Issuu on Google+

ISSN 1790-5141

Issue17 Fall / Winter 2013 www.epikouria.com â‚Ź6.50

...so far


C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K


epikouria

3


editorial

Looking back, Moving Forward

W

hen we first started Epikouria, the attitude toward Greek food and wine outside of Greece was dramatically different than it is today. Though Greece then (and now) produced roughly 70% of the world’s extra virgin olive oil, European and US supermarket shelves were none-the-less typically stocked with only “Italian” or occasionally French olive oils. Feta was a cheese produced in Bulgaria, France, the US, Australia, Greece and even the UK. If anyone thought about Greek wine, they thought it was all Retsina. And, especially in the US, Greek food was only available in diners or, if you were lucky, taverna-type establishments. What a difference 8 years can make. Today, it is far, far easier to find Greek olive oil in a mainstream grocery store. Feta has been granted PDO status and only Greek Feta can be sold as such in the EU. Greek wine is coming into its own; in my downtown NYC neighborhood, for example, all four wine stores stock a decent selection of Greek wines, especially – cheers to you, Santorini! – Assyrtiko. And some of the most highly-rated and stylish restaurants, from Estiatorio Milos in New York, Mazi in London and Taxim in Chicago, feature haute Greek cuisine.

Is there room for improvement? Always. Greek producers have not yet reached their full potential vis-à-vis specialty exports (which is good news). Some packaging could be better. A few companies could work harder to ensure that their product labels and marketing materials are more polished in their English usage (we can help with that). But overall, the team at Epikouria is optimistic about what the next 8 years will bring. You’ve come a long way, Hellas. Ellen Gooch Editor-in-Chief

2

epikouria

Photo: George Drakopoulos / Food styling: Tina Webb

There were many factors that contributed to the rise in status of Greek products. The worldwide advent of high-end Greek restaurants, serving high-end Greek wine, cer tainly helped. Also impor tantly, Greek companies star ted to pay attention to the importance of attractive packaging.


epikouria

5


contents

8

News Bites Introducing the latest products from Greece.

16

Amazing Mezes The Mediterranean Diet dished out in a myriad os small, succulent plates that marry taste to tradition. Bring your own bread.

20

Grilled (Greek) Cheese Introducing a class of cheeses designed specifically for grilling. With something this warm and gooey, who needs bread?

24

Santorini’s Secret Red Found sparingly on Santorini and nowhere else in the world, Mavrotragano had never been sold as a dry wine before one vineyard attempted it in 1999. Now it’s the most expensive grape in Greece.

30

Do the Makaronia The unusual noodles of Greece come in all shapes and sizes; just add sauce.

34

10 + 1 Things you may not know about pistachios.

36

Greek ingredients, world cuisine In this era of food fusion, Greek specialties can enliven any menu.

48

Last Look Slow Food Seat:The Classic Taverna Chair.

4

Cover Photo George Drakopoulos Styling Tina Webb

+

Advertiser Index page 6 Sourcing Guides page 44

epikouria


advertiser index AEGEAS FLEXOGRAPHIKI S.A.

MINERVA S.A.

Flexible packaging, plastic food and colour containers, medicine packaging www.aegeasflexo.gr 29

Olive oil, olives, olive paste, margarines, butter, seed oil, cheeses www.minerva.com.gr

BOUZINELOS NIKOS – GASTOUNIOTI SOFIA

NUTRIA A.E.

Vinegar www.sofiatisfisis.gr

19

Olive oil www.nutria.gr

9, 11

inside front cover

UNION OF VINICULTRURAL COOPERATIVES SAMOU

DRAGOUNIS INTERNATIONAL TRADE LTD

Wholesaler of fine greek products www.dit.com.gr

15

Samos muscat wines www.samoswine.gr

EVOIKI ZIMI

VIALCO SKOURTOPOULOS S.A.

Frozen dough and pastry products, pasta www.evoiki-zimi.gr

Canned & salted fish industry www.vialco.gr

13

3

Feta, white cheeses, spredable cheeses, yellow cheeses, haloumi www.roussas.gr 1

35

SEVITEL

HLIOS PASTA

Pasta products www.heliospasta.gr

Greek Association of Industries and processors of olive oil www.sevitel.gr 33

FARMA PIERIAS LTD

Dairy Products www.farmapierias.gr

47

ROUSSAS S.A.

HELEXPO S.A.

www.helexpo.gr

7

47 ZANAE MEDITERRANEAN DELICATESSEN

Mezes products, ready to serve meals www.zanae.gr

KALLONI S.A.

Mediterranean aquaculture products www.kalloni.gr

5

back cover

LADI BIOSAS

Olive oil www.ladibiosas.com

23

recipe index FRESH RECIPES

MANI FOODS

Olives, olive oil, red wine vinegar www.manifoods.gr

43

MEDBEST S.A.

Greek olives, appetizers & antipasti, sauces & spreads,olive oil www.medbest.gr inside back cover

Greek Lentil Salad with Lakerda

37

Warm Wild Rice Pilaf with Pistachios

38

Dolma Canapés

39

Beet Summer Salad

41

Greek Salad Gazpacho

41

Spaghetti Not Carbonara

42

Manouri Dip with Roasted Onions and Black Pepper 43

6

epikouria


SAMOS VIN DOUX AD 89x247.qxp

2/13/12

4:37 PM

Founder Triaina Publishing – Kyriakos Korovilas Publisher Nikos Korovilas Editor-in-Chief Ellen Gooch Editor-at-Large Diane Pappas Em Smith-Hughs Art Director Diana Dadaki Assistant Editor Diane Pappas Photos George Drakopoulos Food Styling Tina Webb Publishing Advertising Manager Katerina Gitsi Information Technology Philippe Watel Accounting Niki Gavala Triaina Publishing Offices: 110, Syngrou Avenue 117 41 Athens (4th floor) Tel.: +30-210-9240748 Fax: +30-210-9242650 www.epikouria.com e-mail: info@epikouria.com COPYRIGHT 2013 Triaina Publishing (ISSN 1790-5141), all rights reserved. Epikouria is a trademark of Triaina Publishing.

epikouria

7

Page 1


News bites from Greece By Em Smith - Hughes

Stuffed, Not Stirred Ideal for cocktails or appetizers, Nefeli fulfills all of your olive needs.Their new Halkidiki green olives are stuffed with blue cheese and packed in brine, delivering a rich and nutty flavor from the moment you open them, until they are consumed. Make sure your next martini is dirty and includes Nefeli olives. www.medbest.gr

Legendary Luxury Determined to change the way extra virgin olive oil is perceived in the world market, Moria Elea is bottled by hand and packaged with top-quality, environmentally-friendly materials.The limited Deluxe edition is in an elegant glass bottle with natural cork stopper and cotton label, individually numbered, and presented in a handmade wooden case –ideal for gifts or your own personal delight. www.moriaelea.com 8

epikouria


news White Lightening ΄ cultivators launch a whole new olive LIΑ oil in their aim to express family traditions. Because it is sealed in a white bottle, the oil is preserved from light for better enjoyment. Discover your roots of bliss with this wholesome product. www.liaoliveoil.com

Bits of Benefit Ofelia is an innovative brand that seeks to showcase traditional Greek recipes made with entirely natural products.With a name that actually means “benefit” in Greek, Ofelia is full of value and authenticity.Try their risotto, olives, honey, and much more. www.dit.com.gr

Simple Pleasures Eleia has revamped the packaging of their award-winning olive oil to better match their aim at pureness with low acidity. Available in both 1 liter and ½ liter containers, let Eleia take you back to where it all began. www.eleia.gr 10

epikouria


news

Manifest Greatness Welcome a new spirit onto the market with Manifesto Grego. Its smooth flavor is created by the distillation of Thessalian grapes and a slow maturity process in oak barrels. Perfect for cocktails or on the rocks, let Manifesto declare your next happy hour. www.apostolakiswinery.gr

Bag O’ Olives Tessera introduces a new place to find your favorite traditional Greek olives –in the frozen section. Whether you prefer green or kalamata, these all-natural, gluten free recipes will satisfy all of your cravings.There are two varieties available, with chili flakes or oregano and balsamic. www.tesserafoods.com

Half the Brilliance AiQ International launches a PDO version of the successful 0.5 brand of olive oil. Hand-picked and cold-pressed, the olives in their oil are unaltered and extremely aromatic.The PDO stamp of approval leaves no better time to try it. www.aiq.gr 12

epikouria


news

Mythical Morale A new PDO olive oil hits the scene, this time named after a figure of Greek mythology. Faris or “Phares” was the son of Hermes and the founder of Pharae city in Kalamata, the same region in which the oil is produced. If the messenger of the Gods hasn’t convinced you yet, perhaps the fact that it contains only 0.6% will. Let Faris add some excitement to your cuisine. www.agrexpo.gr

