. freshness with complexity. A wellmade Assyrtico from Santorini manages to combine power with finesse. there in the backround. superb companions of many traditional island dishes. fruit with dryness. too. and trained into basket-like cylinders so that the grapes grow on the inside. The soil is a combination of hard. protected. Most of all. tank-fermented and cask aged whites. that it can produce all sorts of exciting wines: youthful.

59 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . great local food.” as in the case of the similarly named vinosanto from Italy) have a caramel. the truth is that both its wines and its wine makers are flourishing like never before. A good Vinsanto. however. with a driedfruit dimension that makes them great partners to all sorts of sweets. tional recognition and financial success. and the island's younger generation is loath to work in the fields. Great wine. The wine list at Alain ENDANGERED SPECIES? For many years now. can easily age for more than 100 years. for example. Last but not least there is the famous Vinsanto. together with other Santorini wines. both in Greece and abroad. especially chocolate. They are developing distinct styles. Santorini's Vinsanto wines have a characteristic freshness. Constantine Stergides is the president of the Circle of Greek Wine Writers and the publisher of Ambelotopi. All of the island's top restaurants now have dishes specially designed to go with the whole range of Santorini wines. However despite widespread fears that Santorini's vineyard might end up a victim of the island's tourist success. wine experts from Athens and wine growers on Santorini itself have agonized over the island's skyrocketing real estate prices.slightly oxidized style. which are putting pressure on a lot of farmers to sell or develop their land. thanks to all that natural Assyrtico acidity. Some vineyards have been transformed into hotels and housing. made from sun-dried grapes and aged by law for at least three years. a luscious sweet wine. In comparison to other sweet Greek wines.and toffeelike aspect. The price per kilo of grapes seems to be on a never-ending upward spiral. is gaining interna- Ducasse in Paris. The wines' success story has also helped spawn a vibrant regional food renaissance. and great sunsets—Santorini has managed to make its Assyrtico wines as unique as the island itself. lists one Santorini label. Its wineries have proven more than capable of living up to the task that success and recognition bring. But what is really unique about Vinsanto goes back to the individuality of the Assyrtico grape to begin with. and demand for the island's wines has never been stronger. a monthly Greek newspaper for wine professionals. preferring cozier jobs in the tourist industry. Vinsanto wines (the name means “wine from Santorini” and not “holy wine. The Assyrtico.

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I'd find my mother and aunts huddled over steaming pots of fruit sputtering in syrup. which to this day are age-old hallmarks of Greek hospitality. and some vegetables put up in sugar syrup. There. the colorful preserves of fruits. nuts. They were making spoon sweets. there were countless times throughout the year when a seductive aroma would beckon me to the kitchen. Spoonfuls of Hospitality Greek Spoon Sweets Return to the Plate By Georgia Kofinas Photography: Vassilis Stenos Food Styling: Dawn Brown 61 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .When I was growing up in North Carolina.

and quince. cherries. Among the Greek communities of Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). there'd be a batch of orange peels on the table—scraped. But the sweets were something every good little Greek girl had to know to be a successful housewife. Their preparation is traditionally women's domain. From Left to right: sour cherry. married and living in Greece. for example. apricots. orange rind. green figs. I realized. another popular Greek spoon sweet. golden raisins. Even my father. Friends teased me for being old-fashioned whenever I served my own homemade spoon The variety of spoon sweets is impressive. boiled. and rinsed enough times to leech out their bitterness. The cutlery for spoon sweets also is fine and delicate. later. then it would be plums and figs. strawberries. my mother's kitchen was overtaken by the women in the family upholding this age-old Greek tradition. Years later. each home had a special glass serving set. the younger girls were only allowed to learn through observation until we were old enough to help. and cherries would be the fruits of choice. that my relationship to spoon sweets wasn't much appreciated by my urban contemporaries. men were not allowed in. If it was early summer. are the tableware of choice for serving a spoon full of fruit or nut preserves. To this day. Spoon sweets were considered a must for any proper Greek household. for example. These rituals became indelible stamps upon my memory. from which hung small silver spoons. Someone would inevitably be rolling the peels. It was a ritual exclusively administered by experienced women. The guest would take a spoonful of the sweet and place the used spoon in a special tray. ironically. so important to Greek culture everywhere in the world. Every time of year had—and has—its specialties. usually small and of clear glass. was banned! In retrospect the whole process was not only a way of passing on a tradition but also of learning community spirit and sharing. sweet liquid. special plates. Throughout the year.If it was late winter. someone else securing the rolls with light cotton thread to keep them closed while they simmered in the thick. a time for mothers to bond with their daughters and to impose upon them the rituals hospitality and of serving guests. watermelons would be trimmed for their rind. A glass of cold water is always served with the sweets. a chef. 62 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

in the Peloponnese. Other islands have their own specialties. in Aegina. green oranges and whole bitter oranges—are the 63 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . for me. raisin and grape spoon sweets prevail. “modern. on the remote island of Ikaria. whole pomodoro tomatoes in syrup and season them with a little cinnamon and whole blanched almonds. among them grapes. in fact. home cooks put up the small. called firikia. are local specialties. The island of Chios. REGIONAL SPECIALTIES Spoon sweets are made all over Greece. in Crete. when I was a young housewife. has become a large commercial enterprise on the island. unripe. a technique used for many of the softer fruits. in Santorini. in the eastern Aegean. I'd be served Americanstyle cheesecake and laugh to myself that I'd come all the way to Greece for something I grew up on in the South. In the 30 years that I have lived in Greece. mainly in countryside kitchens and in monasteries. so did the young girl I watched in that island kitchen learn the skill from her mother.” sweets were more fashionable. a traditional center for tomato cultivation. I've had wonderful experiences sampling some truly unusual spoon sweets. are preserved when their shells are still soft. Just as I learned the art from my mother. Mt. but each region has its specialties basically depending on what grows best from place to place. of those traditional. citrus peels and fruits—lemon peel. too. though. I was treated to the local island specialty.sweets. western Macedonia specializes in watermelon and winter squash rind. tomato spoon sweets made with whole pomodoro tomatoes. Their production. walnuts and sour cherries regional specialties. citron. Andros is known for its unique lemon and orange blossom preserves. beautifully colored confections refused to be thwarted. spoon sweets and Greek hospitality go together. My image. and bergamot rind as well as whole. Pelion in Thessaly is known for its small apple preserves. and citrus fruits. Even the little ones knew just how to poke their fingers into the tiny slits to remove the seeds just before soaking the tomatoes in lime water. figs. is especially known for its large variety of spoon sweets. immature pistachios. orange and bitter orange peel. Once in Kos. In Athens during the 1970s.

besides being more healthful than other.(The slaked lime mixture helps to firm up the fruits' flesh. spoon sweets are the symbol of hospitality. income to the monastery. and extremely versatile. In men's monasteries. one more indication that the variety of these sweets is endless. In convents. unique. where I teach Traditional Greek Cuisine and Food Culture.) extremely aromatic confection that the monks make each June from a particular species of rose cultivated on the monastery's grounds. offered to visitors immediately upon their arrival. these are the country's future chefs. making them more durable to withstand the simmering heat of the syrup. NEW. It was an ingenious preparation of coarsely grated potatoes laced with vanilla. MONASTERIES AND SPOON SWEETS Without doubt. are visually appealing. but not always. After all. cream. I have found myself on a personal campaign to promote the versatility and delectability of spoon sweets among my students. Spoon sweets. It is. One of the most unique spoon sweets I have ever tasted was at the Chrysopigi Monastery in Chania. Crete. is famous for its rose petal spoon sweet. storebought. and my hope is to see my students not only uphold tradition but learn to work with the basics of their native cuisine in new and unusual ways. the most important sanctuaries for the preservation of the spoon sweet tradition are Greece's many monasteries. an important source of sional cooking school here in Greece. UNIVERSAL USES As a culinary instructor at a profes- In my own classes we experiment with spoon sweets as an accom- 64 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . dedicated the Holy Angels. At least one men's monastery.and butter-based confections (at least there are nutrients from the fruit). nuns usually prepare a wide variety of spoon sweets each season. an exotic. in fact. in the northern Peloponnese. Taxiarchon. they sell kilos of it to upscale markets around the country. In both men's monasteries and convents. the sweets are often.

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There is. The sweets that I recall so fondly as a girl have come full circle. traditional dishes that have a point of reference but. so it is no surprise that their preparation is usually women's work. and custards. in delicate glass dishes with dainty spoons and a cool glass of water nearby. Commercial food companies at both the regional and national levels have also developed a range of spoon sweets. even more important. But women have gone professional. there are dozens of women's cooperatives that prepare the sweets and sell them both locally and nationally. traditionally. It does take time and patience to make spoon sweets. are an excel- lent accompaniment to grilled duck. Spoon sweets are uniquely Greek. as fillings in phyllo and other pastries. most delectably. hoping to exploit the potential these confections have in both the modern Greek and international kitchens. over cheesecake.paniment to puddings. as a garnish over yogurt or ice cream. with halvah. toward real food. a semolina-based confection. mousses. Quality control and savvy marketing have helped revive the sweets. Some spoon sweets even lend themselves to savory dishes. too. in fact. universal value. Preserved sour cherries and their syrup. in tarts and tortes. authentic. and I will never stop serving them. All over Greece. for example. and tremendously versatile. in Greece and elsewhere. 66 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . sour cherry and citrus peel sweets go quite well with cheese. at least one recipe for traditional Greek cheesecake enriched with a luscious topping of spoon sweets. On the island of Lesvos alone there are 16 such coops. American and other. and. I have never stopped making them. visually appealing. but so has the trend.

