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Greek foods--lemons, lamb, & longevity

Greek foods can promote the feeling of well-being and friendship for everyone at the table. Diners get to enjoy traditional aromas and tastes as they sample regional produce, seasonal vegetables and fruits, olive oil, cheeses, fish, and meat. Be sure to save room for dessert: baklava is a treat to be savored.

How to roast a lamb : new Greek classic cooking
Michael Psilakis ; with Brigit Binns, Ellen Shapiro ; foreword by Barbara Kafka ; photography Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton.
New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2009.
A rising star in the food world, Michael Psilakis is co-owner of a growing empire of modern Mediterranean restaurants, and one of the most exciting young chefs in America today. In How to Roast a Lamb, the self-taught chef offers recipes from his restaurants and his home in this, his much-anticipated first cookbook. Ten chapters provide colorful and heartfelt personal essays that lead into thematically related recipes. Gorgeous color photography accompanies many of the recipes throughout. Psilakis's cooking utilizes the fresh, naturally healthful ingredients of the Mediterranean augmented by techniques that define New American cuisine. Home cooks who have gravitated toward Italian cookbooks for the simple, user-friendly dishes, satisfying flavors, and comfortable, family-oriented meals, will welcome Psilakis's approach to Greek food, which is similarly healthful, affordable, and satisfying to share any night of the week. 
     
Falling cloudberries : a world of family recipes
Tessa Kiros ; photography by Manos Chatzikonstantis ; styling by Michail Touros ; art direction by Lisa Greenberg.
Kansas City, MO : Andrews McNeel, 2009.
  1. "Gourmet Cook Book Club selection" -- Dust jacket.
  2. Originally published: London : Murdoch Books, 2004.
  3. Includes index.
     
The illustrated food and cooking of Greece
Rena Salaman and Jan Cutler.
London : Lorenz, 2009.
This book is all about translating and recreating the evocative tastes, textures and traditions of Greek food easily in your own kitchen. The introductory section of the book opens with a history of Greek cuisine and its regional influences, and then gives details on how to choose the best ingredients and prepare these foods in the traditional method. The recipe section offers more than 160 authentic dishes, both classic and modern - mezes, soups, main courses, vegetable dishes and desserts. Every recipe is tested for the modern kitchen and uses ingredients that can now be found commonly in the local supermarket.
     
Regional Greek cooking
Dean & Catherine Karayanis.
New York, N.Y. : Hippocrene Books, c2008.
Regional Greek Cooking is a Greek family cookbook with unique flavors and home kitchen recipes. This book showcases dishes from the key regions of mainland Greece as well as the islands and introduces readers to little-known spices and ingredients--providing ways to track them down. Of particular interest is a section on micro-brewed beers, regional wines, and different ouzos. Also included is an overview of the Hellenic, detailing the culinary history and culture of provincial and mainland Greece.
     
The real Greek at home : dishes from the heart of the Greek kitchen
Theodore Kyriakou and Charles Campion ; photographs by Jason Lowe.
London : Mitchell Beazley, 2008.
  1. Originally published: 2004.
  2. Includes index.
     
Greece : Mediterranean cuisine
[Fabien Bellahsen and Daniel Rouche; translated by Marilyn Myerscough; edited by Lin Thomas].
Germany : Könemann, 2006.
  1. Originally published as Délices de Grèce.
  2. Statements of responsibility taken from p. [192].
  3. Translated from French by Marilyn Myerscough for First Edition Translations Ltd.
     

In a traditional Greek meal, there is no first course served. Instead, the main course is offered immediately after "mezedes" or appetizers.

The main course could include fish or meat. Fresh fish or shellfish caught in the seas that surround the country are main ingredients in mouthwatering dishes served at home or the local waterfront restaurants. Meat lovers are not forgotten with succulant lamb recipes passed down from generation to generation.

The fruit from the lemon trees grown in Greece add fragrance and flavor to many dishes. Both meat and vegetable dishes become table pleasers when topped with avgolemona, the golden lemon sauce.

Seasonal fruits are also served as desserts, along with a huge variety of pastries (including baklava, probably the most famous pastry) or sweetmeats. Of course, strong Greek coffee completes the evening.

Olive trees flourish providing many varieties of olives and olive oils. Olive oil is basic to every Greek’s life and identity. For Greeks olive oil is not just used in cooking, it is tied to every ritual that marks crucial events throughout life.

Local people will claim that their olives have a distinct flavor that makes them better than another. Olives are picked in the autumn and packed in either fresh brine, brine and vinegar, or olive oil and vinegar for storage.

Greek Myth

Poseidon and Athena were in a contest to see which of them could offer the Greeks the most useful gift. The prize was that a newly built city, Attica, would be named after them. Poseidon created the horse. Athena created the olive tree. The city became known as Athens.

Olive tree myths

It is said that Greek men and women, particulary those from the Greek island of Crete lived past the age of one hundred due to a diet rich in olive oil, fish, greens and grains. Research continues to see if this type of diet helps increase life expectancy and lessen the onset of heart diseases. But in the meantime, a Greek feast promises a celebration of family and friends gathered around a table filled with fresh ingredients and tasty flavors.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff