Welcome to my blog!
Those of you who know me know that I spend about half of every year in Greece, in a village of 300 souls, more or less, on the rugged and remote southeastern Peloponnese Peninsula. When in Greece, I spend much of my time exploring the region’s traditional foodways—first as a passion, but also (to my great fortune) as a vocation. As I talk with people here and watch them—baking bread, curing olives, making cheese—I am constantly learning. This blog is where I hope to share notes and impressions from my gleanings, along with recipes and photos. (On that note, the header photos you will see here were taken by my friend and colleague, the very talented Dimitris Maniatis. It’s my pleasure to share his work.)
Craggy, pine-clad mountains, fertile plains and 856 miles of coastline make up Greece’s Peloponnese Peninsula, a land that supports an exceptional culinary and agricultural diversity. From the olive groves that stretch from the sea’s edge to the gardens that fill every nook and cranny of each village, food is at the heart and soul of this place. For many here in the rural Peloponnese—and indeed throughout rural Greece—the seasons are still marked by what’s available to harvest or gather: walnuts, figs, and almonds in the fall, as well as grapes that are transformed by hand into wine; olives in December, yielding kilos of rich, green oil; wild greens to forage from mountain meadows throughout winter; and, all year long, bread from local wheat baked in wood-fired outdoor ovens, meat, milk, and cheese from the flocks of goats and sheep that roam the hillsides, and fish fresh from the sea.
Through this blog, I hope to tell the story of a region where everyday food profoundly connects people with the land, with the past, and with each other. Again, welcome and thanks for joining me on the journey!