- Greece is harvesting its saffron (krokos in greek). They expect to produce around 5 tonnes of saffron. What does it take to collect 5 tonnes of saffron?
One kilo of dried saffron threads needs about 150,000 flowers. The farmers pick the flowers one by one and then separate the flowers and the stamen.
There must be thousands of acres of these small flowers and they have to be hand picked and then processed. No wonder genuine saffron is so expensive.
We use a yellow powder which is sold in a small bag in the supermarket for a euro and is labelled 'like saffron'. The real krokos from Kozani is sold at 3.50 euros a gram. Everywhere you read that it gives your dish a subtle spicy flavour and a beautiful yellow colour. I agree with the colour but have never noticed the taste. We use the cheap powder. Tumeric also gives a lovely yellow colour and is half the price.
- Ancient greeks helped make chinese clay soldiers?
In a BBC documentary a theory was outlined that Greek artists could have been present when the terracotta army was made. Some of the statues appear to have been inspired by ancient greek art. Did greek sculptors instruct local chinese artists?
Alexander the Great and his army crossed the Hindu Kush between Pakistan and Afghanistan and carried on into India. There is reputed to be a tribe in Pakistan which speaks a language very close to ancient greek. Did some of Alexanders soldiers remain there and march on as far as China long before Marco Polo and the Silk Road?
- The poor are going back to the Mediterranean diet.
A recent study shows that the economic crisis is benefitting Greek health. So many people can no longer afford to eat out at restaurants or fast food places. They are turning to fruit and vegetables, legumes, pasta and bread. Red meat and fish may be eaten once a week, lamb and goat once a month. Those that have no income whatsoever 'dine' at a church or municipal soup kitchen and eat whatever is handed out.
- Plans are 'aloft' to turn the wreck of the Titanic's sister ship, Britannic, into an underwater park for scuba divers. The Britannic was sunk in 1916 by a german mine near the island of Kea.
The EU has already agreed on funding of 2.8 million euros for a museum, hotel and diving school. The idea was shelved when the economic crisis began but now this underwater scuba diving attraction could bring tourists and much needed income.
Scuba diving used to be restricted in greek waters. There are so many ancient underwater sites, so many treasures that could be scooped up and removed. Before 2006 it was very difficult to get permission to dive with bottles. EU laws then made greece relax its regulations. Nowadays there are dive schools all over the country. One such school gives lessons in a swimming pool on our island and in the picturesque Bay of Love. Diving is allowed everywhere unless it is an area where anitquities are known to abound such as in the sea around the sacred island of Delos.
- Warships of the Hellenic Navy were open to visitors for three days as part of the national celebrations of OHI day on 28th October.
- Barack Obama
Yes, we had the Pope, Putin, Merkel and now President Obama is coming for a visit. On his final trip abroad he will visit Germany, Peru and on Novemeber the 15th Athens Greece. He and PM Tsipras will be discussing our struggling economy and he apparently will give greeks a pat on the back for being so generous to the 60,000 refugees stuck here in miserable 'holding' camps.