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Gourmet Greece

» Greek Cheese @ Italian Fair

Greek Cheese(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The rich variety of Greek cheese is going to feature in the 2009 edition of “Cheese – milk in all its shapes and forms,” a biennial event organised by Slow Food and the city of Bra in the Italian province of Piemonte on September 18-21.  The festival has become an international reference point for dairy artisans and cheese enthusiasts from around the world. Over its 12-year history, the cheese fair has changed consumers’ perception of the world of cheese, as a vital part of the event is education.  Through direct contact with producers and their products visitors can learn how to recognise cheeses, evaluate their merits, and discover their special characteristics and qualities.  In this year’s “Taste Workshop” section, visitors may learn about sheep’s milk cheeses from Greece such as kefalotyri, kasseri – a semi-hard cheese made from sheep and goat milk- manouri – a creamy, buttery mild white cheesemade from a mixture of whey and whole sheep’s milk.  The “Master of Food” section is a course intended to help consumers differentiate between different cheeses they can find in supermarkets. Cretan feta cheese along with Sicilian provolone is the subject of a two-day course.   AthensPlus (24.7.09): Greece set to star in Italian cheese festival [p. 33]  AthensPlus (24.7.09): Greece set to star in Italian cheese festival [p. 33]

» Herbs & Aromatic Plants

HerbsDid you know that rosemary was used in ancient times to improve memory and marjoram was used in ancient Egypt to relieve migraines and nervousness?  Since antiquity, Greeks have been using herbs and aromatic plants for their healing properties as well as their nutritional value.  Legend has it that Mt. Olympus, where the Greek gods lived, was covered with a canopy of flowers and herbs that were of service to the gods, as well as to mortals.  Dittany (“dictamo” in Greek) is Crete’s most famous endemic herb and is considered one of the most wondrous of healing herbs. As an infusion, it eases headache, neuralgia, and stomach problems and relieves spasms.  Oregano, usually associated with the Mediterranean diet can also be used to relieve stomach pain and coughs. Thyme flowers have antiseptic properties and are used as a tonic for the immune system, while chamomile flowers have been used for centuries for relieving all forms of peptic discomfort and a wide range of other disorders.   AthensPlus (24.7.09): Healing properties of the Greek countryside’s plentiful herbs [p. 14]

» Dining @ the Foot of the Acropolis

akropolisrestaurant2Dining‘Breathtaking Athens’  (www.breathtakingathens.com),  the city of Athens official visitor’s website reports on the gastronomy delights one can rejoice at the heart of Athens:   “During the last decade, the Athenian cuisine has experienced a gourmet revolution.  The Athenian landscape of 19th century neoclassical buildings, ancient sites, artsy industrial and Mediterranean coastal milieus have created a canvas for alluring interiors and exteriors. Rooftop bar – restaurants in Athens can compete with some of the world’s most renowned ones…”  Greek Mediterranean Gastronomy – Kerasma: Athens on a plate


Gourmet Greece: Say Greek Cheese!

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Greek cheeses are among the finest in the world, and many varieties have been accorded protection under the European Union’s Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) provisions. Feta is arguably the best-known Greek cheese abroad. However, there is a great variety of cheeses, produced in Greece, varying from soft, white and sometimes creamy, to hard and yellow and from salty and sour to sweet and mild. The different kinds of cheese presented below are of Protected Denomination of Origin. History of Greek Food: Cheese; The Greek Cheese Page: www.greece.org  

» Soft, Sour and Refreshing

Greek Feta production abides by very specific rules. It is made predominantly with sheep’s milk, although a small percentage of goat’s milk can be added. It is produced only in specific regions: Macedonia, Thrace, Thessaly, Central Mainland Greece, the Peloponnese, and Lesvos. Kalathaki of Lemnos is similar in texture and taste to feta. It is manufactured from ewe’s milk or mixtures with small quantities of goat’s milk, exclusively on Lemnos island. It has soft texture and slightly sour taste. It is consumed mainly as table cheese, in Greek salad. Katiki Domokou, produced exclusively in the Domokos area, as well as Galotiri, produced in the regions of Epirus and Thessaly are soft cheeses, white in colour and creamy in texture. They both have a sourish and very pleasant refreshing taste. Continue reading