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Preview: Organically cooked

Organically Greek

Greek identity with a difference, from the inside out and the outside in (formerly Organically Cooked - Linking Greek food with Greek identity: you eat what you are, or who you want to be)

Updated: 2018-02-15T00:46:06.180+02:00


Salade macédoine


If you don't understand the Macedonian name issue, read: My students are mainly foreigners and they have to prove to the institute that they understand English in order to continue to follow our courses. Once they have done that, we allow them to initiate a series of cultural activities at the institute in tandem



Many many years ago, probably more than 35, some time in the early 80s, I remember a Kiwi woman coming into the fish and chip shop that my parents owned and operated. I happened to be there too, so it can't have been a schoolday. The woman was a customer, not a very regular one, but maybe she felt like some fish and chips that day. "Are you from Greece?' she asked us. Yes, I answered (the

Tinned tomatoes


I've been following the populist 'no more tinned tomatoes' debate that broke out just over a week ago in the New Zealand media, when a women's refuge worker demanded (not just requested) that food donations to the charity should not include tinned tomatoes. The 'Treatise on Tinned Tomatoes and Why They Are Like Books' did not get as much airtime as did the readers' vicious comments about the

The living dead


Looking after the dead is an important aspect of every modern society. Greeks bury their dearly departed in such a way that we can imagine them as sleeping in the earth, as if they are still with us, only that they are now silent and enjoying a peaceful life. This is one reason cremation has been hard to imagine for modern Greeks until very recent times. Cremation was actually very common in

Greek Urban Warriors: Resistance & Terrorism 1967-2014 by John Brady Kiesling


Ήμασταν ζωντανοί νεκροί         (We were the living dead) μας δίνανε μ’ ανταλλαγή           (they exchanged us for) τη μπόμπα την ατομική             (the nuclear bomb) Το Ισραήλ για να σωθεί             (To save Israel) ακόμα ο στόλος ναυλοχεί          (the fleet is still charging forth) γεμάτη πόρνες η ακτή               (the coast is full of prostitutes) κι αν φύγανε οι Γερμανοί          (so

Tsigariasto with chili


My husband's line of work in the taxi business usually involves mundane rides from A to B. During the summer, foreign clients make the rides more interesting. Yesterday, he came home late, after spending 7 hours with an Indian couple holidaying in Hania. Sometimes, such exotic customers give away a lot about their culture. Yesterdy was no exception. "The man and woman had been standing by the

As things stand today: An appraisal of Greek neo-immigration to the UK


When someone was typing, someone else was listening: "If only we could all find ourselves where we feel well, or feel well wherever we may find ourselves. There's no point trying to convince someone about what we are going through."  If you look into the reasons Greek people give for leaving Greece, you will often find that recent Greek immigrants speak of their country in a very

Sojourn in the Netherlands


Two weeks in the Netherlands*, my lucky break this year. "How come, Maria?" I was often asked, as if it isn't common to travel abroad for work purposes. The short version of the story goes something like this: It was being increasingly noticed by various people that I have special skills, which were deemed useful enough and good value for the money I would be paid, so that I could be borrowed

Filotimo (Φιλότιμο)


The BBC recently put up a discussion about a Greek word that can't be translated: φιλότιμο (fiLOtimo). The reason for this probably lies in the fact that Greeks can't quite themselves decide what it means: "It seems that not only does the word remain untranslatable, but even Greeks themselves have trouble agreeing on a single definition." As a linguist, I would say that there is a translation



"Walls are hot right now"  Banksy, wall artist, and creator of the newly opened Walled Out Hotel in Palestine The oldest walls delineating the limits of the town of Hania were built about 1500 years ago by the Romans who ruled in the East - those who conquered modern-day Istanbul (formerly Constantinople

If they could hear themselves speak


"What you expect woman? Yes, just this! What you expect? Everyone live like this. There has been a war. Houses bombed. I know plenty people live worse than this. What you want? ... There has been a war here. Everyone live like this." Small Island by Andrea Levy) The conversation that follows is based on a recent Associated Press article about the latest Greek pension cuts (see http://

People waiting


“Come on you. Let’s go you, people are waiting.”  Quote from "America America" by Elia Kazan Immigration is high on the agenda of the global world these days. Not all doors are open though; some doors are even having walls built over them so that they can never open. Βarriers to immigration have been coming up and down over the years, so Trump's (physical) wall and Brexit's (figurative) wall

