Food is influenced by the times we live in. Certain times we need to change our habits due to food supply restrictions. Nowadays this happens in the winter when the watermelon supply gets short and the prices go up. And we are bumped. Awwww :-( . Did I mention that it is not even seedless? I know! Total agony. We turn to forget some other times back in the turn of the last century when war was a reality to every part of the world; from Europe to Americas and from Asia to Africa. Back then food supply was already short and the war made it even worst. Lucky people had to improvise and adjust their habits; most would just suffer.
This is an inevitable post. Inevitable since just in the previous I presented the sibling dish of this one, the hummus. This one is all about eggplant. The one plant that has become a stable food around Mediterranean and primarily in the middle-eastern countries. Most of these countries rely heavily on vegetables as power source. Eggplant is not one of them. It is a plant, but not a power source. With a mere 25 kcal per 100 g of the fruit, eggplant is food with low energy value. It does have some other minerals and vitamins, but again they are not even enough to make eggplant a “super-food”. Then why do we eat it? Why is it so valuable in Middle East, India etc?
The blog over the years has evolved and changed many times. Different hosts, platforms and focus. Now as we finish 2013 I finally completely one of the most daunting task: migrating the site to brand new host running on brand new platform. I decided to do that to get away from software binding publishing platforms. I started playing around with WordPress around this time and in July the transition was finally over. After that the optimization of the site with widgets and plugins took a few for months. This came complete with social media integration and fan pages. Some recipes were published also in the meantime and I moved. Fourth house since I start blogging. The first recipe will also come soon!
If you look the recipes in this blog, or any other blog for that matter, the vegetables are one of the most commonly used ingredients. And I don’t mean as a side dish, I mean as the star of the dish. From pies to roasts. Growing up, in Greece, when I thought of vegetables I thought of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, green peppers, onion, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and the very seasonal green beans and ocra. Little I new that with the technical term, more than half of them are not vegetables at all. Botanically speaking as vegetables are classified only these plants that we consume as whole. So tomatoes, eggplant peppers and zucchini are fruits, in the family of berries, potatoes are tubers and green beans are pods. Still however al of them are included in the vegetables section, mostly because as opposed to fruits to consume them we need to prepare them with heat. In addition the modern mega-mart includes them in the veggies section. A section, that the last two decades has expanded and included exotic new varieties, result of painstaking crossbreeding, and rare vegetables, results of the amazing innovation in food transportation. So many actually that you need a guide to find your way around.
Greek restaurants across the USA had to adapt and adjust their menu and recipes. This usually happens with in three ways: i) the adaptation of classic recipes to whatever ingredients are available ii) the adaptation to the taste palette of the locals and iii) the adoption of dishes from other countries just because the locals seem to like them. Actually one of the most classic dishes, the poster child of the Greek food, the gyro sandwich originated in its final form in New York by Greek food track vendors out of necessity to battle tacos and shawarma as a fast food alternative. In the restaurant scenery, one of the Greek adopted dishes was, and still is, the hummus.