The practice of combining fruit with sweet liquids like honey or petimezi is something mentioned in early Greek. that we see its widespread use. For them. sugar was rare and dear. and a sweetening agent is one that Greeks always seem to have savored. Certainly the earliest modern Greek cookbooks expound on the subject with detailed recipes for dozens of different such preserves. sugar consumption was common throughout Europe. when the Europeans began planting sugarcane in the colonies. after its countryof origin. like to believe that spoon sweets were first created in Greece and are exclusively a Greek tradition. as sugar was still a very expensive commodity. Roman. Of course. Even that took centuries. proud and chauvinistic when it comes to their culinary heritage. spoon sweets found their place in the Greek kitchen. something only the rich could contemplate. The ancient Greeks knew of sugar. fruits. Whatever the origins of the confection might be. into what is today the Middle East. Bt it was almost priceless and used medicinally. a private hotel and tourism management school in Greece. and Byzantine literature. though. honey and grape molasses—petimezi—were the sweeteners of necessity. In the 4th century B. By the 16th century. Georgia Kofinas is a cookbook author and culinary arts instructor at Alpine Center.C. however. according to the 1stcentury physician Dioscorides it was called Indian salt. Sugar slowly made its way from India. 67 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Nobody really knows just how or where the idea of putting fruit up in syrup first took root.A LITTLE HISTORY My own research into the subject taught me that the combination of nuts. it wasn't until the Moors introduced sugarcane to Crete in the 10th century that sugar started to make its way into the prosaic kitchen. the armies of Alexander the Great brought sugar back with them from their campaigns in India. The ancient Greeks certainly had a fondness for such combinations. Greeks. via Persia. It wasn't until the discovery of the New World.

and Great Products 68 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Recipes.Crete By Diana Farr Louis Photography: Vassilis Stenos Memories of a Cookbook Writer The Island is Rich in Food Lore.

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crisp. where I grew up. deep-fried dough twirls drizzled with the island's legendary honey and nuts. or rusks. listen to mournful lyra players and sip raki under a mulberry tree with mustachioed old-timers wearing floppy breeches and shiny black boots. I had driven from east coast to west and up and down its mountains. that is a Some typical Cretan delicacies (from left to right): Xerotygana. a village hidden among olive groves and vineyards about an hour's drive to the south. the Mediterranean's fifth largest island. paximadia. and Turks rarely penetrated beyond the north coast. Along the way I'd stopped to sunbathe on its beaches. Crete. Well into her eighties but more energetic than the average teenager.” Eftyhia also inducted me into the secrets of successful trahana—xinohondro to the Cretans—a rustic pasta made from crushed wheat and buttermilk. it boasts a continent's worth of diversity. this paragon of healthy living filled my ears with unconventional cooking techniques: “To make tomato paste. one of the many vegetables islanders cook with skill. xinohondros. trace the ramparts of its walled Venetian cities. Opposite page: Cretan olives and raki and wild artichokes. you'll have to strain the pulp through an old pillowcase. But it wasn't until I started researching a cookbook and seeking out little known recipes that I realized I barely knew the place.I'd been to Crete often as a tourist.000 years of history. a deliciously creamy and tart pasta. But with four lofty mountain ranges and more than 4. mostly cling to the resorts and hotels that line the shore in an almost unbroken chain of development from Kastelli in the west to Agios Nikolaos in the east. investigate Minoan ruins. is roughly the same size as New York's Long Island. Byzantines. My first glimmer of this other world came when an acquaintance in Heraklio sent me to her godmother in Arkalohori. 70 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . following their example. Venetians. Over the long centuries. They rarely suspect that behind this façade of modernity lurks a wealth of customs and traditions barely touched by the 20th century. foreign invaders like the Romans. Today's tourists. Arabs.

As for sweets. especially mint. softens up in soups and gives them a wonderful. In fact. poultry. when US scientists “discovered” the Mediterranean Diet. bread or rusks made of unrefined wheat and bran flour. and Armenia. greens. these are healthy too. and herbs. citrus peel. tangy taste. often consisting of pastries made with olive oil rather than butter. raisins. “Add the wheat and stir with a pastry rolling pole until the pole stands upright by itself. Turkey. practically no red meat but daily doses of wine or grappa-like raki. honey. Not having much meat. wal- nuts. they invented delicious stews padded with garden vegetables or their beloved spiny artichokes. goat or sheep's cheese. apart from the cheese. they were surprised to find that the “starving” Cretans were almost 100 percent healthier than the supposedly wellnourished Americans. They had subsisted on greens gathered from fields and mountains. their diet resembled the strict regime of the Orthodox fasts that still dictates what true believers should eat for about half the year. Even in times of plenty. Eftyhia gave me a jar of tomato paste and a sack full of xinohondro. snails. cooked with what appeared to be extravagant amounts of olive oil. and filled with nuts.staple in the Balkans.” When I took my leave. and honey. Cretans were frugal but imaginative. After that my quest pulled me further and further off the beaten path to villages that rarely merited a line in a guidebook and could often be found on only the most THE CRETAN DIET After World War II. each piece about the size of her small fist. The next day spread handfuls of the thick porridge on sheets to dry in the hot July sun. It lasts forever. 71 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . or seafood to nourish their large families. and only rarely containing dairy products or eggs. Vegetables used as wraps or containers for small amounts of meat and rice or bulgur wheat also appear in various guises.

producing their own olive oil. It was hardly a balanced meal. while acquiring cheese from a shepherd who rents their pastures. prefers to show off her pie-making skills. Even today. 72 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . in the mountain district of Sfakia. I must have eaten my weight in flour. but as she cooked. halfway between Hora Sfakion and Vrysses. and another phyllo classic layered with greens. raisins. baked cheese packets called kaltsounia. conducted over three years.detailed of maps. Georgia and her husband Iosif live off the land. I met another piemaker with stories. and flavors as there are Cretan cooks and one evening. with one of the prettiest harbors in Greece. Greek Easter in a Cretan church. types. But Cretan pies come in almost as many shapes. This is because a Cretan housewife. not to mention delicious and surprising impromptu meals. she told me about growing up with a thousand sheep but no shoes and about her father. They have no inkling that this smattering From left to right: Hania. rather than offering guests a spoonful of sweet preserves and a cup of Greek coffee like her mainland counterpart. Time and again. the Monastery of Arkadiou. At the other end of Crete. Sifis Karkanis has a roadside taverna in Askyfou. pancake-like nerates. paperthin wrapping into a luscious cheese or delicate spinach filling and smacked my lips approvingly. I waddled away like a fattened goose. I discovered that asking questions about food seemed to open all doors and that sitting in kitchens could elicit hours of stories. wine. My travels followed no predictable pattern. and a string of coincidences. but resembled more a treasure hunt built on a few introductions to friends of friends. In the course of my month-long visits to the island. in the village of Piskokefalo near Siteia. sarikopittes (coiled like a sultan's turban). She would ladle them onto my plate and watch eagerly as I bit through the crisp. Most of the traffic consists of busloads of trekkers exhausted from hiking down the Samaria Gorge. my hostess would sit me down in the kitchen while she reached into the freezer and in minutes produced a frying pan full of tiny pies hardly larger than ravioli. and vegetables. my tasting capacity was sorely tested. There. as a consequence of watching Georgia Vassilaki prepare piroshki. chance conversations. who slept outdoors with his flock for 40 years and died at 100 without ever having seen a doctor. plus walnut cake.

almost crepe-like flat breads into which cheese has been folded. the cuisine of necessity crops up all over Crete. To this day. and drizzled with honey. it presented itself in the form of pumpkin savoro or pumpkin fried and seasoned with vinegar. of simmering a stew in a German soldier's helmet for want of a pot. In Margarites. The dough is soft and malleable. partly camouflaged by thick greenery. come in dozens of tastes. With its mingling of sweet and sour. While we gobbled them up. many Cretans prefer them to fresh bread. you can sample rusks kneaded with every conceivable type of flour from white “luxury” to barley laced with coarse strands of bran. As if not daring to compete with the island's stunning landscapes. While rusks are to be found all over Greece. the original recipe harks back to Byzantine times or even earlier and also exists in Venice (as saor). Many of Crete's small villages would never merit a postcard. they resemble very thin. Sweet rusks. on the other hand. their only redeeming features the fiery geraniums and amaryllis trumpets that blaze from rusty oil tins set on a cement balcony. they reach the summit of flavor and variety in Crete. and a dollop of cream saved from the milking. In fact. kept alive by two men who still use a foot-propelled potter's wheel and bring clay on donkey back from the riverbed. and black currants in a manner usually reserved for leftover fish. Here in Askyfou. You never can tell what you might 73 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .of houses in the high plateau conceals a few bakeries famed among cognoscenti for the best paximadia or rusks on the island. and of kouzina ananghis — the cuisine of necessity — when the only ingredients were potatoes. rice. from aniseed and coriander to orange juice and mastic. The pastries are fried like a pancake in a dry pan. who keeps a ready supply of Sfakian pies in his freezer. one of the Rethymno area's most charming villages. Hellishly difficult to reproduce. the former shepherd told of his early experiments with cooking: of roasting a piece of meat between two hot stones. But back to Sifis. But Margarites has doors and windows that glow like sapphires and emeralds framed by gentle stone arches and lintels. rosemary. It also boasts a venerable pottery tradition. they are often collections of architecturally plain buildings.

