I’ve was thrilled to find out via twitter about Jamie Oliver doing Greece. What dishes would he make and more importantly how would he make them, was really what made me search online and find the link showing the programme for us who have no TV sets!
A shame he went to Athens though when there are so many better options to go for great Greek food, but what I found as I was tweeting along as I was watching his culinary adventures in the Greek capital was that Jamie and I share one thing, the love for Greece and Greek food.
But it’s always more interesting to see a non-Greek person’s take on Greek food and have them have a go at it, what do they do to the ingredients and the traditional recipes?
So here is what I found and commented on my twitter www.twitter.com/Greekfoodlover
Funnily enough Jamie Oliver’s programme starts with a gypsy song I’ve played many times on my DJ nights in London… maybe Jamie has been incognito and watched me DJ?! It’s by Shantel, German DJ and musician whose immense love for Eastern European and Greek music outgrew his electronic music and DJing as a young man. Here is the tune on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKT9rpcXeX4
The song’s called Mahalageasca!
But back to why I was watching Jamie, the Greek food of course.
And most dishes he prepared and cooked we have actually made in the Greek Cookery Class that I run each month in London. The roasted peppers, kebabs, souvlakia and tzatziki, check check and check again. But hang on a second, wild mint in the tzatziki? And vinegar? Oh dear, and OH NO!
Wild mint, this is what we drink at home when we say mint tea! Way to go Jamie for finding this ingredient, but we don’t use mint in tzatziki! But the killer was seeing vinegar in tzatziki. However, we have a great saying in Greek, peri orexeos, kolokythopita! It means you make your pumpkin pie in any way your appetite and feeling wants you to! So no right way, no wrong way!
I loved how he spoke a little bit about history and all this talk about the Acropolis from Jamie… will he mention the ElginMarbles? No way, too touchy a subject of course and the Queen might not let him back into the country afterwards. Nevertheless, he did mention that the barbeque used for the yummy pork souvlakia (=skewers) was more ancient than the Acropolis.
Jamie moved on to making a pistachio and honey cake which he was stabbing to get the syrup through and into interesting but probably not the most aesthetic thing to do. There are ways to get the syrup into a sponge, but Jamie chose to stab his way through and served the cake with a dollop of yoghurt and strawberries. This is probably what I find as an English translation of a dish, but works probably fairly well. Adding yoghurt instead of cream is definitely a healthier option and the yoghurt will take the edge off the sweet sensation of the rich honey flavours and make it milder.
And speaking of yoghurt, Jamie Oliver did say loud and clear that the best yoghurt in the world is Greek Yoghurt!
And even if I don’t put any dill in the Greek Salad like Jamie did in his version of it, he gets some Greek Yoghurt points for using oregano and a whole block of feta cheese on there! And it was fantastic seeing him dance hasaposerviko, even though he later said the dancing of Essex is far superior, very funny moves but really! Kudos for doing it on national tv.
Fishsoup made by seawater, potatoes, fish and tomatoes was an eye-opener as I’ve never seen seawater being an ingredient in a dish. Well done Jamie Oliver for portraying a culinary trip to Greece and showcasing some of the foods you get in Greece along with talking about some of the extra fine ingredients Greece is well known for.
If you’re keen to cook more Greek food in London, follow and join my fan group on www.facebook.com/GreekCookery
and if you’re lazy and don’t feel like cooking but want to have some of the best Greek home-cooked food available in London, sign up for my Greekfoodlovers’ Supper Club on Saturday 5 June 2010, 6:30-10pm. For £35 you’ll get meze for starters with dolma, tzatziki, home-baked bread and meatballs, the yummiest moussaka you’ve ever had with a fresh and delicious Greek Salad and finally if you’ve got room, a selection of Greek desserts. All foods are prepared by me with recipes going back to my grandmothers! Book your slot via email on greekcookeryclass(at)gmail.com
Hoping to see you on the 5 June! Your chef and hostess Elisavet who’s been featured on Foodepedia, Red Magazine and has been selected amongst hundreds of applicants to take part at ITV’s Britain’s Best Dish competition and qualified with a Greek Dish, is looking forward to showcasing some of the best Greek dishes you’d ever set your taste buds in!