Healthy Healers Bagatzounis introduces a line of powdered drinks made of salep, flour derived from orchid tubers.The health benefits of salep are endless, from stress relief, to preventing colds, and even an aphrodisiac.The three varieties –classic, saffron, and cocoa– leave you no excuse not to try this modern take on an ancient Mediterranean secret. www.bagatzounis.com

Ornamental Olive We all know that olive oil is the miracle ingredient in Greece, and now it serves a whole new purpose. Messinian Spa has developed a new line of cosmetics containing organic olive oil: including shampoos, lotions, and a 3 in 1 beauty oil. Each of the fragrances is a balanced mixture of other Greek favorites, such as pomegranate, honey, and lemon. Indulging in these products won’t leave you feeling guilty. www.messiniaunion.gr

14

epikouria


Feta for Days Delfi continues their expansion with two more PDO feta cheeses –barrel and cubed. The feta cubes are accessible and ideal for traditional Greek salads or as a midday snack.The barrel feta is made of sheep and goat’s milk and aged in wooden barrels for a richer, fuller taste.You’d be a fool not to take advantage of Delfi’s feta made easy. www.delfi-sa.gr

Twisted Treats Ioniki has done it again, this time with flare –spiral filo. Representing Greece in the European Business Awards is just part of what Ioniki has added to their repertoire of achievements. The frozen mini spirals filled with feta, olive oil, and spinach joins the other Filosophy products in making Greek easy for the home cook. www.ioniki.com

Evoiki Zimi S.A. Evoiki Zimi S.A. focusing on the needs of the modern consumer, launches its new product, Fillo Kourou 700g, which is the ideal base for delicious pies and sweets kneaded with care from fine flour. www.evoiki-zimi.gr


main story

Amazing Meze By Ellen Gooch

Small plates, big taste

16

epikouria


The Mediterranean Diet dished out in a myriad of small succulent plates. Bring your own bread.

T

his is by way of a warning. If you ever are invited by Greeks to a taverna for lunch or dinner, within minutes a waiter will place a large array of dishes on the table. These are to be shared, usually without benefit of a dedicated serving utensil (a piece of bread or your own personal cutlery being sufficient to the task of division). Each of these many, many dishes will have their own, special appeal. And so you will sample each one, probably repeatedly. This is a mistake! Because after you have stuffed yourself silly and are considering whether you want a single espresso or a double, Lunch Arrives. I’ve seen more than one tourist laid low by this practice, much to the amusement of their hosts. In truth, you should be forgiven for indulging in all those small plates.They are, in my opinion, the highlight of a taverna meal. These small plates, called Mezes, also have bred their own dining establishments, called ouzoria. Ouzoria serve those Mezes that go well with the drinking of Ouzo. Unlike tavernas, ouzorias serve Meze and nothing else, so you can eat all you want without fear of being blindsided later by a large piece of meat, say, or a fish fillet. There are literally hundreds of Mezes. Some are known throughout Greece and some are regional specialties (like the fried chickpea balls of Siphnos or the meat pies of Cephalonia). I will, alas, be unable to cover all of them (partly because I don’t know all of them). Instead we will have to make due with a review of more classic examples.

Classic Mezes

One category of Meze is the dip. These include Tzitziki (yoghurt dip), Melanzantsalata (eggplant dip),Taramasalata

epikouria

(fish roe dip),Tyrokafteri (spicy cheese dip) and Skordalia (garlic dip). These are all relatively easy to prepare (more or less) and so are staples of home cooking. Another category is pies, or pittas (not to be confused with pita bread). Some are filled with cheese, some with greens, some are savory and some are sweet. Sometimes they appear as independent triangular morsels, sometimes as a rope coiled into a circle, and sometimes as just a rectangular pie. Pittas may be made using commercial phyllo dough, (making super thin phyllo takes four skilled people or one superior grandmother). They may also be made using something called villager’s phyllo dough. This dough is also thin, but one ball of dough yields six sheets as opposed to commercial phyllo’s fifty. Pitta are not so easy to make, at least well. Also difficult to make are dolmades, or grape leaves stuffed with rice. In the winter, meat is added to the rice and a lemon sauce tops the dolmades. Then there are keftedi. These are fried balls, sometimes made of vegetables, but the most famous version is made of meat flavored with various spices and served in tomato sauce. Also popular are various legume dishes, such as fakes (green lentils), gigantes and fava. Gigantes are elephant beans, the most famous of which come from Prespes, a municipality in the Florina Prefecture of Greece. In Greek mythology Gigantes were a race of giants who attempted to end the reign of Zeus. They weren’t successful, but they did get some really, really big beans named after them. Gigantes beans are usually baked in the oven with a pungent tomato sauce. My favorite bean dish is fava.

17


main story

18

epikouria


Fava is not made from fava beans, but from yellow split peas. They are cooked to a mush and then treated with onions, lemon and olive oil. Believe me – it tastes better than it sounds. Prepared fish and other seafood are also popular Mezes. Small fish (that which other cultures would consider bait fish) are often fried. Anchovies and sardines can be found marinated in oil and sometimes vinegar. Fried baby shrimp are popular, as is sea urchin drizzled with lemon and olive oil. The most celebrated Greek seafood Meze is grilled or marinated octopus.

Healthy Plates

Mezes are really the backbone of Greek dining, which is to say that they truly embody the tenets of the Mediterranean Diet. (As an aside, I’ve always hated

the name ‘Mediterranean Diet. It isn’t accurate. There are only two places that practice this diet: Greece and Southern Italy). First of all, and at their best, Mezes makes use of and both animal and vegetable proteins. Further, it is rare to eat one Meze; the whole point is to eat a wide variety of foods at each meal. This, of course, is healthy. Not everybody has the time to make multiple dishes for each meal.This problem is solved for many Greeks by the advent of ready-to-eat Mezes available from a variety of food companies. Greeks are pretty picky with their food; most have fond memories of grandmothers – all of whom repor tedly were culinary stars. This means these companies don’t make junk food. In other words, the day I see Cheezwiz on a Greek table is the day I’m moving to the moon.

http://www.sofiatisfisis.gr

Pure organic grape products from the famous vineyards of “NEMEA” Certified according to: REG E.U 837/2007, USDA ORGANIC, ISO 9001: 2000, ISO 22000: 2005

PRODUCTS:

 Red dry wine V.Q.P.R.D Nemea  Red wine vinegar var. “agiorgitiko”  White wine vinegar var. “roditis” &

“moschofilero”  Pure grape syrup  Sweet vinegar  Red wine vinegar with basil & garlic extract  White wine vinegar with thyme extract  White vinegar with mandarin & spices  Balsamic vinegar 3 years aged

KOUTSI KORINTH, 20500 ΝΕΜΕΑ, GREECE ΤEL.: ++30 2746023436, FAX: ++30 2746024038 info@sofiatisfisis.gr epikouria

19


product focus

Grilled (Greek)

Photo: George Drakopoulos Food Styling: Tina Webb 20

epikouria


Cheese By Amy Wentz

E

verybody loves grilled cheese. Ancient Roman cookbooks contain recipes for this delicacy. The British were the first to combine it with bread. The French elevated it to haute cuisine, calling it croque-monsieur. And the Americans love it so well they actually have an official National Grilled Cheese Month. This is fitting for a country that, according to Kraft Foods, consumes more than 2 billion grilled cheese sandwiches a year and which hosts its own competitive event – the annual Grilled Cheese Invitational. The Greeks like grilled cheese, too, though they prepare it differently: without bread. They have a whole range of cheeses designed specifically to be grilled so that they are firm on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside. When these cheeses are grilled, fried or broiled, the resulting dish is called saganaki. The word is derived from the Greek sagani, meaning “two handled frying pan”. The name alludes to the fact that this dish is often served in the pan in which it was cooked, allowing the cheese to stay warm. Cows are scarce in Greece, so all of these cheeses are made from sheep milk, sometimes combined with goat milk. Each is unique to Greece or Cyprus, with most enjoying PDO

epikouria

Some like it hot – and creamy. With cheese this delicious who needs bread?

status. Easy to make, it is comfort food at its finest – grilled cheese for purists.

