Greek food is simple, honest and unfussy. It has a healthy indifference to fashion and trends but a supreme ability to promote feelings of well-being and conviviality. Even the most sophisticated world-traveled Greek approaches a village table laden with foods such as wild greens, spit-roasted lamb, and sweet cheese pies with relish and enthusiasm. Dining in Greece is an activity that stimulates all the senses; the food is colorful, pungent and fragrant, perfumed by the wonderful heady fragrances of fresh herbs and spices, and it is consumed with great gusto. Whether the meal is eaten at home or in a harbor-side taverna it is always accompanied by animated conversation and spirited appreciation of the food.
In Flavors of Greece Rosemary Barron invites us to share these communal pleasures and to accompany her on her exploration of the Greek kitchen via the markets, full of shapes, colors and textures which excite the senses—glossy vegetables and lush juicy fruits, plump nuts, sacks of dried beans and pulses, sea-fresh fish, crumbly white cheeses and barrels of glistening black olives.
You will find no haute cuisine in this book but much fine food. There are over 250 recipes; many are simple, based on good, fresh ingredients; many are highly flavored and aromatic; all taste even better when shared with friends. Here are regional and national specialties: mezes, little appetizers and dishes that in combination so often become a meal in themselves; fried cheeses, salted almonds, creamy tarama, capers, cucumber and yogurt; delicate lemon and egg broths, hearty winter bean soups; grilled meats and fish, casseroles, stuffed vegetables and pilafs, infused with the flavors of oregano, rosemary, cumin, garlic and cinnamon, nuts and raisins.
The best way to appreciate the informal, seasonal food Greek cooking provides, is to try it for yourself, and in Rosemary Barron and her delightful collection of recipes there is no better guide.