Propyra (pronounced propýra) is an ancient Greek flatbread. Its name denotes a brick oven cooking technique: propyra was baked near to the oven’s door and far from the fire. Propyra’s ancient Greek recipe has stood the test of time; Greeks today call it Spetsiotic propyra, as the local islanders of the idyllic Greek island of Spetses continue to bake this flatbread everyday even to this day! Propyra is a wholemeal flatbread generously coated with sesame seeds, sea salt flakes, and freshly ground black pepper. Traditionally, propyra is eaten with almost every meal just like bread. Are you more of a flatbread than a baguette? No matter which type you may prefer, bread is one of our food staples.
Hermes Chthonius is a god associated with the earth and underworld. For Greeks, the gate to spring has been the Athenian festival of Anthesteria that was held for three days in the month of Anthesterion (February-March). Anthesteria is the ritual rite of the journey from winter to spring, from death to life. During the third day of the festival, the Greeks made panspermia. Panspermia is a multi-grain soup, which was offered to Hermes Chthonius and the dead. Packed with whole grains (whole grain helps lower cholesterol) this hearty dish is a nutrition powerhouse!
A perfect way to explore the gastronomical wonders of the fall season is to make fig preserves; fresh figs are abundant in the summer and fall. Vanilla fig preserves with its autumnal red colour, delicate vanilla aroma, and unique taste is a gourmet delight. Give the gift to homemade vanilla fig preserves to family and friends! This recipe is not only a tried and tested one but also it is very simple and easy.
Bound by the Ancient Greek cultural law of hospitality, known as Xenia, Greeks show generosity to strangers and guests up to this day! Offering guests spoon sweets accompanied by Greek coffee and cold water is the ultimate Greek gesture of hospitality. In my recipe, I have used the traditional method for making strawberry spoon sweet. It is not too surprising to find a sense of nostalgia in its unforgettable aroma of strawberries, its ruby colour attraction, its true taste of spring. This recipe is a treasure trove of history, culture, and gastronomy.
Sophia’s hibiscus jello is a delicious light way to finish a romantic meal. Sophia’s hibiscus jello made with hibiscus syrup captures the sweet and tart flavour, the floral and fruity bouquet, and the ruby red colour — the colour of sexual attraction — of the exotic hibiscus blooms. My recipe is very easy and quick, and yet Sophia’s hibiscus jello is a majestic Valentine’s Day dessert; hibiscus is considered an aphrodisiac herb that boosts libido. My hibiscus jello recipe does not contain gelatin or artificial food colours. Sophia’s hibiscus jello is vegan, gluten-free, and alcohol-free.
Hibiscus syrup captures the sweet and tart flavour, the floral and fruity bouquet, and the ruby red colour — the colour of sexual attraction — of the exotic hibiscus blooms. It is an elegant mixology syrup with outstanding flavour, and a versatile sweetener.
The Greek New Year’s Eve lucky cake is called Vasilopita. The cake contains a hidden gold or silver coin which is slipped into the dough before baking. The person who is fortunate enough to receive the slice containing the coin is believed to attract good luck throughout the year. The most enthralling element of the Greek custom of Vasilopita for the New Year is that this amaranthine recipe has endured for centuries in Greece. Family and friends join in the cutting of the Vasilopita in early January every year.
As Halloween comes closer, let’s honour the chthonic goddess of the underworld, Hecate. Hecate is a dark goddess in ancient Greek religion and mythology. Hecate’s Black Tart is perfect for a witch’s feast and a Halloween party! Hecate’s Black Tart with its rich and sweet pumpkin-chocolate filling and its soft-chewy molasses crust is vegan and sugar-free!
Demeter was the goddess who taught humanity the art of making bread. After fasting, in commemoration of Demeter’s fasting while searching for her abducted by Pluto daughter, Persephone, the participants of the Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries ate pelanos, a wheat and barley bread. Succumb to the magnetism of the secret rites and feel the magic of turning water and flour into divine food.