The Cheeses

Kefalograviera Kefalograviera is a hard, super salty PDO cheese produced in the regions of Western Macedonia and Epirus and in the prefecture of Aitoloakarnania. Generally made from sheep milk, goat milk may added as long as it constitutes less than 10% of the total mixture. Yellow to light brown in color, it has a thin, hard skin and is elastic to the touch. First produced in the 1960s, it derives its name from two other cheeses, Kefalotyri and Graveriera, as its taste and texture lies somewhere between the two. Kefalotyri Another hard cheese made from either sheep milk or a combination of sheep and goat milk, this cheese first appeared on the scene during the Byzantine era. It is a piquant, salty and slightly sharp cheese somewhat similar to Italian Pecorino Romano. It ranges in color from white to yellow, depending on the milk mixture, and is made all over Greece and Cyrpus. It has a 40 to 55% fat content and takes two to three months to ripen. In addition to its use in saganaki, it is also often grated and

21


cover story product focus

tossed with spaghetti. Kasseri Produced in the regions of Macedonia and Thessaly and in the prefectures of Lesvos and Xanthi, this is a semihard PDO cheese with a mild, creamy, buttery flavor and a springy texture. If goat milk is used, it must not exceed 20% of the total mixture. Though salty, limiting the amount of goat milk used in its making gives it a slightly sweet taste. Pale yellow and rind-less, this is one of Greece’s most popular and versatile cheeses. Formaella Arachovas Parnassou Formaella comes from the municipality of Arahova Parnassus near the ancient site of Delphi, where the famous oracle once resided. It is a semi-hard PDO cheese with a tangy, peppery taste and full-bodied aroma. Milk used in its production comes solely from local herds of

22

sheep and goats which feed exclusively on the area’s rich indigenous plant life. Mastelo Made in the islands of the Aegean, most commonly on the island of Chios, this is one of the few saganaki cheeses that may be made from cow milk. White, with a soft texture and a mild flavor, it is also slightly salty due to the time it spends in brine. Batzos Batzos is a hard to semi-hard PDO cheese produced in Western and Central Macedonia and Thessaly from sheep milk, goat milk or a combination of both. Salty, it is both matured and preserved in brine. Pungent, slightly acidic and slightly sour, it has no external rind and is covered by small, irregular holes.With a 20% fat content, it is the least fatty of the grillable cheeses.

epikouria


ホ病ch cheese is unique to Greece or Cyprus, with most enjoying PDO status Sfela Sfela is produced in the Southern Peloponnesus (Messinia and Laconia), traditionally from non-pasteurized sheep and goat milk and artisanal rennet. It is a semi-hard, offwhite PDO brine cheese which is relatively low in fat and quite salty. Haloumi While many of the other saganaki cheeses are also eaten cold, Haloumi, the most traditional cheese of Cyprus, is nearly always eaten grilled. It is a semi-hard cheese usually flavoured with mint leaves and soaked in brine. It also has the advantage that it completely retains its shape even when heated. This is because the cheese curds are heated before being shaped and placed in brine. Many of the other saganaki cheeses must first be dusted with flour prior to cooking to achieve this goal.

Grilled Cheese, Greek-Style

The harder cheeses are best fried. Cut the cheese into 1/3 inch thick slices, dust them with flour (or you may dip them in beaten egg first) and fry in a bit of olive oil until golden brown. The dish is finished with a sprinkle of lemon juice. The softer cheeses are often broiled. One of the easier ways to cook these is to place two-inch cubes on skewers, perhaps with a few cherry tomatoes and a leaf or two of basil, and broil at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the cheese begins to melt. Haloumi is most often brushed with olive oil and grilled on a dry griddle, but it may also be grilled on a barbeque.

epikouria

23


Santorini’s Secret Red By Bruce Schoenfeld Photo: George Drakopoulos 1 Styling: Tina Webb

24

epikouria


h

With notes of Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir but an essence all its own, Mavrotragano might be Greece’s most interesting heirloom grape

Haridimos Hatzidakis may well represent the future of the wine industry on the picturesque Greek island of Santorini. He was the first to see the potential in dry wine made from the red Mavrotragano grape, the first to bottle Mavrotragano, the first in perhaps a century to plant it in a vineyard of its own. Yet when Hatzidakis pulls up to his ramshackle winery – near Pyrgos, on Santorini’s west coast – in a battered truck, with unkempt hair and a stained shirt, he issues a preemptive warning. "We don’t often invite people to come here," he says. It soon becomes evident why. Aboveground, Hatzidakis Winery is a cluster of shacks with mismatched walls. Below, rank smells permeate a cave filled with a jumble of winemaking equipment. "Moisture," says Hatzidakis as he pushes through to a small tasting room carved deep into the volcanic rock. Somehow, the 45-year-old Hatzidakis and his wife, Konstantina, manage to make 50,000 bottles a year of export-caliber wine in the semi-darkness.That includes nearly 5,000 bottles – the largest production by any winery – of the mysterious Mavrotragano, a red grape of unknown origin. "There’s no DNA information on Mavrotragano at all," says Mihalis Boutaris, an Americantrained viticulturist and winemaker who works with the Kir-Yianni winery on research and development. "Scientifically, all we can really say is that here is a red wine from Santorini. Beyond that, we don’t know." Found sparingly on Santorini and nowhere else in the world, Mavrotragano had never been sold as a dry wine before Hatzidakis attempted it in 1999 with wine from the 1997 vintage. Making a wine from such an untested commodity would be difficult enough in a modern winery, with clean floors and the latest monitoring equipment. In this setting, Hatzidakis might as well be boiling a potion in a witches’ cauldron. Konstantina shrugs. "Two crazy people," she says. "But we started without money.What could we do?" Yet since the 1997 vintage, when Hatzidakis’ experiment began, Mavrotragano has managed to attract interest from around the world. After tasting the wine’s singular flavor, with notes of Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir but an essence all its own, the Italian Slow Food organization officially recognized the grape as worthy of protection. Enologists and journalists have made pilgrimages to the dank cave. "It’s definitely the buzzword in Greece," says Boutaris. And on the island, which has heretofore been known only for white wines, it has helped to start a trend. "Now everyone has started to plant Mavrotragano," says Paris Sigalas, who was one of the first. A renowned enologist with far better distribution for his wines than Hatzidakis has, his sanction helped validate the Mavrotragano movement. On the northeast corner of Santorini, where the trappings of tourism haven’t penetrated and the island retains an austere beauty, Sigalas sits on his patio, surrounded by a vineyard of experimental Mavrotragano. His vines are planted not close to the ground in a nest or basket formation as is usual on the island, but upright, attached to posts. "I don’t think the traditional way is the best way to grow red grapes," he says. Sigalas experimented with sweet Mavrotragno as early as 1982. Since 1998, he has been producing small quantities of dry wine from the grape.The vines in his own vineyard only started

epikouria

25


to produce grapes in 2005 so he’s had to source his fruit in tiny lots from among nearly 1,000 vineyards owned by individual farmers around the island. That mitigates any possibility of sense of place showing through, and leaves him at the mercy of growers who may be more interested in volume than quality. Nevertheless, he can sense the possibilities inherent in the variety. "Even though we collect grapes from here and there, we can see that we can make a very interesting wine," he says. Between them, Hatzidakis and Sigalas have turned this small resort island with centuries of white wine tradition into a fascinating laboratory for an heirloom grape. To do it, they’ve had to challenge not just tradition, but the laws of nature and economics. "The enologists at the bigger wineries held the wineries back," Sigalas says now. "They weren’t so enthusiastic about Mavrotragano. They thought the conditions weren’t right for red wine. Now they see that it will change the image of Santorini’s wines. Not just its red wines, but all its wines." Until recently, anyone attempting to find a vineyard of Mavrotragano on Santorini would have been disappointed. No vineyard that consisted solely of a red variety existed on the island. Instead, Mavrotragano usually grows intermingled with Santorini’s other grapes (notably the white Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani, and the red Mandalaria andVoudomato) in the decades-old vineyards that provide this stark, sere island with much of its vegetation. Its traditional use is in a homemade sweet wine that is rarely bottled. As late as the 1930s, vast plantings of Mavrotragano were said to have covered Santorini.These were pulled out, little by little, in times of one economic crisis or another, in favor of either hotel development or the more dependably revenue-producing Assyrtiko. By 2000, Mavrotragano accounted for less than two percent of the island’s annual harvest – and Mandalaria, the favored red variety, not much more than that. Red wines on Santorini seemed in danger of extinction. To many minds, that wouldn’t have been much of a loss. Conventional wisdom states that Santorini, which has irregular temperatures during the growing season and winds fierce enough to shred a flag on its flagpole, will never produce a great red wine. The majority of that wisdom has come from producers of Mandalaria, a difficult-to-ripen variety that rarely reaches its full potential on Santorini. "I love Mandalaria," says Nico Manessis, one 26

