Author: thefoodinterpreter

Stereotypes and tyrokafteri

What can I say.. there is truth in the stereotypes. Lunch in the countryside, with friends and children running around. We spent the weekend in a house with garden, and had visitors for lunch on Saturday. To be honest they brought most of the food. We just prepared the tyrokafteri (a spicy feta cheese spread) with feta from Stratoula, a local producer, originally from Epirus who ended up in Anavyssos (both very good credentials for a feta producer!), and small chillies from the garden. We had every good intention to prepare also a horiatiki salad with watermelon (the first of the season that we bought in the local open market), but we skipped it and had it the following day for dinner. (Stay tunned, the recipe will follow soon…) On Sunday we strolled in Lavrio, a small port with a very long mining history. We had ouzo and the typical mezes’ that go with it: octapus, marinated anchovies (gavros), fried red mullets (koutsomoures),grilled sardines and some delicious boiled greens (almyra). We gave the establishment an 8 out of …

Not all recipes are a success

Not all recipes we try for the blog succeed. Some might seem a good idea for a post, but after  repeated tries we might declare defeat, to much regret of the other food interpreter. The spectrum of abandoned recipes ranges from the disgusting  to the blunt. The disgusting are an obvious choice to drop- but the blunt? We always feel that we did something not  quite right – perhaps next time we will change the measures a little and it will succeed. Fact is, you know quite early if the recipe has a chance or not. Of course we end up eating the blunt; at least the ingredients are of a good quality, and we have a topic to discuss over dinner. And then there are the photos. We end up with a stock of photos we like for recipes we do not (the opposite is also often the case). Uploading the finished dish will not do – but why not the tomatoes, onions, eggs and peppers?

Where lemons grow

“Do you know the land where the lemon-trees grow, In darkened leaves the gold-oranges glow, A soft wind blows from the pure blue sky, The myrtle stands mute, and the bay tree high? Do you know it well? It’s there I’d be gone, To be there with you, O, my beloved one!” I know of a German girl who dreamed of the south because of those verses of Goethe, as her father read them to put her to sleep. “The land where lemons grow” is also the title of a book of Helena Attlee about citrus crops in Italy. It opens up a fascinating historical, cultural and economic perspective of Italy, and once you read it, it becomes an essential travel companion in the citrus producing areas of the country. The truth is that in the Mediterranean we take the citrus trees (lemons, oranges, mandarins, sour oranges, grapefruits or citruses) for given. The road in front of our door is lined up with sour oranges (that fill the air in spring with their unmistakable scent, covering …

Rolling fresh spring rolls

We wanted to prepare some fresh spring rolls some time now. The recipe we tried came with good credentials, although it deviated somehow from more purists’ approaches. To be honest, the result was a disaster from any aspect. We even had to discard the dipping sauce, much to our regret since we tend to reuse any left-overs. The most interesting part was the rolling of the rolls.

Extra Virgin Green Olive Oil, cold pressed

Every autumn Popi recruits workers, volunteers  and semi-volunteers to harvest the olives. When it comes to olive oil she is a perfectionist. The green olives have to be combed down from the trees gently, inspected one-by-one and carried to the oil press within a strict schedule. Luckily for all in the last years she has settled for one of the presses half an hour drive away, a big improvement over the long drives of the past, when she had confronted and discarded every facility in the prefecture. This year someone suggested to use harvest machines for speed. When we arrived the device was flat on the ground, Popi looking down to it in disgust and explaining that is was a really bad idea, the way it hurt the fruit.  Popi goes around, inspecting how all are performing,  and explaining what great fun it is to gather the olives: ‘It is not at all tiring, only a great opportunity to exercise, and that only for the first day, then it is not even a challenge’. As sunset approaches she intensifies her rounds of disks full of meatballs and …