Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cool Stuffs Smuggled from the Motherland, Greece

Someone, i.e my favorite Greek Canadian food blogger, asked what else I smuggled back from the patrida, motherland after whipping up some honey tahini swirl bread from one of the goodies my Aunt Mary sent me. During my last trip I scoured the streets and grocery stores to bring back all the products that don't exist in Los Angeles. I held my breath 3 days waiting for my bags that got lost somewhere in Heathrow Airport to arrive in Southern California. I held my breath unzipping the bag I knew damn well had 3 bottles of olive oil, a bottle of wine and 2 "Athenian" vintage dresses my Aunt Mary gifted to me during my stay. The thing weighed a ton.

And then. The top layer was wet.

I pressed my face into my wet belongings sniffing for olive oil, wine, etc. Nothing. It was just the airport rain perhaps. I celebrated the successful shipment with a glamorous photo shoot, poolside.

Mastiha Liquor  from the Mastiha Shop
Mastiha is the magical gum mastic product from the island of Chios.
No, not weapons of mass destruction. The mahlep is used to flavor tsoureki and the like and Greek style vanilla is just James Bond.
Another dicey one: Mastiha Crystals which I hope to use making some of KaliOrexi's toally awesome recipes.
Quince preserves from our local sweet shop. In Greece I eat this every morning with graviera cheese and sesame crusted bread. And copious amounts of decaf coffee my Aunt Mary tricks me into drinking on the notion that it's real stuff.
Greek honey for my dad. He is half Greek bear half monkey. That's why I have long arms and like sweet things.
Pasteli: the original ancient Greek granola bar. Made with just sesame seeds, honey and maybe a few almonds. I've been living off these now that I'm fasting from animal products for lent.
Greek Chocolate bar with Mastiha.
More Greek Chocolate: Sesame style.
Fancy, natural and kinda expensive fava

Traditional Greek tea with saffron and honey. Sooooo goood!!!!!!!!!!
Chestnut marmalade from the mountain village of Dimitsana.
Two grocery store olive oils and one from my friend's family in Mytilini.
Greek Cabernet Sauvignon. This one is experimental.
 Perhaps the biggest brow raiser of the loot: Tsai tou Vonou also known as Mountain Tea. Because it cures everything and always makes you feel better. If I'm feeling extra sick, Aunt Mary adds a shot of whiskey to my tea. 
 So there you have it: the Grecian goodies that unlike fage yogurt, cannot be found at your local grocery store.
Olive oil tasting to come...

9 comments: said...

You are going to have a great time with all that loot! I haven't tried the saffron tea but it sounds great!

Peter M said...

Considering that airlines have reduced baggage weight allowances, your pairs of shoes and other girly accoutrements, you mamanged to bring back some fine pantry items from Greece.

Make me a Skinos on the rocks, with a slice of lemon, parakalo!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love greece and Greek food! Everything looks lovely and i particularly like that cute liquor bottle!



yutjangsah said...

What a bag of loot! I'm part monkey too though my arms aren't long, I like sweet things. Also, remind me to call your Aunt Mary to minister to me on my sickbed. I like her style.

Diana said...

So what did you bring back for me???

A hot TA Greek man? ;)

Can't believe all you carried back with you! Glad it all made it intact!

Anna A. said...

cupcakes - the saffron tea is amazing. really, i wish i picked up the 2 other versions now.

Peter - I used my girly accoutrements to cusions/pack my provisions =) Can re-smuggle to Toronto if needed.

Rosa - Thanks, if you go to Greece visit the Mastiha shop!

Sook - Good to know a fella monkey is in the house. I can make the warm introduction w/ Aunt Mary when you get better =)

Diana - Make that 2 TA Greek still waiting for the boat to deliver them.

SinoSoul said...

Wow. that's a LOT of FDA un-approved edibles from GR... I hope you declared .. DUTY!

Btw, I'm sad we didn't see any of this last night...

Anna A. said...

Sino - perhaps an olive oil tasting to come.. just need a few more 'sample' bottles. Thanks for coming the other night!

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