One day she shared her recipes for stuffed vegetables using the typically eastern Cretan seasonings of mint and cumin and the special omelette she bakes for the archaeologists with 25 eggs and a kilo of zucchini. Yellow fishing nets mounded on the rocks. This is rakimaking season and all over Crete villagers with the coveted permits clean out their basements. Mochlos is the exception to the rule that an unspoiled village must be inland. small fishing boats bobbing off a simple jetty. and stoke the fires to distill the potent eau de vie from the pips and skins left from pressing September's grapes into wine. a crescent 74 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . and for years Marika Petraki has been feeding them at the taverna named after her daughter. polish their stills and cauldrons. both hearty enough fare to mitigate the effects of imbibing phenomenal amounts of fire water. But it was in Zakros that I had my fullest introduction to the inner life of a Cretan village. inland from the beach resort at Gournes not far from Heraklio.find in these villages. a few tavernas jostling for customers — Mochlos lies at the bottom of a narrow road that hurtles down the cliffside between Agios Nikolaos and Siteia. For years it has sheltered teams of archaeologists excavating a Minoan cemetery on Louse islet offshore. potatoes. I'd spent the evening at Kato Zakros. Near Skotino. I tunneled 230 steep meters below the earth into a cave where Minoans worshipped the Mother Goddess long before Zeus was a gleam in Cronos's eye. But in October this bland hamlet swims in a Dionysian haze. Sophia. “Cauldroning” as it is called usually turns into a party with classic dishes such as roasted whole potatoes drizzled with sea salt and olive oil and pork chops roasted in embers. and tomatoes.

I peeked into the courtyard and was greeted like a long-lost friend. The rich. walnuts. were making salads. cinnamon. friends and relatives help wedding and baptism hosts by cooking for as many as 2. dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) and omathies — a nubbly pork liver sausage filled with rice. one of the taverna owners told me to speak to his mother. succulent plates full of either macaroni if you are in Eastern Crete. But then she showed me that it still existed by taking me to a shed at the edge of town. orange peel. or rice in the West. raisins. kneading 30 kilos of flour into that much dough sounded like a Herculean feat. The women. Unfortunately.000 guests. a slim woman with a fund of knowledge. There a half dozen men and women were preparing a feast for a christening party that evening. Mary Daskalaki.of tavernas and rooms on the black pebbled beach near the ruins of the easternmost Minoan palace. Mary had to join them but sent me several houses away to where her sister's family was baking bread in an outdoor oven. They baked this 75 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . creamy. The men were standing over a vast cauldron in which three yearling sheep were becoming stock for the piece de resistance. on the other hand. obligingly rattled off recipes and tales of life before the 1960s when the arrival of electricity and automobiles disrupted the close-knit community. In the community kitchen. in the upper village the next day. Mary. pies. But Alexandra and her son's in-laws invited me to wait with them until they were done. Hearing of my search for recipes. the 40 loaves had just gone into the soot-blackened oven. and sugar that has its origins in the Byzantine era. a feature of many Cretan villages. stock-infused pasta or rice pilaffs are served at all Cretan festivities.

Staka: This cholesterol-rich delicacy is found only in western Crete. Kefalograviera: Harder and more piquant than graviera. and is aged for two months before eating. grainy rather than creamy. It is used as filling in all types of Cretan pies. cloves. and mastic were such a delicacy they were served at weddings until recently. Dried in large balls. relatively low in fat. it is a favorite meze with ouzo or raki. or raki at any time of day. crumbled into salads or springing up in sauces. to nutty and resonant. CRETAN OLIVES Two favorite eating olives Surprisingly. and similar to ricotta. when young. sweet or savory. tangy taste. this “sour” whey cheese is salted. Myzithra: This is a fresh whey cheese. this local adaption of gruyere is made of unpasteurized sheep's milk. it becomes sweeter. but in Crete they are both staple and luxury. Here's a short list: Graviera: Perhaps the most famous of Crete's cheeses. Made of every conceivable type of flour from refined white to coarse wheat and barley.THE CRETAN LARDER Paximadia (rusks): Twice-baked breads have been around since Roman times.). With its dry. CRETAN CHEESES All Cretan cheeses are made from either sheep's or goat's milk or a combination of both. seasoned with juices and spices. herbal teas. it is popular grating cheese. Smaller sweet rusks flavored with coriander. Cretan graviera ranges from sweet. are Neratzates — green olives soaked in brine and then flavored with bitter orange juice and the tiny black Psirolia or Psiloelia. they are still served with coffee. while baked into a pie. this is a table cheese that is often also used in baked dishes like pastitsio and moussaka. they also produce lots of oil. which range from one to 25 kilos (2 to 50 lbs. when aged. whether fried or baked. they accompany every meal. Xynomyzithra: A cheese unique to Crete. Studded with nuts or currants. The wheels. It is prepared 76 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . hardly bigger than a coffee bean. no longer taste anything like the Swiss prototype.

no matter what time of day or season. Among the most common are boubouristous fried and seasoned with rosemary and vinegar. Horta (wild greens): Even though Cretans ate little else during the Second World War. The slightly sour (xino). only in Crete is it made with cracked wheat (in lieu of flour or bulgur). But if you go to Crete. and other cuts from the family pig. Wine & Raki: Cretans love to drink and many families keep a barrel of homemade amber-colored wine in their storerooms. they need to be purged before cooking with flour. a thistly root in the salsify family that commands a higher price than filet mignon in the market. Snails: The Cretans probably eat more snails than the French (to whom they export them). At least 9 districts have been awarded the coveted POP (Protected Appellation of Origin) designation by the European Union. 77 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . But commercial wineries are beginning to make a name for themselves.from the cream skimmed off the top of sheep's milk and then simmered with a pinch of salt and some flour until it separates into clarified butter (stakovoutiro) and a yellowy substance that resembles clotted cream or crème fraiche. the latter may be spread on bread like a soft cheese or used to fry eggs. The island is said to have as many as 300 edible weeds. distilled from grape skins and pips. or stewed with cracked wheat (hondros) or trahana (xinohondros). and few beef or dairy cattle are raised on the island. Cretan cooks bring enormous imagination to their greens dishes. you'll be just as likely to see small groups of men sipping shot glasses of clear. pork is widespread. Olive oil: The Cretans consume more olive oil than any other people. Plucked from a bush or bought from the market. They are rich in beneficial omega 3 fatty acids and appear in dozens of recipes. Just boil it with a little water and you have a nourishing. it was an ingenious way of combining wheat and dairy into an easily transportable food that never spoils. smoked filets. potent raki. Meat: When Cretans want to celebrate. pungent flavor comes from the addition of buttermilk or intentionally soured milk. On the other hand. including mainland Greeks. The former is used to flavor festive dishes such as wedding pilaf. Possibly the oldest form of pasta. they still have a passion for wild greens. and combining them with everything from lamb and rabbit to fish and octopus. dried pasta. with crisp whites from Siteia and deep reds from Archanes/Peza the most distinctive. The idea of eating a sirloin steak rarely if ever crosses their mind. they roast or boil a young goat or sheep. balancing the intensity of sweet and sour or bitter. a practice unusual in the rest of Greece. which range from the ordinary dandelion to the exotic askrolymbros. Greens often turn up in pies and even raw in salads. Hondros & Xinohondros: Though trahana exists throughout the Balkans and Middle East. tasty soup. or fresh herbs. and in the old days even the poorest rural household lived off sausages. The island also produces more extra virgin oil than anywhere else in the country and much of it is organic.

