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TAP WATER in Greece is fine. And bottled spring water is readily available. BREAD AND WATER Many tourists wonder why at a taverna before you order, they automatically bring you a glass of water and bread. This is because in Greece, fresh water is always welcome on a hot summer day and also a way for the owners to welcome you. On the other hand it is their version of a tip. Hospitality in Greece includes a slight element of force, it’s an “innocent” demonstration of power. A good host insists that you eat or drink more and only when you have refused a number of times you will get a reprieve; be charmingly persistent with your “no”. MOUSAKA (moo-sah-kah): National Greek dish. Every single Greek believes his own mama’s mousaka is the best in the world. See? Ingredients: 1 kilo / 2 pounds potatoes, 2 pounds aubergines, 1/2 kilo ground beef, ½ chopped onion, 1 cup tomatoes from a can, a small can of tomato sauce, 1/2 glass white or red wine, 1 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, salt, pepper, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. For the topping: 1-liter milk/2 pints, 1-cup flour 1/2 cup of olive oil, 2 eggs, grated cheese (Emmenthal OK). Wash the aubergines and slice them in 1/4” slices. Place them on a plate with some salt on each slice. Peel the potatoes, slice them in 1/4” thick slices and fry them in olive oil. Take them out of the frying pan when they are half way done and set them aside. Use the same olive oil to fry the eggplants half way like the potatoes. Take them out of the frying pan when they are half way done and set them aside on paper towels to absorb some of the olive oil. Fry the onion in the oil till brown, add the ground beef, wait 10 minutes while stirring, and add the wine, tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley, salt, pepper and cinnamon, and

then add 1/2 cup of water. When the water is absorbed, remove from heat, and add the grated cheese. In a saucepan bring three cups of milk to boil, mix the flour with the remaining cup and pour stirring constantly, making a thick paste - if too thick, add milk, if too thin, add some more flour. Remove from heat, and add the two eggs (whole eggs beaten) and the nutmeg. Butter a baking pan, and put the sliced halfway fried potatoes in it at bottom, forming a single layer. Cover with the meat mixture. Add a layer of aubergines and then cover with the contents of the saucepan (topping). Bake at 350 Degrees F for about one hour. When the topping turns 80% brown, serve cool. Note: If you don’t like aubergine, you can replace them with a layer of potatoes or omit them all together. "NEVER ON A SUNDAY" The bright side of quality Greek music, signified by the works of Manos Hadjidakis (who won an Oscar for “Never on a Sunday”), Mikis Theodorakis (famous among others for his “Zorba the Greek” theme), Dionysis Savopoulos (a Greek hybrid of Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa with strong traditional influences as well as rock). Greeks are open to many types of modern international music, new trends blend with nostalgia and simply everything else. Greeks don’t care to play stuff from 80’s to 90’s to 2000s. KARTOUTSO (kar-tou-tchow): Metal jars in different colors and fixed sizes used in traditional tavernas to serve barrelled wine or in bulk. Many new bohemians consider these kartoutsos to be excellent kitchenware. COFFEE AND CIGARETTES Many Greeks consider this as breakfast. Maybe they add to it a cheese pie –"tiropitah", or a koulouri (the little round fresh bread covered with sesame that is sold on the street by vendors). GREEK COFFEE Served hot in tiny small cups. You have to wait for the dust to settle and you can only drink it to a certain point. Many foreigners drink the bottom part of the coffee as well, not knowing you are supposed to drink only the liquid part. Greek coffee has to be made the traditional way that most die-hard old men coffee shops (cafeneon) follow: boiled on hot sand. There is a long tradition in Greece of reading coffee cups and foretelling the future - a highly prized skill. THE GREEK DIET That’s the most important part of the Greek coffee ritual. Take your time. Do a little chit chat, read your newspaper or just stay still thinking about great truths of life. Enjoy. In Greece, you can buy a drink or a few at a bar and stay for hours without anybody rushing you. FRAPPE SOCIETY Everywhere you go, folks are sitting outside drinking frothy coffee drinks in tall glasses. Frappe coffee is the lifeblood of Greek society. Made with instant Nescafe mixed with water, ice, milk and lots of sugar, a frappe will provide you with the right amount of coffee for your coffee break and the right buzz to sip while gossiping and people watching. It’s a way of life. THE COMMUNITY OF THE BALCONIES All the greenery that lacks in the streets of Athens can be found on roof gardens and balconies in almost every house and apartment, bulging with geraniums and hanging plants. There’s a sweet sense of an old neighborhood feeling in the community of balconies. People on balconies are friendlier to each other, maybe because they feel sound and safe being few stories above the city’s traffic chaos. THE FARMERS’ MARKET In Greek, lah-ee-khee aghowrah. Held on various days of the week in neighborhoods throughout the city. It’s colorful, noisy, packed and you can find anything; from fresh vegetables to plastic flowers. CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 19

Eng Guide 2014  
Eng Guide 2014