Gifts From a Greek Island

Houmeli: a bee product made by boiling the honeycomb itself.

The great thing about being a foodie is other foodies. We’re a generous bunch but perhaps that’s because the intrinsic pleasure of food lies in sharing it. Fellow foodie Maria, who blogs under the name Organically Cooked, was visiting London last week and bought me a beautiful treasure trove of foodstuffs from her greek¬†island home of Hania in return for a small favour I did for her. I did tell she didn’t have to but I’m glad she did!

Here are photographs and descriptions of most of the items, there were for example, some lemons picked from the village trees but they didn’t make it into the photos. They somehow made their way into a couple of gin and tonics instead.¬†They were sweet and fresh – no comparison to a supermarket lemon!

Rock salt from Hania’s shore.

Walnuts from a mountain village on Hania.

Honey made by Maria’s cousin – how special is that?!

Tomato sauce made with homegrown tomatoes; summer in a jar!

Extra virgin olive oil and white grape vinegar (soon to be appearing on a salad near me very, very soon).

Oregano grown on the Cretan mountainside, dried and rubbed by hand.

Dried tea herbs from the Cretan highlands.

Rusks: a Cretan staple. Twice baked bread which you then drizzle with grated tomato, olive oil and soft goat’s cheese. These are new to me and I’m keen to try them.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Gifts From a Greek Island

  1. there are some pretty cool things you can do with these ingredients.
    i’m sure you will enjoy them

  2. my goodness – your photos make my food look even better than i thought it was!

  3. Fascinating… many things are really similar to the Pugliese diet in Italy (where Dad is from.) The honey, oils, wild oregano and other herbs, wild asparagus too, soon enough. Those breads are called Frizzele in Puglia, Dad always brings back a huge supply to keep him going. He soaks them with a little water first, then squeezes his tomatoes over them and then a final drizzle of my Aunt’s olive oil, salt, pepper and sometimes a pinch of oregano. Mmmmmm, hungry now. Thanks as always Jo, and thanks to Maria too. Fi Sciolti x

  4. Heather

    WOW! What amazing photographs! The colours are so luscious.

    Even the jaw-cracking rusks look good. I never developed a taste for those. Oven-fresh Greek bread is vastly superior and kinder on your dental work too.

  5. Actually, if you are interested there is a great book called ‘Honey from a Weed’ by Patience Gray. She died in 2005, but she lived in Tuscany, Catalonia, Naxos and, finally, Puglia. She loved going out into the countryside and gathering the abundance of wild food, and diarised many recipes too. Just been looking for my copy and I see the ghosties have disappeared it again!! (We have actually had many physical ‘experiences’ in this house, including a roman soldier!)… Anyhoo, it’s a wonderful book. Fi x

    • WOW! Really? Do you have the second sight? Does anyone else see them?
      Maria’s gift was really thoughtful and perfect for a food obsessive like me. Such a nice idea.
      jo x

      • No not really me, but the kids and my dad and other people have all had ‘interesting’ experiences. Things go missing all the time (a bottle of port for 6 months once and it turned up right under our nose), occasionally things get thrown across the room, eldest son has had his chair shoved, doors slam, cold spots in the house, footsteps, ‘people’ talking and keeping the kids awake… lol

  6. Lucky you to receive such a wide variety of tastes from Crete.

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