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the men and women who lived in them continually added unexpected dimensions to the notion of hospitality. split the loaves with her strong hands and Alexandra and Irini's husband. As long as I was intent on mere sightseeing. We talked and joked for more than an hour before Irini. salads.quantity every month. Bride stealing is still a common practice in Crete. But by welcoming me into their kitchens.” It was evening before the party ended and I departed. “We came back the very next morning but by then there was nothing to argue about. Yannis. roast chicken. I thought how deceptive these Cretan villages are. 79 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . and raisins. Over fresh bread. paximadia. Yannis had carried Irini piggyback across a river to a cave where they spent the night. and much laughter. walking to Siteia with loaded mules. raki. shoveled them back into the oven's dark mouth. showered with kisses and gifts of bread. Too poor to abduct her on horseback. usually a conspiracy of the willing whose eagerness to marry may thwart their parents' plans. but most of the loaves would be broken into thick slices and returned to the cooling oven for 24 hours until they became rock-hard rusks. I'd passed through them with barely a second glance. a 70-something dynamo. and about the time he kidnapped her. plenty of homemade wine. I tried to say goodbye. Glowing from a surfeit of well-being. They also reminded me that sitting around a table sharing food and experiences is one of the blessings life has to bestow. that are among the island's most traditional foods. Yannis and Irini started to reminisce — about the war. but Alexandra grasped my arm and walked me to their house for lunch.

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Crete on a Plate Home Cooking and Restaurant Recipes Photography: Vassilis Stenos Food Styling: Dawn Brown 81 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

oregano or marjoram Sprinkle the rusk on both sides with water from the tap to soften it a bit. 2001). Serve immediately. Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil over it. Greek extra-virgin olive oil 1 large tomato (or 2 smaller ones). mild feta 1 tsp. then add the chopped tomato and the remaining oil. by Diana Farr Louis (Kedros. chopped 1 Tbsp. Delicious Mediterranean Recipes. 82 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Athens.Cretan Barley Rusk Meze Kerasma Cretan recipes Adapted from Feasting and Fasting in Crete. the cheese crumbled on top. the herbs. For 1-2 servings 1 large barley or whole wheat rusk 2 Tbsp. and some salt and pepper. myzithra cheese or soft.

Toss with the cherry tomatoes. lemon juice Greek extra-virgin olive oil to taste Salt and pepper to taste 2 Cretan barley rusks 1. unsalted sheep's milk cheese 4 Tbsp. 83 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . soft. now at Alatsi in Athens 2 cups each of Romaine. Drizzle over salad and garnish with pomegranate. halved 2/3 cup mild. Add the cheese in spoonfuls or cubes. pomegranate seeds 2 Tbsp. formerly of Nychterida.Cretan Inspired Rusk Salad Kerasma Cretan recipes Chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos. and pepper. Mix all the ingredients in a serving bowl together with the rusks. lamb's lettuce and mâche 1 cup cherry tomatoes. Whisk together the olive oil. salt. 2. lemon juice. Trim and coarsely tear the lettuces.

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fresh lemon juice 80 to 120 ml (1/3-1/2 cup) tepid water Spinach filling: 1/2 kg. 3. Cut into rectangles about 5 x 10 cm 2 x 4 inches. 4. (8 oz. washed and trimmed 3 spring onions. Put a tablespoonful of filling onto one half of the square. Greek extra-virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp. cumin Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1. washed and trimmed 250 gr. For 30 pieces For the pastry: 140 grams (1 cup) all purpose flour. by Diana Farr Louis (Kedros. fold over and pinch the sides to seal (moistening your index finger with water and running it around the edge will help) or press with a fork.Miniature Greens Pies Kerasma Cretan recipes Adapted from Feasting and Fasting in Crete. 85 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . salt 2 Tbsp. fill it with the olive oil. Drain thoroughly and when cool enough to handle. dill) 2 Tbsp. sifted with 1/4 tsp. Stir with your hands. squeeze out as much water as you can. Make a well in the flour.) spinach. Athens. including stalks. Chop finely (do not process). sauté the chopped onion and fennel leaves in the olive oil until the onions are soft and the fennel wilted. 5. if unavailable. pepper. lemon juice. finely chopped 1/2 cup finely chopped wild fennel leaves or bulb fennel tips (or. When you have finished. Delicious Mediterranean Recipes. 2001). Roll out the dough as thin as you can. Boil the spinach and chard in lots of water until tender. Greek extra-virgin olive oil 1 tsp. and cumin. you can either freeze the pies or fry them in hot oil and serve immediately. In the meantime. (1 lb. 2. and some of the water. adding water gradually. Cover with cellophane wrap and set aside for 30 minutes or more.) chard. Then mix all the vegetables together in a bowl and season to taste with salt. and knead until you have a tough dough.

along with the spices. When the rabbit is cooked. bay leaves and oregano. by Diana Farr Louis (Kedros. and reserve the liquid. Brown the meat in a few tablespoons of hot oil. or rose wine 2 bay leaves 1 cinnamon stick 3-4 cloves 5-6 whole black peppercorns 1 tsp. and peppercorns. bay leaves. Pour it over the rabbit and serve. Athens. Delicious Mediterranean Recipes. reduce it until you have a thick syrupy sauce. 2. Marinate the rabbit for a few hours or overnight in the wine. scraping up the pan juices and bits and pieces. 86 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the rabbit is tender. 2001). remove it from the pan. Strain the spices and set aside. cut in serving portions 480 ml (2 cups) red. cinnamon. Remove the meat from the marinade. white. cloves. For 4 servings 1 rabbit. Greek dried oregano Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Olive oil for frying 1. 3. add 240 ml (1 cup) of the marinade and. dry it.Sfakian Fried Rabbit Kerasma Cretan recipes Adapted from Feasting and Fasting in Crete.

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88 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

beat together the olive oil and sugar until creamy and slowly add the orange juice along with the grated peel. Soak the raisins in the alcohol for about 10 minutes and then process the miature in the food processor. by Diana Farr Louis (Kedros. Sift the flour and spices together into a bowl.Raisin Cake Kerasma Cretan recipes Adapted from Feasting and Fasting in Crete. 2. Slide it into a lightly oiled springform cake pan (24 cm/ 9 1/2 inches in diameter) and bake for about 1 hour.) golden raisins 60 ml (1/4 cup) raki or brandy About 420 grams (3 cups) all purpose flour 1/2 tsp. Athens. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375 F). using an electric mixer. 2001). Stir in the flour. larger bowl. until you have a thick batter. seltzer water. 3. Delicious Mediterranean Recipes. a little at a time. brandy-soaked raisins and chopped walnuts. dissolved in the orange juice Grated peel of one orange 110 ml (1/2 cup) Seltzer water 150 grams (1 cup) chopped walnuts (optional) 1. ground cinnamon 220 ml (1 cup) Greek extra-virgin olive oil 200 grams (1 cup) sugar 110 ml (1/2 cup) fresh orange juice 1 Tbsp. In a separate. baking soda. ground cloves 1 tsp. 89 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Makes 8 servings 300 grams (11 oz. Cool and serve. 4.

90 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

Spread soft cheese on top. Akrotiri. (4 1/2 lbs. (10 oz. sesame seeds 1 tsp. peeled and thinly slices 2 kg. Repeat the procedure. 3. 2. Place in a colander in layers. Lightly oil a large baking dish. Crete. Sprinkle the sesame on the top of the dish. 91 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Chef-owner Babis Mastoridis 2 kg. (4 1/2 lbs. Cook in a medium oven at 350F (170°C) for one and a half hours. Cover with a layer of zucchini. Spread one layer of potatoes on bottom of pan. Spread a final layer of cheese. Let drain for several hours. sprinkling each layer with salt. Mix the drained zucchini with the thinly sliced potatoes in a large bowl. Sift a thin layer of flour over the mixture and spread a little of mint and cheese.) feta cheese 2 chopped tomatoes 2 Tbs.) zucchini 4 medium potatoes. Let cool slightly and serve. Thinly slice the zucchini.) soft goat or sheep's milk cheese 300 gr. chopped fresh mint 1 cup Greek extra-virgin olive oil 1 tsp. nigella seeds Salt and pepper 1.Zuccini and Cretan Cheese Pie with Nigella Seeds Kerasma Cretan recipes Nychterida Restaurant. Add the tomatoes.

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In lush. In this issue. seafood is an important part of local culinary lore. intensely flavored tomato are among the main local ingredients chefs and home cooks alike have always looked to for inspiration. we've seen recipes from both the home and professional kitchens of Crete and New York restaurants. Greek regional cooking has blossomed in the last decade. owned by Dimitris and Mihalis Mavrikos in Lindos. with a resurgence of dishes but also a renaissance that looks to tradition and transforms it into modern food. In our first summer issue of The GreekGourmetraveler what better place to look for these astounding culinary transformations than in the Greek islands most frequented by foreign tourists. the caper. and the island's unique. we highlight two Greek island restaurants. the cuisine is quite different. the yellow split pea. spices such as cumin and cinnamon are found in many island dishes. Selene. small. in Fira on the island of Santorini and Mavrikos. In Santorini. the chick pea prevails among pulses. Kerasma Summer in theand Recipes from Kitchen Menus Greek Island Restaurants Photography: Yiorgos Dracopoulos Food Styling: Tina Webb 93 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . The island's cuisine is a cuisine de pauvre filled with ingenious recipes for making the most from what was traditionally a limited number of raw ingredients. Rhodes.In this issue. There. owned by Yiogos Hatziyiannakis. vast Rhodes.

