And that, Ms. Woolf, is the bedrock on which life was created.
On today’s episode of ‘The Culinary Angle’, I serve you:
More specifically, the food in the nations surrounding it cause sea water if not filtered and processed is inedible and that would dissolve the whole point of this post just as it dissolves the humongous salt content.
Alright, here goes….
Greece has one of the most diverse culinary variety in the Mediterranean nations. Right from seafood to curries to wraps and exotic desserts, it’s all in the menu. And however diverse or gourmet that may sound, it’s mainly comfort food which makes it one of the best on the tour.
This is chicken souvlaki with a side of buttered rice and chips. This grilled lunch in Athens, garnished with lemon is great if you’ve been on a hectic tour and long for some home-styled food to tuck you in satisfied.
The buttered rice was something that really rubbed in the comforting touch as it was something that I used to eat a lot when I was little and it made me a wee-bit homesick, on the very first day of tour, which was a bit funny considering this was supposed to be an escapade but this was buttered rice.
Good ol’ fish and chips in Santorini with curried clams on the plate behind. What’s fun here is the variety of garnishing. You’ve got two bottles of olive oil and pepper on the stand and tabasco right beside it. The fish and chips came with a yellow lemon and tzatziki sauce with a side of tomatoes and zucchini. That’s pretty garnished!
Almost all food in Greece comes with at least one dip. Here we’ve got tzatziki sauce and another time, a bread platter came with olive paste which was the best thing I’d ever had. I do not have a picture of that, owing to bad lighting( I’m serious!) but I even got a small jar home. That small jar’s now empty and to this day, three years later, I crave olive paste. I love it so much!
This is a more elaborate lunch on Thirassia Island. Going clockwise, there’s roasted chicken with boiled potatoes, bean curry, tomato balls, squid rings and bread and rice. Fit for a king!
Now the bean curry was something that I used to conveniently avoid in India because it was ‘too healthy’ but here, I did take a second serving which made quite a few eyeballs pop out, namely my parents’. I don’t see why, I’m mostly a healthy eater….
Greek food does have some elements which are very similar to Indian food, especially my side of the country i.e west India. This is because of Portuguese colonisation in some of the Western states. Although Portugal does not surround the Mediterranean Sea geographically, it is still considered Mediterranean so west India does share a lot of resemblance to Greek cuisine. The bean curry and the rice are two things which confirm the above. In my state, we call the bean curry ‘double bean’ as its somehow twice the regular French bean.
There, I’ve spilt the beans.
Now….here’s the sugar rush….
That’s three scoops of gelato in Athens. Three scoops in a sprinkle-lined cone with a chocolate covered wafer and whipped cream drizzled with chocolate sauce.
Willy Wonka has asked for the location as my dentist glares embers.
This one’s interesting. It’s one of the Greek-Indian fusion dishes. It’s Greek halwa which is basically semolina fried golden-brown with sugar. In Greece, its served in cubes and is drier than its Indian version where its served in domes and is a bit moist.
That’s me holding a Chimney Cake and beside that is the shop named ‘Hans and Gretel’ which sold those chimney cakes. All I can say is that I’d be the first one to become the witch’s meal if I ever went there cause when it comes to sweets, I go by this quote;
As we come to the end of Greek gourmet, here’s a picture of a Gyros joint as I was too busy eating the wrap to click a picture.
Gyros are pita wraps filled with chicken, hummus and tzatziki and veggies.
This is probably my mum’s doing to get me back on track. As if to say, “I am the limit, young lady! Eat them capsicums! NOW!”
Else why would I click a vegetable cart when there’s ice-cream. Then again, I’m mostly a healthy eater….
The Leaning Tower of Pizza….
Wait there’s more….
You know the food’s good when you need to take the pictures out of the restaurant pamphlet….Cause I couldn’t wait two seconds to take a picture before digging into the lasagna.
Here, we’ve got bruschetta and pasta. In Italy, the only pasta shape is spaghetti and its modifications. Some types of spaghetti are really thick while some of it is the one we get in Italian restaurants. And yes, no sign of Mac and Cheese. Bruschetta is toasted bread topped with tomatoes and basil. On the right, that’s gelato.
More menu card cut-outs starring lasagna and the thin spaghetti pasta. Lasagna can be stuffed with a variety of well….stuff. There’s chicken, lamb, ragout, egg-plant to name a few. And cheese. Lots of cheese.
Let’s talk pizza now. Apparently, in Italy, there’s no limit to what you can put on a pizza. There was a fish pizza that I had, which was rather interesting as I’d only ever had mushrooms and chicken on Pizza. Besides, Italy has only thin crust pizza. There’s none of the options which Domino’s provide. But you know where the limit ends, there’s no such thing as Brownie Pizzas. I mean, why is that even a thing? And yes, I ain’ staring a debate on whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza.
Now this is one culinary bash!
Right to left: Lamb skewers, grilled chicken, lamb kebabs with a side of rice, chips and boiled veggies. Yup, the land of kebabs. Quoting Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, here’s my incident with a kebab….
This is a curried lamb kebab, loaded with veggies but Imma be honest, vegetables have never tasted this good!
This is what’s called Testi kebab. It’s another curried kebab but the best part of this is the way in which its made. The waiter will roll a trolley with an earthen pot on a flame and then literally juggle the pot and beat it with a stick while juggling and finally break off the lid and pour the curry on your plate. Neat and nice!
Too bad I have the menu card cut-out.
Another interesting kebab was the Goose kebab which looks like a rice-dumpling but is stuffed with raisin and shredded goose and served with mashed eggplant.
Now, our hotel Istanbul had this concept of ‘Soup Time’. It was at eleven in the night where they served soup in the breakfast hall. To be honest, this was the best thing I ever came across. Istanbul is a cold place. Like really chilly and the very idea of soup after a walk through the chilly wind is Eden itself. During our soup time, I asked the waiter what soup it was and the guy asked me to wait. He went into a room and in two minutes flat, he knocked over vessels, jumped over a trolley and stood in front of me, with a smile and a nod and said, “Broccoli.”
My request for knowing the type of soup was his mission that he chose to accept. He had to get it in two minutes else the world would be in jeopardy. God bless this waiter. He’s a nice chap. Another sweet chap was this boy, not more than thirteen, he made orange juice at his family juice stall. By the look of it, he loved loading the juicer which caused a real fun fountain and I say its fun cause it’s something I would do. Nice chap.
The jelly-sweet that got Edmund Pevensie into trouble.
I don’t exactly blame him….Turkish delight is pretty wholesome and just right.
Turkey has these dried fruits coated with sugar. By fruits, I mean dried kiwis and oranges. Candied fruit. Quite a delicacy even though it wasn’t one of my favourites. I’m not one for dried fruits but don’t let that bog you down. Turkish ice-cream is another interesting thing. One, the amount in one cup is huge! It takes two people to finish one cup and its somewhat like a bubblegum flavour with a sour tinge. It’s pink.
And that’s a lip-smacking wrap!
Until next time,