Empty shops


One of the classic descriptions of the appearance of Greek cities today is the 'empty shops' syndrome, which stretches as far back as the beginning of the crisis: From the empty shops, to the half-full theatres, restaurants, concert halls and hotels, the signs are everywhere: economic crisis has come to Greece and it is biting hard.  (7 Feb 2010) The blame for the empty shops syndrome is, of

A non-EU Greece


My son making dakos in Budapest On the 60th anniversary of the founding of the EU, my family was reaping the benefits of being a member of the EU. My son was visiting Budapest on an ERASMUS high school exchange trip (all expenses paid); my daughter was briefing a German exchange student who will be staying with us (after my daughter had visited her in Germany - again all expenses paid); we

She, Daniela Blake


I spent a whole morning yesterday observing the goings on at my local ΙΚΑ (recently renamed ΕΟΠΠΥ, and even more recently, ΠΕΔΥ) branch, as I was waiting for my turn to update a health document.  The woman walked through the doors, holding a plastic supermarket carrier bag in one hand and a water bottle in the other. Her black tracksuit pants looked rather tight on her - perhaps she needed a



"Until then, there was just a low class of urban dwellers. In the 80s, the western world middle class culture was created, which is why the 80s were the 'womb' of the post-junta era, even though the dictatorship ended in 1974."  While in Athens last weekend, I visited the highly publicised GR80s exhibition (see: being held until

Hidden London


London is not the easiest introduction to a Cretan about the ways of the north. There are some things that you can understand better inter-generationally and (not 'or') with experience. Age helps, but cultural education starts very early. Even I make bloopers along the way, but the difference between me and my family is that I know how to correct myself. During our recent winter holiday in

Buying olive oil from a supermarket


This story goes back further - some useful pre-reading: Stolen heritage (Κλεμμένη κληρονομιά) Stains in the extra virgin olive oil industry (Λαδολαδιές) Degustation of extra virgin olive oil (Γευσιγνωσία του πρασίνου χρυσού)  http://

Askeletoura (Ασκελετούρα)


It's askeletoura time in Greece! In the same way, as the pomegranate, this bulbous plant is smashed jut before the new year on the ground before your front door, for good luck! Askeletetoura, Drimia maritima, is also known by the name of 'skilokromido', which literally means 'dog-onion'. This perennial plant grows up to 50-150cm when in flower, and has a very large bulb diameter of up to 18cm.

Hosafi (Χοσάφι)


Here's an article I wrote last year for The Greek Vegan's Nisteia magazine The Hellenic people, from which modern Greeks descend, were found throughout the ancient world, where they set up colonies due to their trading interests. The Hellenes settled in various regions east of modern-day Greece known as Asia Minor, areas which are now part of modern-day Turkey. But these places continue to



Just another day in the life of a Mediterranean cabbie. Last weekend, while I (ie my husband) was first at the Agious Apostolous taxi rank, I picked up a fare at Hrisi Akti, just a few metres away from the stand. Dusk was beginning to fall and there weren't many people at the beach. On seeing the taxi, the woman waved out to me. She sat in the back of the cab. I asked her where she was going

Cheats' Haniotiko Boureki


I ran into a couple of girlfriends in the supermarket the other day. By friends, I mean real friends, not the ad hoc kind we make on facebook. 'Ελα ντε that they are also on facebook and we are friends there too, which explains how they knew what I had been cooking recently. "What a great boureki you made!" said one girlfriend. "I wish I'd thought of making it like that!" said the other

People waiting!


All quotes and film excerpts come from "America America" (1963), by Elia Kazan, a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor. (Watch it here: America is having her day today. Following the rage, through the media that has overtaken the whole world concerning the US elections, I can't help feeling a little heartened



Starbucks - its not just about the coffee. This is my first time at Starbucks in Hania. Apart from Starbucks, the only other international branded food outlet we have is Dominos pizza. Perhaps this is the reason why I never tried Starbucks before: because I am a snob. I'm into my small and local and I shy away from the large and international. Besides, I've heard and read all the bad stories

Bargains galore


We recently decided that we need new sofas. Our old ones have been with us since we got married, and they have been through all the phases of of our children's childhood, which includes being peed on, vomited all over, and being used as a trampoline. I remember my son in particular, sprinting up to the sofa, crouching to do a little jump, turning his body in mid-air as he performed his