Santorini. fava. 3. Finely chop the scallion and process it together with the yellow split peas at high speed in a blender or food processor. Yiorgos Hatziyannakis Kerasma Greek island recipes Meze for 8 8 sea urchins 4 Tbsp. open flowerlike. Greek extra-virgin olive oil Lemon juice to taste 1/2 cup cooked Santorini yellow split peas 1 scallion 8 small artichokes preserved in olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Fresh snipped dill. spread the artichoke on top. and sea urchin. and add a dollop of the sea urchin mixture.Artichokes Filled with Sea Urchin and Yellow Split Pea Cream Selene. Add a little olive oil and lemon juice as you process. Spread two tablespoons of the split pea mixture on a serving plate. Open each artichoke so that it looks almost like a rose. Scoop out the sea urchin flesh and juices and mix together with one tablespoon olive oil and a little lemon juice. 2. for garnish 1. Grill for a few minutes to color slightly. Repeat with remaining artichokes. Set aside. Preheat the grill to high. Garnish with dill. 94 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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96 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

5. Remove from heat and let cool. Combine the remaining cooked rice with the yogurt mixture. Combine the yogurt. parboiled rice 1 cup water 400 gr. Repeat. separated 1 garlic clove 3 cups Greek strained yogurt 1 Tbsp. Add the water. remove the ring molds and garnish with one charred tomato and the julienne scallion leaves. Bake in a preheated oven at about 375F (190°C) for 15-20 minutes. 4. Submerge in ice water. Grill the meat to brown lightly. Lightly oil a sheet pan and 4 large ring molds. Season with salt and pepper. Serve. and meringue. and pepper and cook until the rice absorbs most of the water. Place a heaping tablespoon of rice on the bottom of each ring mold. Finely chop all but 4 tomatoes and combine with the lightly grilled meat. Cut off the tops of the scallions and julienne. finely chopped fresh mint 20 small cherry or Santorini tomatoes Salt and pepper to taste 1. Place a little of the yogurt-rice mixture inside the ring mold. 3. then spread a little of the meat-tomato mixture on top.) boneless lamb. Finely chop the remaining scallions and sauté in a little olive oil. transfer to 4 serving plates. salt. (about 1 lb. let cool slightly. cut into 1-inch strips 2 eggs. Whisk the egg yolks until stiff peaks form. salt. pepper. Remove the tortes from the oven. In the meanwhile. 2. Light the grill to high.Santorini Tomato-Lamb Torte with Greek Yogurt Kerasma Greek island recipes For 4 servings 2 scallions 3 Tbsp. 97 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . extra-virgin Greek olive oil 1/2 cup long-grain. Add the rice and brown lightly. Do the same for the remaining three ring molds. either on the grill or in a nonstick skillet. egg yolks. mint. lightly sear the remaining four tomatoes.

water and then leaving them to soak for several days in ample water. 2. Make a syrup with 1 cup sugar and 2/3 cup water and simmer the capers in the syrup for • To make the candied capers: desalt the capers by blanching them in plain about 20 minutes. replenishing it every few hours.) anthotyro or Santorini myzithra or any soft.Sweet Myzithra (Soft Cheese) Cream with Tomatoes and Candied Capers For 4 servings Kerasma Greek island recipes 350 gr. candied capers* 1. chopped 2 Tbsp. Remove with a slotted spoon to use in the dessert. Dampen the gelatin in a little cold water to soften then heat over low flame to dissolve. mild whey cheese 4 Tbsp. (about 12 oz. Greek thyme honey 3 gelatin sheets 3 egg whites 12 tomatoes drained from Greek tomato spoon sweet. Remove and blot dry. 3. Fold the meringue into the cheese mixture. 98 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Refrigerate for several hours. together with the sweet tomatoes and the candied capers. Whisk the egg whites to form a stiff meringue. Mash the cheese with a fork or potato masher. Combine with the cheese and mix vigorously. Garnish with a little chopped sweet tomato and serve.

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Skorpion Fish Braised with Yellow Squash and Mint For 4 servings Kerasma Greek island recipes Mavrikos. Clean the squash. Pour in the lemon juice and wine. 3.5 kg.) skorpion fish or other tasty rock fish 400 gr. Taste for salt and adjust seasoning. Simmer until the squash is tender and the fish flaky. Season with salt and pepper. leaves only. Cut into large strips or squares. finely chopped 2 garlic cloves. cut into slivers Juice of 1 large lemon 1/3 cup sweet Muscat from Rhodes Salt Black peppercorns 1/2 large bunch fresh mint. julienne 1. (3 lbs. (1 lb.) yellow squash 1/2 cup Greek extra-virgin olive oil 1 large onion. remove the seeds. thin cubes. and cut the flesh into large. 2. Rhodes. Add the mint. Clean and fillet the fish. Dimitris and Mihalis Mavrikos 1. Add the squash and sauté. Add the fish. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic. 100 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Lindos.

anthotyro or other soft whey cheese 1 tsp. peeled and sliced 2 Tbsp. Mash the cheese together with the sugar. To serve: Cut the cheese into rounds. butter 4 peppercorns 2 cinnamon sticks 1 cup sweet Rhodes muscat 2 tsp. mixed chopped mint and lemon verbena Pinch of nutmeg 2 large peaches. Add the wine and honey. Simmer until the pan juices are thick and syrupy. sugar 2-3 Tbsp. 101 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . herbs. (1/2 lb. plate. fresh soft myzithra. Sauté the peach slices in the butter. and nutmeg. and top with the syrup-poached peaches. Greek honey 1. Stir gently.Greek Peaches with Rhodes Muscat and Myzithra Cheese For 4 servings Kerasma Greek island recipes 200 gr. Twist closed and refrigerate for two hours to firm. Add the pepper and cinnamon sticks. Place on a double sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a small log or cylinder.) lightly salted. 2.

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Spoon Sweets. Assyrtico Wine. Greek Farmed Fish.Kerasma: Treat Your Taste Photography: Yiorgos Dracopoulos Food styling: Tina Webb with Great Recipes for Ouzo. and Peaches 103 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

Marinated Anchovies and Red Florina Peppers Kerasma recipes for Ouzo For 12 pieces 1 garlic clove.) Kalamata olive paste 15 mint leaves. 104 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . of red Florina peppers. 4 x 2.) wide. Spread the paste onto each slice. 3. (3 oz. Mix the garlic together with the olive paste and mint leaves. place one anchovy one pepper strip on top. 2. Serve.5 cm (1 1/2 x 1 in. 4 cm (1 1/2 in. grilled (you can buy them in brine or olive oil.Grilled Bread with Olive Paste. very finely chopped 12 thick slices stale bread.) 12 marinated anchovies 12 strips. too) 1. Toast the bread. mashed 100 gr.

sweet paprika 2 green peppers. 2. spread a little of the cheese spread on them and decorate each with a few peppers. Greek extra-virgin olive oil 250 gr. 3. and paprika at high speed until creamy. Serve. Process the feta. Warm the cream in a small saucepan. diced 1 Tbsp. Sauté the boukovo in the olive oil for 30 sec.boukovo. (9 oz. 105 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .) 1. 6 x 2. or red pepper flakes 1 1/2 Tbsp. Mix the peppers with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 4. Toast the bread. boukovo.Grilled Bread with Spicy Cheese and Green Peppers For 12 pieces Kerasma recipes for Ouzo 100 gr. taking care not to boil. over medium heat. Greek extra-virgin olive oil for the peppers Salt and freshly ground pepper 12 slices stale bread. 5.5 cm (2 x 1 in.) feta 1 tsp.) cream 1 Tbsp. Refrigerate for 2 hours. (3 oz. hot cream.

3. Grill the peppers on both sides (about 4 . Grill the bread on both sides and spread the pepper cream on each slice. Place two slices of trout on each piece of bread and decorate with the dill leaves and lemon zest.5 minutes per side). Skin the peppers and remove the seeds. place them immediately in a bowl and cover with cellophane. Process them at medium speed until they become a velvety cream. finely cut 1 1/2 Tbsp. Season with salt and pepper. Greek extra-virgin olive oil 24 slices of smoked trout filet Fresh snipped dill for garnish Grated rind of 1 lemon Salt and freshly ground pepper 1. 6 x 2 1/2 cm (2 x 1 in. Fry them together with the oil and garlic in a frying pan on a low heat for 7 .8 minutes until most of their juices have evaporated. 2. 106 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Dry them on paper towels and cut them up. keeping the bowl covered for 20 minutes.) 10 red Florina peppers 2 garlic cloves.Grilled Bread with Creamed Florina Peppers and Smoked Trout Kerasma recipes for Ouzo For 6 meze servings 12 thick slices stale bread.

