It’s been a toughish winter. Athens actually had snow a few days (well not anything crazy, but still). The city can have a bit of a temperature difference as the north suburbs are next to or on a mountain, while the south suburbs are next to the sea. So some areas are icy and snowy, while others are not. This causes nice traffic jams and school closures everywhere. But what has made this winter a bit more difficult is everyone getting sick. Cold, flu, whatever it’s making everyone feel lousy.
And when we feel lousy (or even lazy) we want comfort food and easy food. These potatoes are exactly it. Yes, this is a traditional meal from the area of Arcadia in Pelponissos, where my parents are from. It is so simple and so cheap. The beauty of the real Greek diet, making something out of nothing. Read more »
In other countries you have mulled wine or glogg, but in Greece we like our wine plain and cool. However, we do have rakomelo. The word is the combination of raki (Cretan distilled drink also known as tsikoudia-not to be confused with the Turkish raki)
and meli (honey). This is a drink that is usually served warm. You will find it in mountainous areas, even at ski resorts (yes Greece has them, 80% of Greece is mountainous). Read more »
While there is plenty of research that has linked the Mediterranean diet with reduced incidence of heart disease, there is not much in regard to stroke. A stroke happens when there is an interruption of blood flow to the brain. An ischemic stroke involves a blood clot that blocks blood vessel flow, whereas a hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel breaks. It is the fifth leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 59 years old and second cause of death in individuals over 60. So yes it is important that we protect ourselves from it-young and old. Read more »
Last week we were invited to celebrate Tsiknopempti which is the equivalent to Fat Tuesday, but Greeks celebrate by tsiknisma which means barbecuing a piece of meat so you can literally smell it all over the neighborhood. It signifies the beginning of mardi gras but also the fact that lent will start and meat will not be eaten for 40 days.
Well our hosts had various trees in their backyard and one of them had this large, uneven fruit that kind of looked like an ugly lemon. So we took a few home. It turns out this is citron, a fruit that has a wonderful aroma but bitter. Read more »
As you may have noticed I haven’t posted for a while and that’s because I had pneumonia. While all the Greek home remedies I tried (chamomile, mountain tea, oregano, honey and lemon) made me feel better, the fever was just not going away.
Now, I’m feeling better and luckily I was able to speak at the annual Greek HORECA expo. That stands for HOtel REstaurant CAfe Expo. During this expo there are several presentations and I had the honor to be invited by Marketing Greece to speak about Authentic Greek Gastronomy as a Destination.
I discussed the Mediterranean Diet and its role as a tourist destination. As I explained, and as many of you may have noticed if you have been reading Olive Tomato, the Greek diet has not been widely associated with the now popular and famous Mediterranean diet. And I think that’s a shame. This may be due to misinformation, but I think more so by the simple fact that Greece has not really promoted this information. They haven’t really publicized it or have a strategy for it. Read more »
The holidays are over and getting back into our daily routine can be difficult. In Greece the holiday season stretches all the way to the 7th of January. After that, schools start, work starts and everyone is waiting for the next big holiday.
With that in mind, I try to ease into things slowly and that includes avoiding difficult recipes and meals that take too much time to prepare. So one of my favorites for times like these is roasted chicken and potatoes, it’s one of those dishes that you can make fairly quickly and can last you for a couple of days.
Read more »
According to a new study by Harvard researchers, yogurt is associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 95% of diabetes cases and appears often in individuals who are overweight and have an unhealthy lifestyle, in other words it can be prevented in many cases.
In this study, the researchers analyzed data from over 100,000 individuals and what they found was that yogurt reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas other forms of dairy such as milk did not. In fact they found that one serving of yogurt a day reduced the risk by 18%. Imagine, just by eating one yogurt. Read more »