Archive for the "Food" Category

Gobble Gobble

27 November 2008, by

Just a quickie to say that TKD misses and is envious of all the tryptophan-gobbling home folk, but we’ll do fine with souvlaki when we have our pseudo-international-Thanksgiving feast / Kristy-finished-her-thesis celebration on Saturday with good friends out here. So Happy Turkey Day to our family and friends back home, save us some of the good eats (freeze it!!).

Crete’s Bounty

19 July 2008, by

I have been avoiding writing about the food here…probably because I spend all my days thinking about it for my thesis. But now that the end is in sight, I thought it would make sense to talk a little about what I have been doing with my days.

March laiki agora purchase.My thesis supposes that the food system of Crete is well situated to be a model of sustainability — at least for κηπευτικά (fruits and vegetables grown in the field). The farms on Crete are small (never larger than two hectares or four acres) and diverse (usually a farm will have an area for trees – olives and citrus fruit – and fields for vegetables as well as some chickens and goats or lamb for household use). And, since it is an island, the great majority of the food consumed here is produced here. That’s not to say Greece is without problems; chemical fertilizer and pesticide use has increased significantly, especially in the last 10 years. And with the ever rising price of oil, these petrochemicals are getting more and more costly and farmers are finding it harder and harder to make a profit. With this study, I am looking into ways to keep farming profitable in this changing food system, while maintaining the positive aspects of production.

June laiki agora purchaseAll that being said, Dave and I try to do our part to support the local farmers, who are usually somewhere between 55-70 years old. We buy all of our fruits and vegetables from the λαϊκή αγορά (literally translated it means ‘common market’ and is the equivalent of a farmers’ market). This is certainly a mutually beneficial relationship; the farmers get a good price, quality of the food far surpasses what we find in any of the supermarkets, and it is still cheap for us.

July laiki agora purchaseThese few photos are examples of what we normally bring home…the first from March of this year, the next from June and this last one we took this morning. We usually spend between €4-7 and get enough fruits and vegetables to last the week. And, while I am a little sorry to say this since I love all my NY farmer friends, with the exception of tomatoes, these are the best tasting fruits and vegetables I have ever had. I just don’t think NY can compete with the perfect climate and fertile, volcanic soil of this island.

The Real Greek Coffee

17 June 2008, by

Since I mentioned Frappe in a previous post, I thought I would let you all in on a well known Greek secret. “Greek coffee” is not the concentrated brew with sandy grains at the bottom. That, in actuality, is Turkish coffee. It was even called Turkish coffee in Greece until a few decades ago. The real Greek coffee is Frappe: an iced coffee beverage made from instant coffee. And it is better than it sounds. In general here is the recipe, followed by some tricks to be sure you get it right.

The Frappe

  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 3-4 tsp water
  • 4 ice cubes
  • Enough water to fill the glass (a normal 9 oz. glass)
  • Sugar and milk to taste

Put coffee and 3-4 tsp of water and sugar as desired into a jar with a water-tight lid. If you have a milkshake machine or a hand blender, you can do this right in the glass you want to drink from. If using a jar, tightly close the lid and shake until you can’t shake no more. If you are using a hand blender, blend until the mixture turns into pale frothy coffeeness. Pour from the jar into a glass; add ice cubes and enough water to fill the glass. If you want, add milk. Place straw in glass and drink.

Some notes about Frappe…Nescafe for Frappe

The coffee: Nescafe is ubiquitous. In fact, I can’t remember seeing ANY other brand of instant coffee. For a proper Frappe, I suppose it must be Nescafe. However, I have heard rumors that outside of Greece, the formula is different. Try it out and let me know.

The water: In Crete, in the summer, there is no cold water. It comes out of the tap warm, no matter how long it runs. The bottled water never sits in coolers long enough to get cold. It’s hot and dry here and so you drink warm water. And you use warm water to make Frappe.

The drinking process: To feel the true Frappe experience, sit outside house/on roof/at cafe and nurse coffee for 2-4 hours. Talk about everything you can think of.

UPDATE: In case you were wondering about the authenticity of my story, there is a whole book about the history and use of Frappe.