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108 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER

Potatoes Stuffed with Smoked Mackerel and Herbs
For 10 meze servings

Kerasma recipes for Ouzo

10 new potatoes, 50 gr. (1 2/3 oz.) each 150 gr. (5 oz.) smoked mackerel, diced fine 1/2 bunch of tarragon, finely chopped 1/3 bunch chives, finely chopped 50 gr. (1 2/3 oz.) strained Greek yogurt 30 ml (1 oz) Greek extra-virgin olive oil White pepper, freshly ground

1. Boil the potatoes until al dente. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon, cool slightly, and cut off a bit of one tip so they can stand upright.

2. Using a melon baller, scoop out the potato flesh, leaving a shell about 1/4inch (1 cm-) thick. 3. Mash the potato lightly with a fork.

Add the smoked mackerel, tarragon, chives, yogurt and olive oil. Season with pepper. Fill each potato with the mixture and serve.

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Using a tablespoon. each).Zucchini Fritters with Feta Sauce Kerasma recipes for Ouzo For 6-8 servings: For the Fritters: 1. finely chopped 1/2 bunch mint leaves. seeded. Sauce: Heat the milk to warm and process together with the feta. 3 oz) Feta 50 ml (1 1/2 oz. (1 lb. 2. finely chopped 1 garlic clove. and diced 150 gr. finely chopped 50 gr. shape the mixture into about 25 fritters (approx.) zucchini.. (1 1/2 oz. (1 lb. 110 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Keep warm. (1 1/2 oz. olive oil. grated Salt and white pepper. Little by little put some of the grated zucchini into a kitchen towel and extract the water by squeezing. Dredge the fritters lightly in the flour and deep fry at 170°C (340F) for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp. 30 gr. freshly ground 400 gr./1 oz. and oregano at high speed. Combine the grated zucchini with the rest of the ingredients except the flour.) finely ground almonds 1/2 bunch chives. crushed 2 eggs Flour for dredging For the Feta Sauce: 200 ml milk 500 gr. Salt the zucchini well and leave in a bowl for about 45 minutes. (5 oz.) olive oil 1/2 bunch oregano leaves. finely chopped 1/4 bunch parsley. skinned.8 kg (4 lbs.) onion. Serve the fritters with the sauce.) fresh tomatoes. 3. fresh 1.) breadcrumbs 50 gr.

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112 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

with a little sauce per plate. (13 oz. crushed 2 bunches coriander. 113 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . freshly ground 3-4 Tbsp. boned and heads cut 18 large grape leaves Salt and pepper.) green olives 2 garlic cloves. 3. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. 4. Wrap the sardines in the leaves. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Grill the sardines over high heat for 2 minutes per side. Greek extra-virgin olive oil Juice of 1/2 lemon 1. Serve 3 or 6 sardines per portion. leaves only 400 ml olive oil Salt and pepper For the wrapped fish: 18 large sardines. 2. leaving the tail out. Blend all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender.Sardines in Grape Leaves with Green Olive Sauce Kerasma recipes for Ouzo For 12 meze or six main-course servings For the sauce: 400 gr.

good balsamic vinegar Greek extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper. Brush with oil and grill over a high heat until the vegetables soften and acquire grill marks (the eggplant needs a little longer to cook). (1 1/2 oz. Add the thyme and season with pepper.) heavy cream 1/3 bunch thyme leaves 12 oz. Salt and drain for 30 minutes. 3. ( 1 1/2 oz. Serve. Remove and set aside. freshly grated 100 ml (3 1/2 oz. hard.) sun-dried tomatoes 3 garlic cloves. Place 2 each of the rolls or parcels on a plate and drizzle with a little pesto and balsamic syrup. (1 2/3 pounds) aged manouri cheese. Let cool. 114 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . yellow cow's milk cheese 150 ml (2/3 cup) Greek extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 3 large zucchini 3 medium sized. 4. 2. long eggplants 700 gr.) pine nuts 50 gr.Grilled Summer Vegetable Packets Stuffed with Cheese For about 10 servings: Kerasma recipes for Ouzo For the Pesto: 100 gr. Process all the ingredients for the pesto until coarsely chopped. heat the parcels or rolls in a very hot oven for 2 minutes. Cut the zucchini and eggplant lengthwise into thin slices. 5. Place a little of the cheese mixture on each vegetable slice and roll up. freshly ground 1.) San Michali cheese from Syros or other piquant. Rinse and pat dry. Before serving. Simmer the vinegar in a small saucepan until it is reduced by at least half and becomes syrupy and thick. (3 1/2 oz. crushed 3 bunches basil leaves 50 gr. Refrigerate to chill. Warm the cream and then blend it in a food processor together with the manouri cheese.

mashing all the while until smooth. Peel the onions. fresh dill Extra-virgin Greek olive oil as needed Flour 1.2 lemons 150 gr. garlic cloves. (10 oz. 6. Serve. removing all leaves and scraping the hairy chokes. Pare and slice the carrots. Drizzle in the olive oil and vinegar.) Greek extra-virgin olive oil Hot pepper to taste 7-8 Greek saffron threads Vinegar as needed 8 medium globe artichokes 400 gr. Simmer over low heat for 25 .Artichokes with Garlic and Potato Puree Kerasma recipes for Ouzo For 4 servings For the garlic and potato puree: 2 potatoes (150 gr. Place the artichokes in another saucepan with stem side down. When the artichokes are cooked. Mash the potatoes. but keep whole.). 4. grated 1 celery stalk 3 Tbsp. let cool completely. hot pepper. Add a little water and 1 tablespoon of flour mixed with 4 tablespoons of olive oil to the saucepan. Trim the artichokes. 3.) small onions 300 gr. sprinkled with grated feta and chopped dill. 2. / 5 oz. Sautee the onions and carrots in olive oil. (13 oz.) carrots 500 ml (2 cups) dry white wine Juice of 1 . Submerge in acidulated water to keep from discoloring. 115 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . boiled and cooled 5 garlic cloves 200 ml (7 oz. Set aside. (5 oz) Feta. Sprinkle with finely chopped celery and dill and cover with the onion carrot mixture and its juices. add a little lemon juice and wine. 5. and saffron. Serve cold or at room temperature on a pool of the garlic . and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and coarsely ground pepper and cover with parchment paper.30 minutes.potato puree.

sliced thin 4 garlic cloves. 3. add the parsley and dill. Wash them well and place them in a large skillet. Place the lemon and garlic on top of each fish and season with salt and pepper. removing heads and intestines. and simmer for 5 minutes.8 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh oregano before serving. finely chopped 1/2 bunch parsley. Add the olive oil and simmer for another 7 .Steamed Anchovies with Herbs and Garlic Kerasma recipes for Ouzo For 8 servings 1 kg (2 pounds) fresh anchovies 125 ml (1/2 cup) Greek extra-virgin olive oil 125 ml (1/2 cup) water or if existing fish stock 1 lemon. 116 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . finely chopped Fresh oregano Salt and pepper 1. Pour in the water or fish stock. 2. cut into slivers 1/2 bunch dill. Clean and trim the anchovies. or until tender.

Remove from the heat and add the grated tomato. Serve the calamari packets on a bed of the amaranth. and pass it through a fine mesh sieve to strain further. Cut the caul fat into 10-cm (4-in. Add the mussels and ouzo. parsley. shelled and rinsed 150 ml (4 oz) ouzo 1 large tomato. fresh squid. finely chopped 1 celery stalk. mussels. cleaned and minced 2 leeks. Sauté the amaranth in some olive oil. and Ouzo Kerasma recipes for Ouzo For 4 servings: 1 kg (2 pounds) large. finely chopped 1 small bunch of parsley. and ouzo-scented liquid from the mussels. garlic. 3. reserve the liquid. Strain. finely chopped 400 gr. 2. and leek in olive oil.) squares and place a tablespoon of the squid mixture in the middle. salt. Fold the sides toward the center. Sauté 1/3 of the onion. 4. adding the rest of the onion. half of the garlic. finely chopped 3 large onions. half the parsley. 117 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . orange zest. Grill over high heat until browned. celery. Add the calamari.Calamari Packets with Sautéed Amaranth. pork caul 400 gr. then roll into little packages. minced 4 garlic cloves. (1 pound) amaranth leaves 1. grated Grated zest of 1 orange Salt Peppercorns crushed with a mallet 500 gr. Remove from heat and mix in 1/3 more of remaining raw onion. and peppercorns. Mussels.

