Talking Location With.. author Felicia Nay – HONG KONG
A book, a meal and a place – ITHAKA, GREECE
10th July 2020
A book, a meal and and a place – Ithaka, Greece.
Here at TripFiction we love to bring you books with a strong sense of place, to help you see a destination through an author’s eyes. Well, we also love to tell you about food around the world and – thanks to the gastro genre in our bulging database – it’s easy to match a book with a place and its food.
Next up in this mouthwatering new series….ITHAKA in GREECE.
THE BOOK – Afternoons in Ithaka by Spiri Tsintziras
A charming memoir of self-discovery, family, connection and the power of a tomato.
‘I remember crusty just-baked bread, rubbed with juicy tomato flesh, swimming in a puddle of thick green olive oil. I am seven years old. I sit on a stool in my grandmother’s house. It is the height of summer in a seaside village in the south of Greece. We little Aussies devour ‘tomato sandwiches’ as the family chats and laughs and swats flies …’ From the first heady taste of tomatoes on home-baked bread in her mother’s village in Petalidi, to sitting at a taverna some 30 years later in Ithaka with her young family, Spiri Tsintziras goes on a culinary, creative and spiritual journey that propels her back and forth between Europe and Australia.
These evocative, funny and poignant stories explore how food and culture, language and music, and people and their stories help to create a sense of meaning and identity.
There are plenty of generic Greek dishes to be found on this magical Ionian island, but traditional Ithakan recipes are a little harder to come by. Local people are reluctant to part with their recipes….or perhaps it’s just because many are not written down, but practiced and evolved over time.
A long time.
Recipes are passed down through the generations, but let’s see if we can’t bring you an authentic peek inside Ithacan cooking.
THE DISH – Savoro
I kg white fish, 1/2 gls vinegar or to taste, 4-5 cloves of garlic sliced , 1 tbsp rosemary 250 grams black raisins, 1/2 cup oil for frying.
Clean and scale the fish, salt and leave for 1 hour. Dust fish with flour and fry till cooked. In clean oil, Stir-fry the sliced garlic, then add the vinegar and raisins, bring to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Place the fish in a tray and cover with the above mixture. (This dish can be kept for weeks, as the vinegar marinade works as a preservative. Turn the fish around often so the marinade can cover all sides.) In other areas of Greece, tomato paste may replace the raisins.
THE PLACE – Ithaka (also known as Ithaca or Ithaki)
Ithaca, Ithaki or Ithaka is a Greek island located in the Ionian Sea, off the northeast coast of Kefalonia and to the west of continental Greece. Ithaca’s main island has an area of 96 square kilometres and had a population in 2011 of 3,231. It is the second-smallest of seven main Ionian Islands, after Paxi
We hope that has whetted your literary and foodie appetites, and transported you to fascinating Ithaka in Greece. Where would like us to take you next for a book and a meal….? Let us know in the comments below!
Andrew for the TripFiction team
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