of the foremost experts on Greek wine, "but not there." Several of Santorini’s producers make a passable Mandalaria, but almost nobody believes that it can lift the image of Santorini’s reds any higher than it already has – which isn’t high at all. "We try," says producer George Gavalas. "but Mandalaria doesn’t help us." In truth, the island does have some conditions that are propitious for red wines. The phylloxera louse that ravaged most other grape-growing regions around the world couldn’t gain a foothold in the volcanic soil, so Santorini’s vineyards remain uninfected.And though no rain typically falls from February through October, the low-lying clouds that roll in off the sea often blanket vineyards with moisture. "It hasn’t rained, but we wake up in the morning and the vineyards are wet," says Hatzidakis. Still, the vast majority of Santorini’s production has always been white. Only one appellation exists on the island, and only one wine is sanctioned. It must consist of at least 90 percent of Assyrtiko grape, blended if desired with Athiri and Aidani. If you make wines using any other kinds of grapes, you aren’t permitted to use the Santorini name on your label. Accordingly, most of the island’s wineries have always figured that reds, difficult to make and almost impossible to market without the Santorini name, were barely worth the trouble. "I haven’t promoted my red wine," says Kostas Antoniou, a jeweler and part-time winemaker who makes one of the island’s best Mandalarias for his Antoniou Wines. "Santorini is famous for its white wines, so most people don’t bother with the red. Besides, they like to drink white wines. It’s hot here." Until 1995, no professional winemaker had ever made a dry Mavrotragano. That’s when Hatzidakis, then working for Boutari, Greece’s second-largest and most commercially active winer y, convinced the company to experiment with the grape. Born in Crete, Hatzidakis had studied in Athens, then started his Boutari career in 1991. After several successful vintages in Crete, he was posted to Santorini.At the time, he had never tasted dry Mavrotragano, or even spoken with anyone who’d tasted it. But he had a hunch. When Boutari’s chief enologist sourced a small amount of Mavrotragno for experimental purposes, Hatzidakis convinced him to make the wine dry instead of sweet. One taste in the tank led him to believe he’d discovered something. But instead of bottling the wine, Boutari kept it in oak for four years, destroying the delicate balance of fruit and tannin. By then, Hatzidakis had left the company and put out two vintages of Mavrotragano on his own.That 1997, made in a tiny quantity, was likely the first bottled Mavrotragano produced anywhere in the world. It was a wine with far softer tannins and lower acidity than Mandalaria, and with better character. It had a mouthfeel similar to Nebbiolo, epikouria


Photo: dreamstime.com

Hatzidakis and Sigalas have turned this small resort island with centuries of white wine tradition into a fascinating laboratory for an heirloom grape

27


a flavor profile all its own, and intimations of real depth. Hatzidakis was thrilled. Hard as it might be to believe, Sigalas lived and worked on the same small island without having any idea of what Hatzidakis was up to. The first time he can recall hearing about the Hatzidakis Mavrotragano was when it showed up in the marketplace. He, too, had wondered how Mavrotragano might taste as a dry wine, but he’d never had space in his winery to find out. In 1997, he’d moved into a new facility in Oia, on the island’s northeast coast. Beginning the following year, he bought a small amount of Mavrotragano, fermented it, and waited. With his first taste of the wine, he says, "I decided at once I needed money to plant a vineyard of Mavrotragano," he says. By 2000, he’d done exactly that. Several years ago, a group of producers from Italy’s Langhe region – including Barolo’s near-legendary Elio Altare – visited Santorini to look at red wines. They were intrigued by the possibilities inherent in the volcanic soil. They tasted the minerally whites and figured the same qualities could be imparted in the red.To their palates, too, Mavrotragano reminded them of their own Nebbiolo. In most areas of the world, interested outsiders who sense a potential in the soil are often persuaded to invest, plant a vineyard, and try growing grapes and making wine for themselves.That’s how wine regions from Spain’s Priorat to Chile’s Maipo Valley were jump-started. But on 28

Santorini, any land within sight of water is worth far more as a hotel than a vineyard – and nearly everywhere on the island is within sight of water. There’s plenty of foreign investment in Santorini, but none of it is in vineyard land. At the same time, budding hotel impresarios have had little difficulty persuading locals to sell vineyards that may have been in their families for centuries. Who can resist getting several years’ salary for a few hectares of painfully difficult land? Accordingly, the amount of vineyard land on Santorini has dwindled precipitously. About 150 years ago, between half and two-thirds of the island’s 7,500 hectares were covered with grapevines. By 1975, once Santorini had been discovered as a resort destination, that number had dwindled to 2,000 hectares. Today the area of cultivation is about 1,200 hectares. Many growers who elected to keep their vineyards have attempted to compensate for the money they’re missing by increasing yields. The grapes that have resulted are weak, watery and characterless. "It is not a good thing," says Hatzidakis, who started trying to buy grapes for his own, fledgling winery in 1997 and has noticed a palpable decline in quality as land prices have increased. "They want to earn more money from the same amount of land. But these are grapes I don’t want." Like Sigalas, Hatzidakis knew he needed grapes of his own. In 2000, he purchased a hardscrabble patch of terraced vineyard land on a north-facing hillside in a less developed area of the island. He proceeded to plant it entirely in Mavrotragano.Three years later, he added an adjacent plot, interspersing tomato plants among the vines. He stands there now, the wind pushing his hair to the back of his head, and rhapsodizes about the site he has found. In the distance, the Christiana Islands shimmer in the haze, but Hatzidakis has no interest in the stunning view. He’s looking in the foreground, at the clumps of vines lying on the rock-strewn soil. "Spaced close together, like in Burgundy," he says, indicating with a sweep of his arm. If all goes well, his output of Mavrotragano will soon double. "We saved the grape," Konstantina says. Along the way, they may have saved Santorini’s red wine industry. Every producer who makes Mavrotragano sold every bottle he released last year.Taken together, it’s merely a tiny percentage of the Assyrtiko-based Santorini wine that is the mainstay of the island, but a market now exists where it previously didn’t. And production is set to grow. Sigalas added to his 2000 plantings in 2001 and 2002 and now has a total of five hectares of the variety. From 400 bottles in 1998, he made 2,000 bottles of the 2003 vintage, and that amount will double in the 2004 vintage, when the first fruit from his own vineyards is included. By decade’s end, his annual production may reach 10,000 bottles. His version has a mouthfeel closer to Bordeaux than Nebbiolo, and lacks epikouria


the salty taste at the back of the mouth that is a hallmark of many of Santorini’s wines. It is arguably the most marketable of the Mavrotraganos internationally, yet nobody would mistake it for an internationally styled wine. Last year, even the million-bottle-a year government cooperative of Santo released a small amount of varietal Mavrotragano. "If enough people start making serious Mavrotragano," says Nikos Varvarigos, Santo’s enologist, "we will attempt to make the wine an appellation wine. If that happens, we will be able to use the name Santorini on our labels. And if that happens, who knows?" Even Boutari, the large winery that kept Hatzidakis’s experimental Mavrotragano in oak for four years, has made the decision to proceed with the grape. "We wanted to make a local red wine from Santorini, and Mandalaria is not so interesting," says Petros Vamvakousis, the manager of Boutari’s Santorini winery, almost by way of an apology. "It would be easy for us to plant a small vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, but I believe it is important to make a red wine from a local variety." Boutari’s implicit sanction of the grape carries an enormous symbolic weight. The company not only has the technology to do research on the best way to make a Mavrotragano wine, but it has the marketing muscle to get

epikouria

the wine on shelves around the world. But until its own Mavrotragano vineyards begin producing fruit, Boutari stands as just one more buyer for a severely limited product. In the past year, the price of Mavrotragano has risen to between 2.5 and 3 euros a kilogram, as compared to Assyrtiko, which costs 50 to 80 cents. That makes it the most expensive grape variety in all of Greece. The ramifications are palpable. Sitting cliffside at dinner on a cool autumn night, Hatzidakis takes a sip from a glass of his own Mavrotragano and closes his eyes. His grapes don’t come on line for another year, and he’s hardly satisfied with the fruit he has been getting. He shakes his head at the irony. Just as it has gained currency on Santorini and beyond, the Mavrotragano made by the grape’s pioneer is getting outpaced by the marketplace. He has sunk all his money into his vineyard and doesn’t have the resources to improve his winery or buy the grapes he wants. His wine remains compelling, a fascinating example of a local variety amidst a sea of international wine, but to his palate it shows the difficulties. "We have much more work to do with Mavrotragano, so much more," he says, his eyes still closed.Then he opens them and looks into his glass. "But at least I know there is a future now," he says.

