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!


18 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. The way you use words to enlighten is magic. I love to read anything you write but I have especially enjoyed learning about your part of Greece. Thank you for the tour of Peloponnese Peninsula. Tell me more.

  2. Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement! And thanks, Vassilis, for pointing out the broken link to Dimitris’ site. For some reason, even when I post it correctly (www.diemphoto.com), it goes to diem.com. Working to fix that and to learn the technical ropes of this form of communication!

  3. .warm greetings:) Had I not known “this area” I would have dropped everything, packed my bags,
    with my husband, and come asap forever or as long as possible! your words are captivating, inspiring a vision of the earthy & stunning beauty of the Peloponnese as well as the taste buds upon my palate. We drove the coastline to the southern point then returned via the inland route, amidst moments of barely being able to speak, for the wonder before our eyes, with our daughter Demetra Lambros, who has lovingly introduced us to your beautiful offering. O Theos mazi sou.
    Warm regards, Dorothea & George

    • Dear Mr. and Mrs. Lambros, I’m so honored by your words and the fact that you took time to read my blog. Although I’ve not actually met Demetra yet, we’ve become friends of sort through Facebook. I can tell she’s a delightful and extraordinary person and I so look forward to actually meeting her someday. And you too! I visit Missoula at least a couple of times a year and would love to look you up next time I do.

      With warmest wishes and much gratitude,

  4. Delighted by your blog! Your descriptions of the village life are captivating and from my personal recollection, very accurate. I lived in a valley village opposite, the west side of Peloponnese, until the age of 15 before coming to the States. My mother “raised” her family of seven before and during the war, handling my grandfathers sheep and small farm in a nearby mountain and was very basic, practical in using all of the fruits, greens and bi-products of nature in feeding us. My grandmother and I would pick up wild greens, vegetables and fruits from nature and my mother would transform them into memorable dishes. Remembering her “home made” recipes and comparing them to those written in your blog fill me with emotions. I lived that way in my early years. It is my childhood food consuming experiences that you are describing. Thank you. I shall be a “regular” visitor to your site from this point forward. My best…Costas

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