Athens in autumn – with a souvláki on the side

Autumn in Greece arrives surreptitiously – it creeps stealthily through September and most of October with such a gradual readjustment of temperature and sunlight that summer feels almost endless. Spending this time in the southern Aegean we have been truly spoilt – swimming in warm seas well into the second week of this month – but…

Myths and More (and a bit of kolokithópita)

For someone who is an extreme Philhellene, I have a confession to make. Don’t worry – I’m not about to admit to a deep dislike of sapphire seas and sunlit vistas. I am not going to ‘fess up to an antipathy to the fruits of the olive tree or, an abhorrence of the aubergine. The…

Keeping It Real – Pastitsio

There is always a conundrum if you are a bit of a creative cook – do you stick with the absolutely traditional recipes or do you try to ring a bit of a change? Things cannot be fixed in aspic – and after all, who eats aspic anymore? I rest my case. In a way,…

Food Fights Back (and a bit more meráki)

When you think about the reasons why Greece, and particularly Athens, have been in the press over the last few years, Oscar Wilde’s well-known maxim may not be the first thing that springs to mind. Famously he said ‘There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not…

A Very Special Ingredient – Meráki

Air travel is a curious thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a novice, I’ve been doing it for more than 40 years, but it never ceases to bemuse me. One minute you’re at some soulless U.K. airport at stupid o’clock, with seemingly endless groups of bleary people – wide-eyed kids trailing ‘trunkies’ and lads…

Coming Clean – Kathará Deftéra

Well, it’s that time of year again. For the last few weeks we, here in UK that is, know that we are approaching Lent – well let me re-phrase that – we know that Easter is on the horizon. The hot cross buns have been on the supermarket shelves since early January, and, believe it…

Dishing Up Comfort – Youvarlákia

For more reasons than I care to name here, I have been cooking a lot of ‘comfort food’ of late. I am sure that ‘comfort food’ has always been with us but I suspect that it is only the modern luxury of food choice and the self-awareness of our times the has made it a…

No Messing Moussaká – Greek Food Myth No.3

It is arguably, the most famous but also the most maligned of all Greek dishes. Unfortunately most visitors to Greece  do not experience home-cooked moussaká, instead eating it at touristy tavérnes. There it seems to have two incarnations – either as a congealing, solid, stripy slab or as a slop, served in individual ceramic pots. Neither…

Perasma, Kos – Greek cooking from field to plate

When you know a place like the back of your hand their is pleasure in revisiting the familiar –  slipping back into the known just like putting on a pair of comfy shoes. It’s easy is to swim at the usual beaches and eat at your favourite restaurants. Then, every once in a while, you…

Sweet Summer Spice – Kaneláda – Cinnamon Cordial

I am currently suffering from a very specific condition.  Fortunately, it is not life threatening – I’m sure that. externally I may even appear fit and healthy. Nonetheless,  the affliction continues and the cure that I am desperately in need of is a good, strong dose of Greece. In these last, flagging weeks of August has…