29


product focus

30

epikouria


Do the makaronia

Five great reasons to get sauced

By Cecilia Knutsson

Photo: George Drakopoulos Food Styling: Tina Webb

M

yth: Hephaestus, the god of fire and forge, inventor of the first robot, the wings of Hermes, the girdle of Aphrodite and several other usefully magic items, also invented a machine that sliced dough into strips. Myth: Based on a relief dating from the fourth century BC depicting a knife, a board, a flour sack and a pin, the Etruscans invented pasta. Neither of these myths have any historical basis. What is known is that the ancient Greeks ate a kind of broad noodle called laganon. However, this noodle was roasted as opposed to boiled, making it more akin to pizza than anything else. As far as that other, ubiquitous myth, noodles were clearly being eaten well before Marco Polo returned from China in 1295 AD. The first recorded (Western) mention of noodle appeared in the Jerusalem Talmud, written in Aramaic in the 5th Century AD. They called it itriyah, and debated whether the eating of it was kosher. The word itriyah is probably derived from the Greek, itrion, a flat bread used in religious ceremonies. By the 10th Century, several Arabic sources mention itriyah, describing it as a dried noodle to be purchased from a street vendor. Both the Greeks and Italians refer to some types of dried noodles as makoronia/macaroni; these names are both likely derived from the Greek “makar�, meaning blessed. Whatever the origins of dried noodles, they are now one of the world’s most popular ingredients. In Greece, each region has a special or several special pastas, differing

epikouria

31


cover story product focus

Preparing Siron.

in shape and ingredients. Some, for example, use olive oil and some are made with milk or yoghurt instead of water. Here are a few of the many varieties.

Trahanas is a pasta is made from mixture of hard or cracked wheat that is fermented with yoghurt and then dried and sieved into tiny pellets.Traditionally, chunks of dough are first set out in the sun or in ovens to dry. Next the dough is rubbed back and forth over the screen of a sieve, called a koskino. The resulting small pieces are then set out to dry some more. If done by hand, the entire process will take several days.

There are two varieties of trahanas: sweet and sour. The sweet trahanas are made out of semolina wheat, milk and butter. The sour version is made with fermented milk or yogurt, which gives it a tart flavor. The fermentation process generates lactic acid which creates the tartness while the low ph levels during the drying process ensures the milk proteins are not destroyed. Greece’s answer to chicken soup is trahanas soup with milk, made for any ailments. Besides soups, trahanas are also used in stews, in

32

baked dishes or are eaten as a breakfast dish in western Macedonia.

Siron One of the more unusual of the Greek makoronias, Siron is a sort-of Greek version of matzo balls, in that it is often added to soup. Except, it is more fun. First the dough is rolled out and cut into wide strips. Then it is curled over and over itself into a circle shape and baked, twice. It does not require boiling; only dampening with boiling water. When the water hits it, it expands, like a magic trick, into a bigger circle in a circle. Aftoudia A specialty of the Eastern Aegean island of Chios, Aftoudia is a light, egg-less pasta in which little squares are pinched to together to make an ear shape.

Hilopites are an egg makoronia, sometimes appearing as long strips, but more often cut into tiny pieces. Hilo means 1.000 in Greek and, while the pieces are small, eating a thousand may be overkill. Often used in soups, hilopites are also often cooked with meat in a tomato based sauce.

epikouria


10+1 things you may not know about pistachios

1. The pistachio is a member of the Anacardiaceae or cashew family. This makes it a cousin not only to the lovely mango, but also to poison ivy, poison oak and sumac. As they say, one can’t choose one’s family. 2. Archaeological findings indicate that members of the Pistacia genus were being consumed as far back as 6700 BC, though the member of this genus we eat today (Pistacia vera) was probably cultivated far more recently.

7.The island of Aegina, off the Attic coast, is famous for its pistachios, which Greeks call fistikia. The pistachio tree was brought to the island from Syria in the late 19th century. However, the Aegina trees, due to climate and soil conditions, produce a nut that differ greatly from those of the same origin grown elsewhere.

3. The tree is both ancient and long-living: some pistachio trees are over 200 years-old, and still bearing fruit!

8. Pistachio trees from Aegina are recognized as their own cultivar. Unlike the large Kerman variety grown in California and Iran, the Aegina Cultivar produces a smaller nut with an intense, distinct and rich flavor. For this reason they were given PDO status.

4. The Queen of Sheba was a big fan of pistachios; all production in her land was earmarked for herself and her royal court.

9. Pistachios are harvested by shaking the branches on which they grow or knocking them from the tree with a stick. Both methods are good for relieving aggression.

5. You can tell when the pistachio is ripe: it makes an audible pop. Legend has it that lovers who meet under a pistachio tree at night and who hear the sounds of the nuts popping open will be blessed with good luck.

10. Pistachios have been repor ted as a remedy for: sclerosis of the liver, abdominal ailments, abscess, bruises and sores, chest ailments, circulation and other problems.

6. Because of its unique, semi-opened shell, people in the Middle East sometimes refer to the pistachio as the “smiling nut”.

11. Forget Viagra and trust the Arabs, who believe pistachios are an aphrodisiac. In Lebanon pistachio leaves were used to enhance fertility.

34

epikouria


recipes I inherited my mother’s much battered 1956 edition of Joy of Cooking. What is striking about it is not just the odd cuts of meat, strange obsession with aspic, and forgotten dishes (10 bucks to anyone who can define a Timbale without resorting to Google). It is the near complete lack of specialty international ingredients. It is an American cookbook, and while there might be the occasional “foreign” recipe, those are rendered using ingredients readily available in the US supermarkets of the era. How times have changed. Now the buzz is all about fusion; about creating new dishes, or takes on old ones, using materials sourced from a variety of countries. Still, while Bouley Restaurant includes on its dessert tray the Greek sweet treats, loukoumi and pastelli, I have seen few Greek ingredients but Feta used in fusion dishes. I can’t think why this should be so. Because I grew up in US cities, I was exposed to world cuisine from an early age. Living abroad was a bit of a shock. I love Greek cuisine, but I can’t eat it every day. So, like the 1956 devotees of Joy of Cooking, I had to find ways to create new dishes using available ingredients. What I discovered is that Greek specialties are exceptionally versatile; and they bring a new dimension in flavor to many classic dishes. Herein I have provided some of the recipes I have developed over the years. I hope you find them as delicious as I do.

Fresh Recipes

Greek ingredients, world cuisine By Ellen Gooch Photo: George Drakopoulos 1 Food Styling: Tina Webb

36

epikouria


Greek Lentil Salad with Lakerda

Greece is the land of pulses –white beans, blackeyed peas, fava and the famous giant beans of Kastoria, gigantes. But the most popular of them all is probably the humble lentil. This recipe is a take on a classic French salad of lentils and smoked trout. Standing in for this common fish is the flavorful Lakerda, raw fish from the tuna family which is pickled and then packed in olive oil. Salty, it must be rinsed or soaked thoroughly before eating. It is usually served as a meze to go with Ouzo. Anthotyro is a soft, mild cheese, made from unpasteurized sheep and goat milk.Typically served young, it has notes of wild flowers and herbs.

Serves 6 as the main event Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes Prep time: 40 minutes

Ingredients For the lentils 8 oz. (225 grams) fine Greek lentils (often from Thessaly) 1/4 (60 ml) cup olive oil 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 small yellow onion, minced 1 large carrot, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds 2 bay leaves 1 tablespoon tomato paste For the dressing 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 2/3 cup (150 ml) orange juice 1/4 cup (50 ml) lemon juice 1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine vinegar 1/3 cup (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste For the salad 1 small head of Bibb lettuce 1 small red pepper, thinly sliced 4 oz. (115 grams) of Anthotyro cheese Scant handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped 6 Lakerda fillets

these over medium heat until translucent. Return the lentils to the saucepan, add a quart of water, the carrots and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and continue simmering for another 5-15 minutes, until the lentils have softened. Do not add salt until the end, as salt will toughen the lentils. If the lentils become too thick, add a bit more water. Fill a bowl full of warm water and 2-3 tablespoons of salt. Add the sliced red onion to the bowl and let them sit for an hour. This will make them more tender and sweet. Soak the Lakerda fillets in a large bowl with cold water, changing the water every so often to removes much of the saltiness. For the dressing, combine the zest and the acids in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the lentils, the onions and the Lakerda. Arrange the lettuce leaves around 6 plates. Slice the Lakerda into strips and place on top of the lettuce leaves.Toss the lentils with the salad dressing and then divide the lentils between the plates. Top each plate with a dollop of Anthotyro, parsley and red onion.

