Tuesday, 7 June 2016

When in Greece please eat the fish heads

Our  Kiwi  family, recently arrived for a holiday, make good Greeks.  They all have large, close, extended families/whanau back home in New Zealand who live 'close to the earth' (on farms or in the wop-wops). Now they have their extended Greek family too where everyone is 'related' even if they are a third cousin twice removed. These New Zealanders love offal,  they see curious foods  on their plates and do not ask before eating 'eh, what's this then?', they love olive oil and they eat fish heads. 

The remains of a large plate of freshly cooked and local 'green bone' fish, a small fish with a long 'swordfish' type of nose and a green phosphorescent backbone

Katy, chief fish head eater, cleans the bones.  She picked the head to pieces, eating the cheeks, crunching on the eyeballs, polishing up the bones.  Ka pai wahine.

Tuna caught by K, doused in lemon juice and served 'sushi' with a little olive oil

Small whitebait type fish fried till crisp and eaten head, tail, bones and all.  Delicious.

We did a lot of eating while they were all here and besides the spit roast pig and the spit roast roll of lambs offal we also managed a lot of fish.  Saturday it was slices of  a tuna sort of fish cooked in the oven with lots of olive oil, garlic, onion and slices of tomato.  Sunday it was kalamari, soaked for a few minutes in a soda solution to soften them.  The kalamari were tender, crispy and utterly divine, especially with a glass of chilled local white.

Last night it was mussels in a mustard sauce, eaten al fresco on our rooftop terrace watching the sun go down, octopus, fried whitebait, ouzo and cold greek beer, handmade salted sardines and greens fresh from our fields.  All of this with stereo greek and english  conversation. The debate was lively, coming from all sides, young children and a dog.

This is from our first fish feast on the roof.  The main dish was oysters pulled out of the sea by a combined greek and kiwi diving team just a few hours earlier.
And the next fish feast with mussels, grilled octopus and sardines salted by K

The mediterranean diet at its best.  The freshest of fish, lots of greens, a glass of wine and good company.  We'll live forever on this utopian greek island.

The view from the back of the terrace.  The typical blue and white island house and a mass of bougainvillia.

Marinated feta made by our family chef Kyriakos.  Small pieces of feta drizzled with olive oil and fresh chopped mint.  The mint just gives this half goat, half sheeps cheese a zing which turns it into a gourmet dish

Evening in the port.  The car ferry on the left is coming across from the mainland and the big ferry from Piraeus is just turning to dock below us.

A dish of oysters straight from the Aegean sea and on to the BBQ

Another dish of octopus.  This octopus was made with finesse by Yianni. He prepared it by pounding and tenderising, boiled it in its own juices and then drizzled it with the finest virgin olive oil and homemade vinegar. Greek men are good cooks.

So much food still to be eaten, so many great times to make into memories, so much still to write.  Stay tuned.  There will be much more about my kiwi whanau.

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