The Olive and the Caper: Adventures in Greek Cooking

The Olive and the Caper: Adventures in Greek Cooking

Susanna Hoffman

Language: English

Pages: 608

ISBN: 1563058480

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This is the year "It's Greek to me" becomes the happy answer to what's for dinner. My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the upcoming epic Troy, the 2004 Summer Olympics returning to Athens--and now, yet another reason to embrace all things Greek: The Olive and the Caper, Susanna Hoffman's 700-plus-page serendipity of recipes and adventure.

In Corfu, Ms. Hoffman and a taverna owner cook shrimp fresh from the trap--and for us she offers the boldly-flavored Shrimp with Fennel, Green Olives, Red Onion, and White Wine. She gathers wild greens and herbs with neighbors, inspiring Big Beans with Thyme and Parsley, and Field Greens and Ouzo Pie. She learns the secret to chewy country bread from the baker on Santorini and translates it for American kitchens. Including 325 recipes developed in collaboration with Victoria Wise (her co-author on The Well-Filled Tortilla Cookbook, with over 258,000 copies in print), The Olive and the Caper celebrates all things Greek: Chicken Neo-Avgolemeno. Fall-off-the-bone Lamb Shanks seasoned with garlic, thyme, cinnamon and coriander. Siren-like sweets, from world-renowned Baklava to uniquely Greek preserves: Rose Petal, Cherry and Grappa, Apricot and Metaxa.

In addition, it opens with a sixteen-page full-color section and has dozens of lively essays throughout the book--about the origins of Greek food, about village life, history, language, customs--making this a lively adventure in reading as well as cooking.

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appetizers in the “first course” sense. Rather mezedes are counterpoints taken with drinks in late afternoon, at galas, or in a café’s late-night afterglow. As drink companions, they are meant to mitigate the effects of alcohol, satisfy any stirring hunger, and hold the social verve in bounds. Gatherings feature whole tableaus of mezedes ranging from flaky filo pies to pickled onions. At home, hosts offer little things, each different, for each drink. In tavernas, where conversation becomes more

ingredient. Without an upright grill, it’s hard to duplicate gyros, but my version is on page 391. In Greece the ground meat grills are not called gyro. They are called souvlaki, just like the skewered sticks of meat. The name gyro comes from the “gyrating” grill. With sprigs of fresh leaves for goat fodder, a man riding sidesaddle—typically—on his donkey goes home with goats following. Hardly any cooking method is more Greek than roasting a whole animal on a spit. Tavernas by the seaside

Witnesses, and in particular, Seventh-Day Adventists, most of whom live in the Peloponnesos. Most of these groups are small but long-standing, and to all outward appearance, they live and eat as their Orthodox neighbors. A number of their concepts, such as nonviolence and non-participation in the military draft of young men—have given Greece food for thought. In addition, a number of Greeks belong to the Anglican Church, mostly in former British areas, such as Corfu, and in Athens. In areas that

Sweet, soft Naxos is the most fertile of the islands, lush with lemon orchards, fig and peach trees, melons, grapevines, wildflowers, garden crops, and herds of sheep. The Arabs and others after them sailed to all the islands, bringing Greece’s new boon: lemon trees. Now the scent of the blossoms wafts the aroma throughout the Cyclades. The people gather the fruit from early spring into the summer. They splash the juice on fish caught from the surrounding waters. They grate the rind into

others. Some, like Mitilini, are arid; others, like Samos, are thickly forested with pine and cypress. For a time Genoa held some of the islands and on them built castles, such as the lofty one in Molyvos on Mitilini. Eventually the nearby Turks conquered the northern islands. Yet throughout their history, many of their particular foods never changed. With their northern coolness, the islands feature beets along with wild bulbs in their vegetable compotes. Cheese pies are fried, stuffed fowl is

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