On Friday, November 19, I will recreate a flavor of what rich and fashionable Hellenistic Greek society might have eaten.
The menu includes, among others:
~ Myma, a luxurious spicy dish made with chopped meat of chicken or sacrificial animal, liver, offals, blood and flavoured by melted cheese and 12 kinds of herbs and spices.
~Roasted suckling pig stuffed with hen breasts, thrushes and eggs.
~Bulgur cooked in a well sealed clay pot.
~ A dish of wild greens and cultivated vegetables.
~Voletinos bread, milled with ancient variety of wheat and baked in a sort of “clivanos” (ancient Greek portable domed clay oven); flatbread and a soft bread said to be typical of Cappadocia.
~Plakous, a cake made with fine flour, home made goat cheese and honey.
~ Gastris: a Cretan specialty made of various toasted nuts and seeds mixed with honey.
Evmaros Cultural Associaton~ 26, Fokidos st., 11526 Athens
Feeling jealous of Ken Albala’s
olives, I would like to present you these beauties.
No 1 olives, are preserved in bitter orange juice. Picked in October, they have not yet lost their bitterness, however their taste is perfect for me; a little crunch, bitter – sweet and devinely flavored by the bitter orange.
No 2: large, black, fully ripe olives (throumpes ). They were cured in coarse sea salt (400 gr of salt for 1 kg freshly harvested olives) for 20 days. Now they are almost ready for eating, however I am going to wash, drain and cover them with a mixture of lemon juice, orange juice, vinegar and olive oil, in equal proportions. A small branch of fresh rosemary and some orange peel will add extra flavor.
No 3 olives, are prepared according to a recipe given by Florentinus, a writer of the early 3rd century aD, (preserved in the Geoponica of Cassianus Vassus, 8. 29). I used 2 k. medium, firm, fleshy black olives. After washing and draining, I placed them in a large bowl. Then I added 240 gr salt and 200 gr olive oil and I gave a kind stir. I pushed the olives into jars and covered them with oxymeli. Branches of wild fennel and a heavy circle – shaped plate held them below the oxymeli surface. Extraordinary taste.
For oxymeli, I mixed 1 part wine vinegar, 2 parts honey (I used Strawberry tree ‘bitter’ honey) and four parts water. I brought to boil and simmered to reduce to 1/3 of it. Depending on preference, more vinegar can be added to the mixture. (Orivasius IV, 144)