Preparation Place the lentils in a large saucepan, covering them an inch (25ml) of water. Place the saucepan over mediumhigh heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain them in a strainer. Clean the saucepan, coat it with the olive oil it and add the garlic and onion. Saute epikouria

37


recipes

Warm Wild Rice Pilaf with Pistachios Serves 4 Total time: 1 hour Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients 2 cups (450 grams) wild rice 2 medium onions, thinly sliced 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced Olive oil Salt and pepper Handful flat leaf parsley, minced 1 cup (225 grams) shelled Aegina pistachios

38

Preparation Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Bring 6 cups of water or broth to a boil and add the rice, cooking until tender, about 35 to 45 minutes.While the rice is cooking, place the onions and fennel in a baking dish, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 200F (90C).When the rice is ready, drain it and add it to the baking dish, along with the parsley and pistachios and mix to combine. Return the baking dish to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, adjust the seasonings and serve, with a side dish of thick, Greek yogurt or sour cream.

epikouria


Dolma CanapĂŠs

Dolma, aka dolmadakia, are the famous ricestuffed grape leaves of Greece.There are two main varieties: one with meat and one without. This recipe calls for the latter version. While you can make dolma yourself, they are very time consuming and require a bit of practice. Luckily there are several companies offering excellent dolma, ready to eat. Dolma, incidentally, must be made by hand, making it one of the last specialty products free from mechanization. Loukaniko is a type of sausage made from pork and traditionally flavored with orange peel and fennel seed. Florina peppers are a distinct cultivar of pepper grown in Greek Macedonia, with a firm, sweet, full-bodied flavor.

Serves 4 as an appetizer Total time: 20 minutes Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients 1 10 oz. (280 grams) can of dolmadakia, roughly 10 dolma 4 strips of smoked salmon 4 rounds of Loukaniko or salami 4 whole cooked shrimp 4 strips of Florina pepper 4 cubes of Feta (please use real, Greek PDO Feta, as opposed to various god-awful cow milk white cheeses that, for reasons known only to marketers, are labeled as feta) 12 Greek capers 2 cherry tomatoes, cut in half 8 sprigs of dill

Preparation Slice the 10 dolmadakia in half, providing 20 pieces. If using Loukaniko, brown the slices on both sides in a dry skillet. Place the strips of smoked salmon and a sprig of dill on 4 dolma halves. Place the Loukaniko wedges on another four dolma, cooked shrimp and a sprig of dill on another four, strips on Florina pepper on another four and the cubes of Feta, capers and halved cherry tomatoes on the last four. Place one of each version on a plate and serve. epikouria

39


recipes

40

epikouria


Greek Salad Gazpacho

The national salad of Greece, reimagined as a soup.

Serves 4 Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes Prep time: 30 minutes Inactive time: 2 hours

Ingredients

Beet Summer Salad Serves 4 as a side salad Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes Prep time: 20 minutes Inactive time: 1 hour

Ingredients 3 medium beets Pinch of finely chopped cilantro Scant handful fresh dill, finely chopped 2 scallions, finely chopped 4 oz. (115 grams) strained Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon (15ml) balsamic vinegar (there are several excellent Greek balsamic style vinegars, though they are difficult to find outside of Greece. This should change.) Black pepper and salt, to taste

1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped ½ an English cucumber, cut into small cubes 1 green bell pepper, chopped into small cubes 1 small onion, red or yellow, roughly chopped 1 small clove of garlic, finely minced 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper to taste Tomato juice, as needed 4 oz. (120 grams) Feta Greek oregano Dash of Ouzo (optional)

Preparation Combine the tomato, cucumber, pepper, onion, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl, mixing to combine. Transfer half its contents to a food processor and process until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add tomato juice to thin it. Return processed mixture to the bowl, cover and let rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with chunks of Feta, a sprinkling of oregano and a dash of Ouzo, if desired.

Preparation Remove the tops of the beets and discard, or save to cook as horta. Cut off the tops and bottoms of the beets and score the skin in three equidistant places with a sharp knife. Bring a pan of water to boil and add the beets. The beets must be fully covered. Do not add salt. Boil the beets until tender, about one hour. Remove them from the water and allow them to cool. While the beets are cooking, chop the cilantro, dill and scallions and place in a bowl. When the beets have cooled enough to touch, remove the skins (they should easily slough off). Cut the beets into 1 inch (25mm) wedges and add to the bowl with the other ingredients. Fold in 4 oz. (115 grams) of the strained yogurt (that’s half a typical single serving container) and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and mix well to combine. This dish may be chilled for several hours before serving.

epikouria

41


recipes

Spaghetti Not Carbonara

Avgotaraho makes an excellent, far healthier and less caloric, substitute for bacon.

Serves 4 Total time: 40 minutes Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients 1 pound spaghetti Olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup (60 ml) Assyrtiko wine 4 eggs, well-beaten 1/2 cup (120 grams) grated Kefalotyri cheese, plus more for the table 1 brick of avgotaraho, sliced thinly with wax and skin removed. Salt and pepper to taste Scant handful flat leaf parsley, minced

Preparation Cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain, reser ving a 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the cooking liquid, and toss with a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Coat a large skillet with olive oil, add the onion and the garlic, turn on the heat and cook until translucent (garlic should always start off in a cool skillet). Add the wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the pasta and the reser ved liquid to the skillet, toss and heat through, adding more olive oil if the pasta seems dr y. Add the eggs, tossing constantly until the eggs are set. Add the cheese, the avgotaraho, salt and pepper and the parsley and toss again. Serve immediately with extra Kasseri.

42

Instant Cream Sauce A few years ago I was informed – long after stores were closed – that we would be having guest for dinner. My pantry wasn’t exactly bursting. I had some salad greens, a few herbs, a red onion, lemons (growing outside), hilopites (Greek pasta) and a package of smoked of smoked salmon. And I had yogurt. I boiled the hilopites, chopped up some dill and onion, zested a lemon and tore up the salmon. These I mixed in a bowl with a bit of the cooking liquid from the pasta, added the lemon juice and a container of yogur t, served with a salad and hoped fervently for the best. This dish was a big success. Now I routinely make these instant-

cream-sauce pastas. Here are some of my favorite combinations, for four people (add cheese as desired): •Simple tomato sauce, vodka and yogurt •Roasted eggplant, flat leaf parsley, caramelized yellow onions and yogurt •Sauteed spinach, roasted garlic, toasted pine nuts and yogurt •Pancetta, grated Manchego, cherry tomato, chopped arugula and yogurt •Stir-fried zucchini, green onions, minced mint, black pepper and yogurt •Sauteed fresh button mushrooms, shallots, dried (reconstituted) wild mushrooms (and their liquid), a jar of truffles in oil and yogurt

epikouria


Manouri Dip with Roasted Onions and Black Pepper

Manouri, produced in (Greek) Macedonia and Thessaly, is a PDO-designated fresh white cheese made from sheep and goat milk whey captured from Feta production, to which extra cream is added. Served young, it has the consistency of whipped cream cheese. It is also one of the few cheeses which can be found nearly salt-free. As such, this recipe is ideal for those on a low sodium diet.

Serves 8 as an Hors d’œuvre Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour Inactive time: 1 hour

Ingredients 2 large yellow onions 1 head garlic ½ cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil 8 oz. (225 grams) Manouri cheese Copious black pepper Salt (optional) Balsamic vinegar (also has salt)

Preparation Cut the onions in half and slice into 1/4 inch (6mm) half rounds. Place them and a whole bulb of garlic, skin and all, in a roasting pan and toss with olive oil and salt (optional). Roast these in the oven at 350F (180C) until the onions are soft and light brown (about an hour). Place the Manouri, black pepper, salt (optional) and roasted onions in a food processor. Cut off one end of the garlic bulb and squeeze the contents of the cloves into the processor. Add olive oil in small amounts and pulse to combine. Keep adding olive oil until the mixture reaches the desired creaminess. Ladle the mixture into a bowl or other container, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, add a few turns of black pepper and serve with toast points or crackers.

epikouria

43


sourcing info AVGOTARAHO TRIKALINOS CO www.trikalinos.gr ELGEA LTD www.elgea.com.gr

BEANS 3 ALFA  www.3alfa.gr A.C. «PELEKANOS» www.prespabeans.gr AHELOOS S.A. www.aheloos.com.gr ARGIRAKIS BROS S.A. www.trofino.com.gr AROSIS S.A.  www.arosis.gr BIOAGROS S.A. www.bioagros.gr ENIPEAS VALLEY www.enipeasvalley.com EV.GE. PISTIOLAS S.A. www.agrino.gr MATOUKOGLOU BROS CO www.mato.gr OSPREX S.A. osprex@hol.gr PRODUCTS LAND VOIO www.proiontavoiou.gr

FETA AMARI S.A. www.amarisa.gr ARVANITIS S.A.

