Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Good News

- First, some news that all Greeks knew anyway.  Humankind has its roots  in Greece, never Africa.

This is where life started.  This is where civilisation, democracy, philosophy, Olympic games, theatre, law, mathematics all began they say.  Well, the Greeks say.  

Earlier this year  a team of Bulgarians discovered fossils in Greece (oh all right, and in Bulgaria) which date back more than seven million years.  These predate remains found in Africa.  

Next piece of exciting news 

-  Greek Salad movement.  An Athenian magazine has started a campaign to promote the greek salad.  I can confirm that it is famous throughout the Southern hemisphere.  It is the first dish which every one of our visitors wants to eat, followed by stuffed tomatoes and moussaka.

English food writer Nigel Slater wrote 'it is better to eat it with sand between your toes and salt on your lips', referring I presume to a  simple beach taverna on a greek island beside the deep blue Aegean sea.

The magazine wants greek chefs to create their own version and promote it however they can.

Bahh, my traditional greek person will only eat truly traditional greek salad.  A true greek salad he says does not incude lettuce, sweet corn or avocado or any other abomination which happens to be in fashion at the moment.  And the dressing is good fresh olive oil, no vinegar, balsamic or otherwise, lemon juice, mustard or honey.

Tomatoes, chopped not sliced
cucumber sliced
green pepper 
sliced onion
a few olives
oregano (local)
a thick slab of feta cheese on the top (none of that crumbled stuff)
 a good gurgle or two of local olive oil

It must be eaten soon after the fresh ingredients are assembled in the bowl.  That's it.

-   The island of Naxos has just got into the Guiness Book of Records.  What for?  Frying 554 kilos of potatoes for goodness sake.   

All the islanders got together and cleaned that mountain of potatoes, which then of course had to be cut up into chips and fried in 22 huge pots using 550 litres of  local olive oil.

They were eaten by the thousands of onlookers who came out to watch and cheer along the workers.

Naxos is renowned (in Greece) for its potatoes and holds a potato festival every July.  Every year the island produces 5,500 tons of potatoes.  

They should have done it in Athens and fed the homeless, the migrants and the down and outs.

Watch out for Anthony Bourdain's series 'Parts Unknown'.  Last year he spent two weeks on Naxos, the largest of the islands in the Cyclade group, filming for the show.  


  1. Chips are a favourite among the English.No poncy salads here. Just heavily fried. That's how we like it. It's a real man's meal that will probably explain the reason we're so unfit in this country.. if it's unhealthy we'll love it. We're the USA of Europe!

    1. England held the first fried potatoes record I believe. You even eat them inside slices of bread! Now that's wierd...to me!

  2. I love a good simple Greek Salad, but I'm ashamed to say that mine always contains some lettuce. Otherwise we tend to have a Salade Nicoise.

    1. I'm prepared to forgive you since you've lived in the land of fine salads for over forty years. I won't tell my traditional person. He would shudder!

  3. I'll add lots of crusty bread for dipping into the salad bowl after the salad is gone!

    1. Yes indeed! The first time I saw someone do that here I thought 'yuck, bread and oil' but now I do it just like the Greeks.

  4. Dipping bread in oil is no different to the bread and dripping which I grew up on. I think the trouble with this country is that we have forgotten all the good things about the food traditions we once had (been told they are bad for us and believed it) when in fact we used to be a lot healthier than we are now. Sad. I keep mostly to the food my mother prepared and am thought decidedly odd!

    1. I loved dipping my bread in the gravy!
      It's amazing over the years what we've been not to eat and then we're told actually it's ok. Eat what you like!
      The only thing I have against eating traditional is that it gets a bit boring. I need a bit more variety.

  5. I saw that Anthony Bourdain episode and loved it. I love a Greek salad, but here in Canada, it is offered at most restaurants with more lettuce than other vegetables. I didn't know it is supposed to be just olive oil! I do have a question about potatoes. At "authentic" Greek restaurants and Bourdain also refered to them, I've had potatoes done just perfectly. They seemed to be yellow flesh potatoes. Is there a traditional way of preparing them? -Jenn

    1. Our potatoes here are just sold as 'potatoes' without being bagged according to usage or place of origin.
      I often wish I knew whether the ones in buying are good for frying, baking or boiling.
      The best known Greek potatoes recipe is for lemon potatoes. Pieces of potatoes baked with olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, thjyme ,salt pepper.

  6. Oh ok I must be the only non Greek salad lover 😀.
    Just find it boring. Too much tomatoe, cucumber, onion.
    Swimming in oil and a great slab of feta on top with dried herbs!. Why not fresh herbs?.
    Add advocado, little new potatoes, rocket, crispy bacon bits, grated carrot take the oil away and toss in Hellmans
    Mayonnaise sorted!.
    Admit frustrates me in Greece everything served with chips, I hate chips, trying to get a boiled potato is challenging.
    But give me a plate of greek yellow heavy bread, tzatziki, olive paste and taramasalata a few olives and nothing else needed ok ouzo and water.
    Last ouzo was November last year.

    1. Avocado, potatoes, rocket, bacon, but then it would be Kirrie-salad!!!
      I get very bored with greek salad in the summer and long for a cabbage or lettuce salad. It is only recently you found those in the summer. Even now the cabbage is not the best and lettuce is expensive.
      Chips on every plate is a recent invasion too though young greek kids were almost brought up on chips 20 years ago. Taramousalata is almost impossible to find in the summer and the sort you find is very artificial from some great catering container.
      Every season has its delights......but greek salad you find all year round lol

  7. Good news and positive stories from around the world. USA, World, Health, Earth, Business and Science.