1 Tbsp. (3 1/2 Tbsp. 2. Whisk together all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. 118 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . fresh chopped mint. a pinch of grated lime zest. Process until smooth and spread onto small rusks to accompany the salad above. orange juice 1/2 tsp. Using a mandolin. lemon juice 1. diluted in 1 Tbsp. with small rusks spread with mint cream. Greek honey 1/2 tsp. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Blanch for a few seconds in salted water then drain and shock in a bath of ice water. hot water 1 tsp. Serve. Place a small mound of the mixture in the center of each serving plate. fresh chopped mint 1/2 Tbsp. salt and pepper. shave the asparagus into thin strands. if desired. of the dressing in a bowl and let stand for five minutes.) anthotyro. 4. place the trout fillets on top and drizzle with the remaining dressing. lime juice. cut the cucumbers into long spaghetti-like strands. peeled Salt and freshly ground green peppercorns 4 smoked trout fillets 2 Tbsp. (3 oz. Using a vegetable parer.Smoked Trout with Cucumber and Lime Vinaigrette For 8-10 meze servings Kerasma recipes for Assyrtico 2 medium cucumbers Salt and freshly ground red and green peppercorns 100 gr.) fresh lime juice 3 Greek saffron threads.) asparagus For the Lime Vinaigrette 50 ml. grated lime zest 1/2 cucumber. mustard 3 Tbsp. Season lightly with salt and let drain in a colander. asparagus.) Greek extra-virgin olive oil (1 1/2 Tbsp. For the Mint Cream Combine 100 ml heavy cream with 50 gr. 1 tsp. Combine the zucchini. (3 1/2 oz. mint and 5 Tbsp. 3.

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120 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

Wash tuna well under running water. peeled.) orange juice 10 ml (1/3 oz. 4. Pour olive oil over to cover the tuna and refrigerate again. minced green apple (drizzled with lemon juice to keep from discoloring) 1 Tbsp. Blend all ingredients for the sauce in a food processor. sliced.) Greek extra-virgin olive oil 10 ml (1/3 oz. finely chopped Salt Green peppercorns For the garnish: 1 orange. In another bowl stir together all ingredients for the garnish. mustard powder 3 gr. grated lemon rind 1 tsp. or tuna filet 1 1/2 Tbsp. peeled. pat dry. lightly toasted pine nuts 2 Tbsp.) grapefruit juice 3 gr. Cut the tuna into very thin fillets. 2. coarse sea-salt Greek extra-virgin olive oil For the sauce: 40 ml (1 1/3 oz. (1 lb. 3. mint leaves. sliced. and cut into small pieces 1/2 grapefruit. grated orange rind 3 gr. 400 gr. parsley and basil leaves. 121 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .Home-Cured Tuna with Citrus and Olive Oil Kerasma recipes for Assyrtico For 4-6 servings 2 small whole tunny fish. Drain for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. and serve. Surround with the garnish. Strain the tuna filets from the oil and place them in the middle of a large platter. and cut into small pieces 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped 1. pour the sauce over.) each. Remove the skin. and leave in a bowl. Salt the filets generously and place in a stainless steel colander.) lemon juice 30 ml (1 oz.

Cuttlefish Braised with Assyrtiko Wine Kerasma recipes for Assyrtico For 2-4 servings 1 kg. (2 lbs. 2. pine nuts Salt and pepper 1. pine nuts. Remove the skin. eyes.) small cuttlefish 500 ml (2 cups) fish stock 3 large onions. mouth. dark raisins 1 Tbsp. Add the cuttlefish and pour in the rest of the stock. cut into rings 200 ml (3/4 cup) olive oil 200 ml (3/4 cup) red Assyrtiko wine 1 Tbsp. Sauté the onion lightly in the olive oil. Add the raisins. and wine. and cartilage from the cuttlefish and cut lengthwise from the front to the back. Simmer until the cuttlefish is almost tender. tear the membrane. As soon as the alcohol cooks off. season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Keep the two ink sacs. add half the stock and let simmer for 10-12 minutes. and dissolve the ink into the fish stock. 122 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

) celery (leaves and tender stalks) Salt. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Distribute the celery on four plates and top with one fish fillet. lower the heat. 2. cumin 1 tsp. 3. add the celery. filleted 2 cups of white Assyrtiko wine 1 tsp. 4. Process the remaining pot juices at high speed in a food processor or blender and pour over the fish and celery. allspice 2 cinnamon sticks 6 laurel leaves 500 ml Greek extra-virgin olive oil 500 ml fish stock Juice of 1 lemon 1/2 kg. (1 lb. add the wine and spices. Slowly add the lemon until you get the desired acidity and season with salt and pepper to taste. pepper 1. (approx. 2 lbs) each. 123 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . then add the olive oil and fish stock.John Dory Fish Cooked in Assyrtico Kerasma recipes for Assyrtico For 4 servings 2 John Dory fish. about 800 gr. As soon as the wine simmers. Place the four fish fillets in a saucepan.

) strained Greek yogurt 15 mint leaves Salt and freshly ground pepper For the gilthead bream: 3 gilthead bream.) spring onions.Gilthead Bream with Spinach-Rice Pilaf and Yogurt Sauce Kerasma recipes for farmed fish For the spinach-rice pilaf 75 ml (2 ½ oz. Heat the fish stock together with the other ingredients for the sauce. cooking it until it exudes its juices. (3 oz. Close the lid.) leeks.) fish stock 200 ml (6 oz.) dry white wine 100 ml (3 oz. skin on) Salt and freshly ground pepper Greek olive oil for cooking 1. Remove and process in a high-speed blender. 3. Keep warm. lower the heat. Raise the heat and add the spinach. cleaned and trimmed 100 gr. skin-side down. cooking for 1 minute.) short grain rice 100 ml (3 oz. 2. finely chopped 100 gr. 3 oz.. finely chopped 1 bunch fennel. (1 lb.) water 1 bunch dill. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper and sauté them over high heat. When the rice is ready. and cook for 25 minutes. stir in the aromatic herbs and lemon. Add the rice. one gilthead fillet on top and drizzle with yogurt sauce. Place some spinach rice in the middle of a plate. 5. 4. (10 oz) fresh spinach. finely chopped Juice of 1 ½ lemons Salt and freshly ground pepper For the yogurt sauce: 100 ml (3 oz. Sauté the leek and spring onions until soft. and season with salt and pepper. filleted (boned. finely chopped 1 small bunch parsley. 124 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . then add the wine and water. remove from heat. 5 oz. finely chopped 1 bunch chervil.) Greek extra-virgin olive oil 100 gr. (3 oz. each). Remove from heat and turn over in the pan. 600 gr. for 2 minutes. finely chopped 350 gr.

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126 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER

Sea Bass Skewers with Roasted Tomatoes and Caper-Olive Mayonnaise Kerasma recipes for farmed fish
For 12 skewers, 75 gr. (2 ½ oz.) each (6 servings)

9 plum or pomodoro tomatoes, skinned and halved lengthwise, seeds removed Salt Freshly ground pepper Greek extra-virgin olive oil Thyme 1 garlic clove cut into slivers 900 gr. (2 lbs.) sea bass fillets, cut into cubes and threaded onto 36-cm (12-inch) skewers For the mayonnaise 2 egg yolks 200 ml (6 oz.) Greek extra-virgin olive oil 50 gr. (1 1/2 oz.) tiny capers 50 gr. (1 1/2 oz.) pickled onions, finely chopped 25 gr. (3/4 oz.) throumbes (wrinkled) olives, finely chopped 2 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped 1 Tbsp. tarragon, finely chopped Lemon juice Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, drizzle olive oil over them, sprinkle with thyme, and top each tomato with a sliver of garlic. Place on parchment paper. Bake at 80°C (200F) oven for 4 to 6 hours. Remove and discard the garlic. 2. Whisk the egg yolks well, adding the olive oil drop by drop to make the mayonnaise. Once it is emulsified and smooth, add the remaining ingredients. Add enough lemon juice to taste. 3. Thread the sea bass onto the skewers evenly. Season with salt and pepper, brush them with olive oil and grill over direct heat for about 2 minutes per side, until done. 4. Place 3 baked tomatoes on each plate, top with two sea bass skewers, and serve the mayonnaise in a small bowl next to it.

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Sea Bass in a Fennel-Seed Crust, with Pistachios and Basil
For 6 servings

Kerasma recipes for farmed fish

1 garlic clove finely chopped 20 ml Greek extra-virgin olive oil, divided 250 ml (1 cup) fish stock, or 200 ml (6 oz.) dry white wine 200 ml (6 ½ oz.) whole milk 200 gr. (6 1/2 oz.) Aegina pistachios (shelled and unsalted) 5 basil leaves Salt and freshly ground pepper Few drops of lemon juice if needed 3 sea bass, 800 gr. (1 lb., 10 oz.) each, filleted and skinned 200 gr. (6 1/2 oz.) fennel seed

1. For the sauce sauté the garlic in 10 ml (1/3 oz.) olive oil for 30 secs. And add the stock or wine. Boil for 5 minutes (10 minutes if you use wine instead of stock) and add the milk. 2. Just before the milk comes to a boil, add the pistachios. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove from heat and

process in a high-speed blender, together with the basil leaves, for 2 minutes. 3. Pass the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve and season with salt and pepper. 4. Brush the fish with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and press on both sides into the fennel seed.