44

www.cheese.gr AVIGAL S.A. www.avigal.gr BASDRAS S.A. www.basdras.gr BIOFARM S.A. www.biofarm.gr BIOPGAL www.biopgal.gr BIZIOS S.A. www.bizios.gr D. RODOS BROS S.A. www.lesvigal.gr DELFI S.A. www.delfisa.gr DIVANIS S.A. www.divanischeese.com DODONI S.A. www.dodonidairy.com E.THIMELIS S.A. www.thimelischeese.gr ELGEA LTD www.elgea.com.gr EPIROS S.A. www.optima.gr EVROFARMA S.A. www.evrofarma.gr EVROKLIDON LTD www.evroklidon.com FAGE S.A. www.fage.gr FILOTAS BELAS & SON S.A. www.belasfoods.com G.TROULIARIS & CO www.trouliaris.gr GALAKTKOMIKI TRIPOLIS S.A. www.galaktokomikitripolis.gr HELLENIC PROTEIN S.A. www.hellenicprotein.gr HOTOS S.A. www.hotos.gr HRYSAFIS S.A. www.xrisafi.gr IRAKLIS KAIDANTZIS & CO www.kaidatzis.gr KARALIS S.A. www.karalis.gr KL. KLEPKOS & CO www.klepkos.gr KOLIOS S.A. www.kolios.gr

KOUKAKI’S FARM S.A. www.koukfarm.gr KOURELLAS S.A. www.kourellas.gr LEADER A.E. www.leaderfoods.gr LESVOS DAIRY S.A. www.lesvosdairy.com LIMNOS DAIRY – G & S MARKAKIS S.A. www.kalathakilimnou.gr LYKAS & CΟ www.lykas.gr MATIS BROS S.A. www.matis.gr METSOVO S.A. www.metsovosa.gr MEVGAL S.A. www.mevgal.gr MILK IN OF XANTHIS RODOPIS S.A. www.rodopi-sa.gr MINERVA S.A. www.minerva.com.gr NEOGAL DAIRY www.neogal.gr NIKAS S.A. www.nikas.gr OLIMPIAKI PARADOSI LTD www.olpa.gr OLYMPOS S.A. www.olympos.gr PAPATHANASIOU S.A. www.papathanasiou-abee.gr PAPATHANASIOY S.A. www.papathanasiouabee.gr PARADOSI S.A. www.paradosi.gr PUREGREEK.COM LTD www.puregreek.com ROUSSAS S.A. www.roussas.gr S.H.M. HELLAS S.A. www.shm.gr STYMPHALIA S.A. www.stymfalia-sa.gr THESGAL LTD www.thesgal.gr TROULIARIS G. & CΟ www.trouliaris.gr TYRAS S.A. www.tyras.gr

U.A.C. OF RETHYMNO www.easreth.gr VIOTROS S.A. www.viotros.gr VOULGARIS BROS S.A. www.voulgari.gr

CRETAN BREAD HUSKS ARTION GREEK FOODS www.artiongreekfoods.com CRETAN EXPORTERS ASSOCIATION www.Crete-exporters.com KALABOKIS www.kalabokis.gi KRITIS GI www.kritisgi.gr N.TSATSARONAKIS S.A. to_manna@otenet.gr SAMARIA www.samaria.com.gr TASTE OF CRETE www.tasteofcrete.com TSATSAKIS UΝLIMITED CO www.tsatsakis.gr ΚRITON ARTOS S.A. www.kritonartos.gr

FISH FORKYS S.A. www.forkys.com GALAXIDI MARINE FARM S.A. www.gmf-sa.gr ANDROMEDA GROUP www.andromeda-aquaculture.gr DIAS S.A. www.diassa.gr HELLENIC FISHFARMING

epikouria


S.A. www.helfish.gr INTERFISH AQUACULTURE S.A. www.interfish.gr KEFALONIA FISHERIES www.kefish.gr NIREUS AQUACULTURE www.nireus.com V. GEITONAS & CO, LTD www.eelgeitonas.com

FRUITS AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE OF ZAGOR PELION www.zagorin.gr AGRO HARA www.kiwi-tsechelidis.gr AGROCOM S.A. www.agrocom.gr ALEXANDER www.alexander-canning.com ALTERRA S.A. www.alterra.gr BIOAGROS www.bioagros.gr FROZITA S.A. www.frozita.com.gr FRUCTA UNION LTD www.fructaunion.gr FRUIT CENTER www.fruitcenter.gr GEFRA www.gefra.gr KATSIAMAKAS S.A. www.katsiamakas.gr MITROSILIS S.A. www.mitrosilis.gr TRIKALA FARMS LTD www.trikalafarms.gr VENUS GROWERS www.venusgrowers.gr ZEUS KIWI S.A. www.zeuskiwi.gr SOULIS S.A.

epikouria

www.soulis.gr SYNERGATIKI S.A. www.synergatiki.gr

ΜΑΚΑRONIA (PASTA) ADAMANTINA HOUSE www.adamantina.gr BARILLA HELLAS A.E. www.barilla.gr CHIOS SHOP www.gummastic.gr EURIMAC www.eurimac.gr EVOIKI ZIMI S.A. www.evoiki-zimi.gr GOUMENISSES oigoumenisses@yahoo.gr HELIOS PASTA www.heliospasta.gr KAPLANIDIS MILLS S.A. www.kaplanidis.gr MELISSA KIKIZAS www.melissa.gr MELKO A.E.B.E. www.melko.gr TA MYLELIA www.mylelia.gr HRYSAFIS S.A. www.xrisafilimnos.gr VLAHA bekiaris@otenet.gr VOSTICHANA dgiov@teemail.gr

NUTS ANTONIOS DELIPOULIOS S.A. www.dekanuts.gr ANTONIO FOODS www.antoniofoods.com

BALLY NUTS www.ballynuts.gr BIONOT www.bionot.gr CARDICO www.cardico.gr EUROSNACK S.A. www.eurosnacksa.com HATZIGEORGIOU S.A. www.perle.gr HARMONY - COUNINIOTIS www.kouniniotis.gr MAKIN DRY NUTS www.makin.gr MENEXOPOULOS BROTHERS NUT STORES www.menexopoulos.com NIKOS TZITZIS & CO www.thegreeknutcompany.gr NUTCO S.A. www.kalatheri.gr MORAITI BROTHERS S.A. www.moraitisbros.gr OVAKIMIAN S.A. www.ovakimian.gr SDOUKOS S.A. www.sdoukos.com VAMVALIS FOOD S.A. www.pellito.gr S.SPIRIDIS A.E.B.E.DRIED FRUITS & NUTS www.oskar.gr

OLIVES AGRICULTURE OF ROVIES www.roviesolives.gr AGROMET S.A. www.banistradition.com AGROKAN HELLAS S.A. www.agrocanfoods.com ALEA S.A. www.alea-sa.gr ARI S.A. www.arifoods.gr ARTION GREEK FOODS

www.artiongreekfoods.com BRETAS S.A. www.bretas.gr CRETA NATURA PRODUCTS www.cretanaturachania.com CRETAN TASTE CO. www.cretantaste.gr D.E. GEORGOUDIS CO S.A. www.olives.gr DANCO S.A. www.danco.gr DEAS S.A. www.deasolives.gr ELI S.A. www.eli.gr ELKO OLIVES www.elko-olives.gr EN ALMI www.enalmi.com G. BAKOURIS Ν. BAKOURIS CO www.bakouris.gr HELLENIC FINE OILS www.hfo.gr HERCULES EXPORT hrcexport@hotmail.com ILIDA S.A. www.ilida.gr I. M. STROFILIA LTD www.wermio.gr INDIANA HELLAS LTD www.indianahellas.gr INTERCOMM FOODS S.A. www.intercomm.gr J. C. KOUTROGIANNOS CORP www.elko-olives.gr KANAKIS www.kanakis.com.g KAPA OLIVE FARM www.kapaolivefarm.gr KEFALAS - SPARTA S.A. www.organicvillage.gr KONSTANTOPOULOS S.A. www.konstolymp.gr KOUKOUNARAS S.A. www.koukounaras.gr LADAS FOODS S.A. www.ladasfoods.com ODISIA S.A. www.odisia.gr

45


sourcing info OLIVELLAS S.A. www.olivellas.gr PURE GREEK www.puregreek.com ROUAL TSATSOULIS www.royal.gr SEACRETS OF GREECE www.seacrets.gr SIOURAS S.A. www.siouras.gr THIN GREEN NATURAL GOODS www.thinkgreen.gr

