Candied Greek Citron

February 16, 2015 Leave a Comment

Candied Citron

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 »

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Greece, Home of the Mediterranean Diet

February 8, 2015 13 Comments

Greece home of the mediterranean dietAs 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 »

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Greek Style Roasted Lemon and Garlic Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots

January 16, 2015 10 Comments

Greek Chicken and potatoes

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.

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One Yogurt a Day Can Protect from Diabetes

December 27, 2014 5 Comments

real greek yogurt

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 »

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Greek Feta-Phyllo Bites. Cheese Saragli

December 23, 2014 2 Comments

feta phyllo bites saragli

Saragli is basically a type of syrupy sweet that resembles baklava. The phyllo is rolled in a long tube and then cut in pieces and baked. Obviously this is not baklava but a savory version, called cheese saragli.

I first noticed them when my brother’s mother in law made them for parties and get-togethers. They were really tasty, they looked nice and everybody liked them. Crunchy phyllo with little chunks of feta and a bit of spiciness from the kefalograviera cheese (cheese used for saganaki), what’s not to like? She shared her recipe with me and here it is. Read more »

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Pasteli: Greek Honey-Sesame Bars

December 18, 2014 9 Comments

Pasteli Greek Sesame honey bars

These sesame bars known as pasteli in Greek are the original power bars. They actually go back to antiquity, the ancient Greeks had a similar recipe that included a variety of nuts and honey. Today you can pretty much find pasteli anywhere in Greece. When I’m out and am looking for something quick I’ll stop by a periptero (kiosks that are everywhere) and that is what I’ll get. It is basically honey and sesame seeds. You can also find other types of pasteli that include other nuts such as pistachios. Read more »

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Roasted Fennel in Ouzo and Olive Oil

December 11, 2014 4 Comments

roasted fennel

The fennel bulb is generally not very common in Greek cooking whereas the fennel leaves are part of a very popular Cretan dish fennel pies – marathopites. The greens are also used in fritters, cooked with beans and seafood. I have never used the fennel bulb apart from adding it raw to a salad, so roasting it seemed simple enough. Read more »

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