It is a well known fact about me that Greek is my favourite cuisine. I get childishly excited about the fragrant herbs combined with crumbly salty feta, roast meats and seafood, seafood, seafood. Sheffield is fortunate enough to have The Greedy Greek, the fantastic Greek deli on Sharrow Vale Road. Yes, it is possible to eat authentic Greek food in good old Yorkshire. I eat at ‘the Greek’ quite often, but I tend to go for the same thing (stuffed aubergine or stifado), so my one ambition for the holiday was to go for something different and eat my weight in seafood. I thought there was sound logic behind my plan – surely seafood will be the cheapest thing to get on the islands. Actually this could not be further from the truth: Greeks used to use dynamite for fishing until the 1950s, depleting their natural resources heavily. This makes me very sad – not only does it scupper my plans for fishy feasts, but it will also take decades for their fish stock to recover – if it ever does.
And so I hardly ever strayed from the familiar territory – but boy was it good! Here are a few (mainly) food themed snaps from my holiday in Corfu.
A beautiful butcher’s in Corfu town. Check the sheep heads.
Kumquats are an import from China. Corfu is the only place they have taken to of all the Greek Isles, and, the islanders use them to make delicious liquour, as well as jam and candied fruit, which is eaten whole.
Corfu is major producer and exporter of olives. I bought some…
… and I bought some of these lovely spice mixes, made at home by the owner of this lovely shop. She also makes olive marmelade. At first I thought this was a mistranslation of tapenade, but really it was sweet olive jam – and quite good. Shame I am not a jam lover.
Greek basil is subtler, sweeter than its Italian counterpart. Thyme is super popular in Greece, as is oregano, fresh bay, citronella (is that the word?), mint and rosemary.
Taverna decor… I love bikes, I’m sold.
An olive tree, old as old things.
Lovely deep fried calamari. Chips, apparently, have to come with everything.
Moussaka always comes in these pretty stoneware dishes.
Stuffed peppers in a vegetarian incarnation. These were stuffed with a rice and tomato mixture, but I have eaten peppers stuffed with a rice and minced lamb. These are as versatile as is gets.
And, finally, lunchtime treats: a chicken gyros wrap with a bottle of ice cold beer. I want an Alfa!