OLIVE OIL “NEW ERA” AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE OF GARGALIANI www.newera-gargaliani.com AGREXPO S.A. www.goumas.gr AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE OF THRAPSANO www.cretan-olive-oil.gr AGRO.VI.M. www.agrovim.gr AGROCRETA www.agrocreta.gr AGROKAN HELLAS S.A. www.agrocanfoods.com AGROTIKH S.A. www.agrotiki-sa.gr AIQ INTERNATIONAL TRADE CO LTD http://www.aiq.gr ALEA S.A. www.alea-sa.gr AMALTHEA LTD www.amalthea.gr ANDROULAKIS PAVLOS www.androulakisp.gr ARTION GREEK FOODS www.artiongreekfoods.com

46

ASTRIKAS ESTATE – BIOLEA www.biolea.gr BOTZAKIS S.A. www.creta-oil.gr BRAHIMO S.A. www.brahimo.gr CANDIAS OIL www.candiasoil.com COOPERATIVE OLIVE OIL INDUSTRY “ANATOLI” www.abea.gr CRETAN DELI TASTE www.cretandelitaste.gr CRETAN MYTHOS www.cretanmythos.gr CRETAN TASTE CO www.cretantaste.gr CRITIDA S.A. www.critida.com DIAMOND MESSINIAN EXTRA OLIVE OIL www.diamonolive.gr ELAIS – UNILIVER S.A. www.elais.gr ELEA CRETA www.eleacreta.gr ELEOURGIKI CENTRAL COOPERATIVE UNION www.eleourgiki.com ELGEA LTD www.elgea.com.gr EVRIPIDIS S.A. www.evripidis.com FRIEDRICH BLAUEL www.blauel.gr G. BAKOURIS - Ν. BAKOURIS CO www.bakouris.gr GAEA www.gaea.gr GREEK LAND FOODS LTD www.esti.com.gr GREEK TASTE SUGGESTIONS – GTS www.gts.com.gr GREEKPOL www.greekpol.gr HELLENIC FINE OIL S.A. www.hfo.gr KANAKIS HLIAS www.kanakis.com.gr KEFALAS - SPARTA S.A.

www.organicvillage.gr KOLUMPARI S.A. www.kolympari-sa.gr KORE S.A. www.kore.gr LATZIMAS S.A. www.latzimasoil.gr LIOKARPI PROTOGERAKIS www.oliveoil-kreta.com LYXNARAS VERGINA S.A. www.verginaolives.com MEDBEST S.A. www.medbest.gr MESSOLONGI FIELDS LTD www.messolongifields.com MINERVA S.A. www.minerva.com.gr N.GERENTES S.A. www.gerentesbros.com NUTRIA S.A. www.nutria.gr OLIO GRECO S.A. www.oliogrec@otenet.gr OLIVE OIL SELECTIONS “MOLEON” www.oliveoilselections.com OLYMPIA – XENIA S.A. www.olympia-oliveoil.com PANTELOPOULOU BROS “PANPROD” www.panprod.com PELANOS AGIRON SKRIVANOS www.elaion.com PELION BRAND SAPOUNAS & CO pelion-brand@vol.forthnet.gr PEZA UNION www.pezaunion.gr PREMIUM QUALITY FOODS S.A. www.pqf-oliveoil.gr RAFTELI – PROTOULI MARIA & CO protoulh@otenet.gr SPEIRON www.speironoliveoil.com TERRA CRETA S.A. www.terracreta.gr UNION OF AGRICALTURAL COOPERATIVES OF MESSINIA

mesunion@otenet.gr UNION OF AGRICALTURAL COOPERATIVES OF MONOFATSIU www.monofatsiunion.gr VASILAKIS ESTATE www.vassilakisestate.gr VINOLIO CRETA (AGIA TRIADA) www.agiatriada-chania.gr

PIE ALFA MEDITERRANEAN PIE RECIPES www.alfa.org.gr BAKER MASTER S.A. www.bakermaster.gr DORIKON S.A www.dorikon.gr EVOIKI ZIMI S.A. www.evoiki-zimi.gr HELLENIC DOUGH MICHAIL ARAMPATZIS S.A. www.elzymi.gr HELLENIC QUALITY FOODS S.A. www.hqf.gr IONIKI SFOLIATA www.ioniki.com/ KAZAKIS LTD www.ntolmadakia.com RODOULA S.A. www.rodoula.gr SITISIS www.sitisis.gr TO XRYSO www.toxryso.gr TSABASIS S.A. www.tsabassis.gr ΖΑΝΑΕ - NIKOGLOU BAKERY YEAST S.A. www.zanae.gr ZEST ARAPAKI S.A. www.zest-arapaki.gr

epikouria


READY MEALS DOLANO FOOD www.dolanofood.gr EDESMA www.edesma.com FAKOU BROS S.A. www.parnassos-foods.com FRESH GOURMET (CATERING) www.freshgourmet.gr GALITEL S.A. www.galitel.gr I.M. STROFILIA LTD www.wermio.gr KAZAKIS LTD www.ntolmadakia.com MAGEIRA BROS S.A. www.afoimageira.gr MAKEDONIKI www.makedoniki.gr N. ONASSIS S.A.HELLENIC CANNED FOOD INDUSTRY www.onassis-foods.gr NORTH AEGEAN SEA CANNERIES S.A. www.konva.gr PALIRRIA S.A. www.palirria.com PLIAS S.A. www.plias.gr SPITIKA TROFIMA (HOMEMADE FOODS)” S.A. www.spitikatrofima.gr STROFILIA – KENTRIS S.A. www.strofilia.com T&T FOODS S.A. www.ttfoods.gr VIOSAL www.viosal.gr ΖΑΝΑΕ - NIKOGLOU BAKERY YEAST S.A. www.zanae.gr

epikouria

YOGURT AVIGAL S.A. www.avigal.gr BIOPAN – KOURELLAS www.kourellas.gr DODONI S.A. www.dodonidairy.com EVROFARMA www.evrofarma.gr EVROKLIDON LTD www.evroklidon.com FAGE S.A. www.fage.gr FARMA PIERRIAS LTD www.farmapierrias.gr FRIESLAND CAMPINAHELLAS S.A. www.nounou.gr INAHOS S.A. www.inahos.gr KOLIOS S.A. www.kolios.gr KOUKAKI’S FARM S.A. www.koukfarm.gr KOURELLAS S.A. www.kourellas.gr KRI-KRI S.A. www.krikri.gr MEVGAL S.A. www.mevgal.gr MILK IN OF XANTHIS RODOPIS S.A. www.rodopi-sa.gr NEOGAL DAIRY www.neogal.gr OLYMPOS S.A. www.olympos.gr PAPATHANASIOU S.A. www.papathanasiou-abee.gr SAVOIDAKIS G. S.A. www.savoidakis.gr SERGAL S.A.  www.sergal.gr STYMPHALIA S.A. www.stymfalia-sa.gr TYRAS S.A. www.tyras.gr 47


last look

Slow Food Seat

A

merica has fast food chains. Greece has tavernas.While both offer inexpensive food (or, in the case of fast food chains, food-like substances), their operational philosophy could not be more different. This difference is epitomized by their respective seating. The fast food chair is uncomfortable; it is designed to be that way. The seat is hard plastic. This guarantees you’ll scarf down your meal and get out. The chair is bolted to the floor. This ensures that social interaction is kept to a minimum – no pulling up a chair to join a larger group. By contrast, the classic Greek taverna chair is made for comfort. Its rush seat is soft. The back slats provide support as well as ventilation. The braces at the base lend stability (and a place to prop your feet) – stability for leaning in to participate in conversation or to help oneself to a meze in the center of the table. Plus it is light; chose your table and sit on down. Greek people can spend hours at the taverna, eating their meals, drinking their ouzo, reading their paper and talking with friends. In a popular tavernas, there is

48

at least one card game going at any time. If you prefer tavli (backgammon) you can usually find a set or two behind the bar. Tavernas were just as popular in ancient Greece as they are in Greece today. Back then they were called kapeleion. Commenting on the ubiquity of tavernas in Athens and alluding to the militant Spartans, whose citizens were fed from common messes, Diogenes the Cynic said “tavernas are the canteens of Attica”. Tavernas were a regular feature in the comedies of Aristophanes with their staff being a frequent target of his jokes. Unfortunately, no example of an ancient taverna chair survives. We can only hope that they were as comfortable as the ones we sit on today.

epikouria



Epikouria fall winter 2013