Thursday, May 25, 2006

Eating on Mountain Pilion


I have been neglecting this blog and neglecting cooking in general, but I haven’t neglected eating. I had my Easter Holiday on Mount. Pilion, in Makrinitsa village and the food our hosts -Kostas and Elena- prepared for us was delicious.


The central Makrinitsa square

They had stocked the fridge with the most amazing cheeses which we devoured along with the best wines one can find in Greece.


So a big thank you to our friends. Please invite us back, next time we'll behave.

I want to confess I have a problem with most people who run taverns in Greek villages. Why can’t I find mushrooms, almost anywhere?

Greece is full of mushrooms and some of them are rare and delicious. But somehow, they haven’t made it into the kitchens of professionals. I don’t know the reason to that, except maybe that people don’t like to experiment, and that they are content with a good old steak.

Another thing that bothers me in Greek villages is the lack of homemade, lovely, savoury pies (not in Makrinitsa though, because we had a very nice leek pie in Theofilos café). Really, people are lazy.

I want to find a village where people bake bread, make pies and cook mushrooms. And that’s not because I want to validate my village life stereotypes, but because that is what I look for in cities too. Real food, that sometimes takes more time and effort. Theofilos cafe is one such place in Makrinitsa, where you can taste delicious food that fresh and cooked with skill b.doesn't cost a fortune.


This is firiki preserve, a small but very taste apple is used to make it

What most greek villages have though, is preserves. Usually, these are fruits that have been boiled in sugar and water, so they end up very syrupy and are stored in jars. Cherry, rose petals, orange, bergamot, fig, apple, grape and quince preserves, are the most common. But you can also find tomato preserves or aubergine preserves, and these are sweets!
They go by the generic name “glyka koutaliou” that means spoon sweets, because you only have a spoonful (supposedly) with coffee or a glass of water. But you can very well use them to top your ice cream or yogurt, they are perfect partners.


Potato salad and a yummy leek pie we had at Theofilos cafe

Another good thing you can find is tsipouro, a strong drink -that has nothing to do with ouzo- which if good, never gives you a headache.

You drink it in little shots and always with food, especially, pickled or spicy food, like this baked feta with onions and peppers. I wish I could send all of you some tsipouro (tsipouraki for friends) because it is the best thing when the sun is shining and it is even better when it is cold outside. Here you can see some of the -come on, tiny!- empty bottles on our table.

And this was just round one.

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