5. Grill the fish over a high heat for 3 minutes on each side (2 minutes if the fish is being pan-seared in a non-stick skillet). 6. Pour a bed of sauce onto each plate and serve the fish on top.

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Serve.each) julienned 50 ml white wine Salt and freshly ground white pepper 12 sheets of phyllo pastry. Repeat with remaining sheets to make a total of six double circles. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper and place in the center of one circle. Season with salt and pepper. 2. Fold in two sides of the circle to cover the fish. filleted and skinned 6 thyme sprigs 1. Place one phyllo circle on top of another. / 1 lb. Pour in the wine and raise the heat. cooking for another 3 minutes. each). 5 oz./ 5 oz./ 6 1/2 oz. 4.(10-inch) circles Melted butter for brushing the phyllo sheets 3 gilthead breams (600 gr. then add the zucchini. Place the packages in a non-stick baking pan and bake immediately in a 190°C (375 F) oven for 10 minutes. Brush with a little butter.) julienned 2 large zucchini (150 gr. then fold up the ends to make a packet. 129 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . julienned 50 ml Greek extra-virgin olive oil 1 carrot (200 gr. Add the carrot. cut in 26 cm.Gilthead Bream Phyllo Packets Kerasma recipes for farmed fish For 6 servings 1 large leek (only the white part). brushing between each. Brush the surface with butter. Simmer until all the juices evaporate. Cook the leeks in olive oil for 5 minutes over low heat. 3. Top with a little of the vegetable mixture and thyme sprig. cooking for one more minute.

) leek. stir in the aromatic herbs and lemon. then add the wine and water. 2. 3 oz. if desired. Place a piece of fish on top and garnish. 4. roughly to the size of the spoons you will use to serve. cleaned and trimmed 150 gr. finely chopped 1 bunch chervil. season with salt and pepper. When the rice is ready. Place a little spinach rice on each spoon. filleted.Spinach and Rice on a Spoon with Gilthead Bream For 6 servings Kerasma recipes for farmed fish For the spinach-rice mixture 100 gr. (5 oz. skinned and deboned Salt and freshly ground pepper Greek olive oil for cooking 1. cooking it until it exudes its juices. Add the rice.. 130 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .) gilthead bream. finely chopped 60 ml Greek extra-virgin olive oil 500 gr. Raise the heat and add the spinach. Cut the fish fillets into about 20 pieces. Sauté the leek and spring onions until they soften. (1 lb. (3 oz.) water Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 bunch dill. finely chopped 1 bunch fennel. finely chopped 100 gr. lower the heat and cook for 25 minutes.) short grain rice 100 gr. 3. (3 oz.) white wine 100 gr.) spring onions. Close the lid. with fennel leaves. remove from heat. 2 oz) spinach. cooking for 1 minute. (3 oz. finely chopped 1 small bunch parsley. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for one minute each on both sides in olive oil. finely chopped Juice of 1 ½ lemons For the gilthead bream 1 1/2 kg (3 lbs.

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132 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .

fry lightly in olive oil. dark raisins 3 Tbsp. (1/2 oz.). finely chopped 100 ml Greek extra-virgin olive oil 3 Tbsp.400 gr. 2. Raisins./11 . each. fill each cavity with the stuffing and sew up with kitchen thread. Pour the mixture into a sieve to drain and cool. Dredge lightly in the flour. 3. scaled and cleaned For the stuffing: 250 gr. Place for another hour in the fridge to firm up. lemon juice Salt and pepper Flour for dredging 1. pine nuts 5 Tbsp. whole sea bass (350 . Season the fish with salt. and add all the other ingredients. crushed 3 Tbsp. Carefully remove the backbone and return the fish to the refrigerator to firm up the flesh.) onion.Sea Bass Stuffed with Pine Nuts. 4. and Coconut Kerasma recipes for farmed fish For 4 servings 4 medium. and serve. 133 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Season with salt and pepper and pour in the lemon juice. Starting from the tail and ending near the head. grated or shredded coconut 1 garlic clove. make an incision along the stomach of each fish. Sauté the onion in the olive oil.12 oz.

Strain the peaches from their juices. dry with paper towels. then pour into a round mold. 6. 2. then add the rest of the jelly. dip the mold into a basin of hot water to loosen. Heat the water. 4. about 20 cm (8 in. Add the sweet wine and stir. finely chopped Strained Greek yogurt for serving 1. Sprinkle the verbena over the jelly and distribute the peach slices evenly. and cut each into 6 slices.2 lbs) canned Greek peaches in syrup 6 sheets (30 gr / 1oz. Soak the gelatin in cold water. Leave for several hours in the refrigerator to set completely. Let the jelly stand at room temperature to cool and thicken.Peach Gelée with Sweet Samos Muscat Kerasma recipes for Greek Peaches For 6 servings 1 kg. 5. total) gelatine 500 ml (2 cups) water 500 ml (2 cups) Samos Muscat wine Lemon verbena. 3. Add the soaked gelatine sheets and let cool slightly. Place in the freezer to set. To serve. 134 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . then invert onto a serving platter. (2.) in diameter. Cut and serve with yogurt.

Peach Jam with Oranges
Kerasma recipes for Greek Peaches
For about 1 ½-2 kilos (3-4 lbs.) jam

15 medium-sized fresh Greek peaches 6 small thin-skinned oranges 1,250 gr. (2 pounds and 11 oz.) sugar 400 ml. water

1. Peel the peaches and cut them into small pieces. Grate the zest off the oranges. Peel the oranges and cut them into small pieces, removing any existing pips. 2. Mix the sugar, water, peaches, oranges and grated rind in a saucepan and simmer for about 40 minutes until thickened. Remove and place immediately into sterilized jars. 3. Place the jars in a pot with enough water to come half way up. The lids should be loosely screwed on. Bring to a simmer; boil for 5 minutes, remove, close the lids tightly and turn the jars upside down. Let cool and store in a cool, dry place.

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Peach Pie with Mastic
Kerasma recipes for Greek Peaches
160 gr. (5.5 oz.) unsalted butter 160 gr. (5.5 oz.) sugar 3 large eggs 200 gr. (6.5 oz.) flour 3 - 4 hard, fresh Greek peaches Sugar for sprinkling 3 - 4 drops of mastic oil

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350F). 2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the mastic oil. 3. Fold in the flour.

4. Butter and flour a 23-cm- (9-inch) round pie pan. Press the dough into the pan. 5. Wash and rub dry the peaches, cut into halves to take out the pip and then cut into thin slices. Distribute

evenly over the dough. 6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, sprinkle with crystal sugar and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes. Let cool and serve, either warm or at room temperature.

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137 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER

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) sugar 3 large eggs 600 gr. beating after each addition. (5 oz. 5 oz. and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. 4. (4 oz. (7 1/2 oz. cherries) 225 gr. Whip the butter and sugar at high speed with an electric mixer until light and creamy.Cake with a Selection of Spoon Sweets Kerasma recipes for Spoon Sweets For 8 servings 150 gr. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350F). Butter and flour a rectangular cake pan 24 x 8 cm (10 x 4 inches). Add the eggs one at a time.) unsalted butter at room temperature 120 gr. orange. Save their syrup for another use.) selection of spoon sweets (citrus peels. (1 pound. 139 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . Fold in the flour and the grated zests. 5. pour the batter into it. Drain the spoon sweets and finely chop. 2. Cool on a rack and serve.) flour Grated zest of 1 orange Grated zest of 1 lemon Butter and flour for the cake pan 1. 3. figs.

Mix in the yogurt and anthotyro. Soak the gelatine sheets in 2 cups of water. 2. Let cool slightly. 140 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER . (7 oz. 3 oz.) anthotyro For the figs: 500 gr.) strained Greek yogurt 200 gr. Reserve the syrup. Remove the softened sheets and add to the cream-honey mixture. 3. For the figs: 1. stirring well to dissolve. and grated lemon zest. (14 oz. Do not let the cream boil.) gelatin 400 gr. syrup. Place the honey. In a small bowl. stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth.) brandy Grated zest of ½ lemon For the yogurt cream: 1. 2 lbs. Strain and discard the vanilla. (5 oz. Serve the cold yogurt cream garnished with the figs in the brandy-flavored syrup. Add the figs back to the syrup.) Greek thyme honey 150 gr. Leave in the refrigerator to cool and set. (7 oz. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half. for about 2-3 hours. 2. combine the brandy. fig spoon sweet 30 ml (1 oz. Drain the figs well. heavy cream and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat slowly until the honey dissolves.) heavy cream 2 leaves (10 gr. Quarter the figs.Yogurt Cream with Fig Spoon Sweet Kerasma recipes for Spoon Sweets For 6 servings For the cream: 1 vanilla bean 200 gr. Remove from heat and set aside.

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142 GREEKGOURMETRAVELER .In the next issue… Wine Country Nemea Saffron from Kozani The Greek Kitchen Down Under—Australia Straight from the Source—Greece's Mineral Waters Sparkle with Flavor Kerasma Recipes And more….

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