The Greek Adopted Dish: Hummus

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.

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My Take on a Classic: Greek Salad

Greek salad is the poster boy of greek cuisine. And for a good reason. It combines in a plate all the vegetables that mean summer in Greece; sweet juicy tomatoes, succulent snappy cucumbers, peppery sweet onions, crisp peppers and of course who can leave out the greek briny cheese. All of the held together with the power of olive oil, topped with oregano. A herb that is 100% greek. You find it in abundance in the hills and mountains of the greek country side. The greek salad is not only a delicious combination, but it is also visually appealing. You eat with your eyes first. All the crisp vegetables also engage the hearing in the experience. It is therefore a full sense experience. The quintessential greek summer (and not only dish).It is also a classic dish. So why remake a dish that As my professor of thermodynamic if you are going to repeat something that has been done many times before, you either need to right a wrong, or offer something brand new. In this post I am approaching both aspects. Greek salad in the US has involved to something strange. Started with tomatoes and cucumber and soon peperoncini chilies, lettuce, huge olives joined the party. The final salad is a abomination that the only common thing with greek salad is the feta cheese. And this is a complain of mine: slapping feta cheese on top of anything and calling it greek? WRONG!!!This is the first part I will try to address. Also I will show a slightly different recipe from what it is typical in Greece. So are you ready? Of course you are…

Lost and Found: A Pie

I am sure you have lost at some point something. Your keychain, your wallet, your pen, your lighter, your dignity… And many of these items you wish you can get back: Your keychain, your wallet, your pen, your lighter, your dignity… Especially your dignity. The last one however is pretty much unrecoverable. But for the rest you can hope. And actually Greeks have gone to great lengths to strengthen their hope. They have a saint for that and it is very popular. His Name St. Fanourios loosely translates to appear, so it is considered the St. that makes lost things appear again. To his honor there is a pie that is made to commemorate his abilities and acknoedge him. And here is when things get culinary interesting. When tradition, religion and superstition meet, the mix is quite interesting. First of all there is a restriction that requires that you either use 7 or 9 ingredients. That is ok as long as there are other specific guidelines for the types or kinds of the ingredients. If not, the someone can easily cheats by adding nuts, or raisins, or fruits artificially raising the number of ingredients to the target value. So I will follow that rule just because tradition dictates but only to a certain point. I will not count for example almonds and walnuts as two ingredients, they are just nuts. The strangest of all, however, is that Greek orthodox tradition requires that deserts are made according to the lent rules: No Eggs, No Dairy and No Meat.
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We are Back: The Food in Greece

Well before I talk about the food in Greece, I would like to explain my absence from the blogging world. First of All on August 13th I went to Greece Where a friend of mine was getting married and I was the best man. He was getting married in Lesbos, the so famous island of the north Aegean sea, famous for the first ever Lesbian: Sappho. And I have said many time among circle of friends, that Sappho, was the  first woman to talk about desire for other women. She was from Lesbos so she was known as Sappho the Lesbian, and that ‘s how the name got started. I just mention that to get the laughter stop.

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The Making of a Legend: Tzatziki

Tzatziki is one of the most widely known greek dishes, served in every greek restaurant and dinner. It is a dish that is served, with, grilled meat, stew meet, fried vegetables, stuffed vegetables, seafood, on its own as an appetizer with ouzo, or even with bread just like a spread. Although a very popular dish, there is no particular story associated with the tzatziki. Its origin is lost somewhere in the area of the middle east & balkans. In turkey there is a similar concoction that is called “cacik” (pronounced “tzatzik”) and is a soup with cucumber, garlic and yogurt. All around the Balkans there is a similar dish that calls for yogurt and cucumber.

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