Saturday, February 4, 2012

Best of The Daily Feta

Lift the veil on what Greek men are actually thinking. Listen to my interactions with Greek taxi drivers.

Only in Greece: A trip to the male-only mountain, Mt. Athos, the holiest site in Greece.

Reviews of books about Greece: Zorba,  The MagusMediterranean WinterThe Colossus of Maroussi

Visting Greece? Check out my guide to Athens or my top five romantic spots

Do your research on popular destinations Meteora and Delphi

Adventures in the Balkans: Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Sarajevo

Learning Greek? Here are some thoughts about the linguistic structure of Greek and learning languages.

Just want mouth-watering pictures and descriptions of Greek food? Click here, here, or here

Monday, July 26, 2010

What I'll Miss

Well, it's all over now. I'm back stateside and already working to adjust to life outside Greece. This is the end of any sort of regular posting here at The Daily Feta, although I might post once in a while if I get inspired.

As a final post, let me share with you the Top Five Things I'll Miss About Greece.

1) The food - This is kind of a given, right? I'm already pining for the laiki and the freshest, in-season produce I'd seen in my life. It's killing me knowing that pomegranate and fig season is right around the corner and I'm not going to be there for it. If you're in Greece, please eat double portions for me. I'd also accept shipments of Greek salad and gyros.

2) How no one is a stranger - Even at the end, I was still always struck by how all Greeks seemed to know each other. That's not true of course, but people definitely don't have the same idea of "stranger" as we do in America. Once I went to the beach with my friend Giorgos and we wanted to play backgammon. We hadn't brought a board and he just turned and asked the people next to him. They didn't have one either but they asked the next group over and five seconds later we had our board. I was amazed.

3) All the hand and facial gestures - There were so many days in Greece when I just sat back and watched all the incredible faces people were making and how much they were using their hands to talk. Approximately 95% was obscene, of course, but that didn't make it any less impressive.

4) The light and the water- I don't think either light or water ever gets any purer than they are in Greece. The light back home definitely feels domestic compared to the wild, feral, bright white light of Greece.

5) The people- Of course, what I'll miss the most are the people I'm leaving behind. I have some great friends and colleagues in Greece. I'm sure I'll be back to visit them many times in the future. But there's also all the random acts of hospitality, kindness and humor that I experienced everyday from Greeks. I'll miss that too.

More Photos from the Mastikahoria

More photos from the mastic villages


Mastiha



As Lawrence Durrell said in the earlier post, the big deal on Chios are these trees (more like bushes, really). Collecting the sap which is then turned into the chewing gum is a painstaking process. It involves repeatedly scoring the bark with a thin blade so that it "cries tears of mastic" which are then harvested.

The flavor of mastiha is so totally unique that it's very difficult to describe. For me the words that come to mind are "refreshing," "almost minty," or "spicy pine." You really just have to try it for yourself. 

Speaking of which, there are plenty of different ways for you to try mastiha on Chios. I made it my goal to taste as many as possible. I had ice cream, liquor, sugared gum, straight sap and even a mastiha cream sauce on top of chicken and rice. I loved them all.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Photos of Chios

Walking around Homer's birthplace, Kardamila.
Cherry tomatoes drying in a mastic village
A beach that we slept on one night
Another mastic village that's basically one enormous castle

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